For decades, we have been building transportation through communities, rather than creating communities through transportation. Streets designed only to move cars can work so much harder. They can certainly carry more people by more modes of transportation—but they can also become great places in their own right.
Mayor Bill de Blasio caused quite a stir around New York City yesterday as he floated the idea of tearing up the pedestrian plaza in Times Square. This statement was the culmination of several days of debate centered around predatory panhandling and the square’s growing number of “street performers.”
We know that public markets can become the heart and soul of a community, its common ground, a place where people easily interact, alive with social and economic activity. But how can markets provide tangible evidence of their valuable direct and indirect economic impact?