Like few other places, streets are a public stage where life unfolds. From town parades and trick-or-treating, to markets or public gatherings, they’re where we celebrate and come together with our neighbors. They’re where we bump into friends, and one of the few places where we routinely encounter people who are different from ourselves. They’re where people have gathered to protest injustice for centuries. That’s why Project for Public Spaces has advocated for the idea that streets are more than just a means of mobility. Streets themselves are critical public spaces that can lend richness to the social, civic, and economic fabric of our communities.
While facilitating travel from one place to another is certainly an important function for streets, many of the streets in our communities – especially those in our downtowns, Main Streets, and residential areas – can be so much more than just a conduit for traffic. Streets as Places is about helping people begin to see streets in their entirety: not just their function in transporting people and goods, but the vital role they play in animating the social and economic life of communities. It’s about communities owning and reclaiming their streets, participating in civic life, and having a direct impact on how their public spaces look, function, and feel.
PPS is excited to launch our new Streets as Places Resource Page, which will provide principles, tools, and examples to help ensure that the streets in our communities can live up to their full potential. Check out our first installment – 8 Principles for Fostering Streets as Places – here!