Contributed by Project for Public Spaces
A multi-dimensional pedestrian street.
We once witnessed a small elderly woman with two canes tottering carefully down this wonderful street. Her face was full of determination. It was clearly not easy, but she was comfortable in her surroundings nonetheless. Most streets aren't good for the elderly, but Rue Montorgueil was good for this woman. Without the constant threat of vehicles to deter her, she felt at ease venturing onto this public thoroughfare by herself. Few other urban streets provide the elderly with such security.
But Rue Montorgueil is a lot more than just a pedestrian street. Over time, it has accreted uses that complement each other, forming an urban ecosystem of commerce, social gatherings, and street performances.