|Most of the block turns a back to the sidewalk|
|The southside path along Pringle Creek|
at Commercial was closed to public.
A gate operates for residents now.
|The corner lawn is enclosed by a cinderblock wall now|
|During approvals, the corner was shown open, without a wall|
While it is appropriate for interior spaces to be private, the exterior spaces that meet the public-facing sidewalk, path, and street system, spaces partially subsidized by the City with incentives, should instead represent littoral mixing zones where the public and private transition and interact. The walls and gates eliminate mixing zones and create inert dead-zones. Aesthetically, the parking garage and cinder block wall are ugly and dull.
Indeed, the terms of the initial approvals in January 2012 addressed conformity with the South Waterfront Mixed Use Zone Design Guidelines on exactly these matters, and while the final project's details may meet the technical requirements of them, as they work together in a pattern they violate the spirit and intent of the guidelines.
|Fencing only supposed to be 48" tall|
|Public gathering places at building corners|
As additional mixed-use projects arise in Salem, we need to make sure that we engage the sidewalk level and create spaces that are attractive for walking. Foot traffic is business!
When I say "greet the sidewalk," here's what I mean. The contrasting materials, the human-scaled arcade, the public space that connects with the sidewalk - all this together creates transparency and interaction between the public and private space.
|Greeting the sidewalk:|
Plaza detail on the forthcoming "Field Office" in NW Portland
via Hacker Architects
The decisions at Pringle Square are almost certainly driven by the developer, not designer, it's also important to consider.
More positively, the bike parking is fully covered! And I think there might be more installed actually than the original plan indicated. So that seems like a real good thing.