Jay Walljasper discusses the need for cities to have life on their streets – even in the most frigid days (and nights) of winter.
“Plunging temperatures don’t necessarily sentence us to months of house arrest. People around the world from Copenhagen to New York are figuring out how to keep things lively throughout the colder months. City streets bustle with festivals and outdoor attractions showing that winter is something to enjoy rather than endure.
My colleague Cynthia Nikitin, vice president of Project for Public Spaces, describes Berlin in the dead of winter: “It gets dark at 3:30. It’s snowing like crazy. But it’s no problem. People are playing bocce ball on the ice. There are tents selling hot mulled wine. You are walking down the street just watching all the other people. Life is good, and winter feels good, too.”
But you need to give people reasons to be outside, Nikitin adds — “a market, ice skating, music, decorative lighting. No one will stay outdoors to stare at an empty plaza.”