|At the mall in Eugene - today's Register-Guard|
|As if a mall. Leading with the parkade and street|
instead of sidewalk and storefront:
Counting cars instead of people
|Salem Reporter uses slow lunchtime traffic|
from March 19th to illustrate a story today
This is why a central claim here is that the fundamental problem of downtown is the lack of housing, not any lack of parking or auto capacity. Simply making downtown into a larger drive-to mall doesn't solve anything and instead reproduces the conditions for another round of difficulty and even crisis. It just kicks the can.
Elsewhere in the world, busier sidewalks may constitute a more difficult arena for proper physical distancing, but they also are evidence for more resilience and vitality.
Now the choreography of the streets has taken on higher stakes. It’s the difference between health and sickness, life and death. Inside we’re alone. Outside, a new alertness is in order, one that demands a deep connection to the position and movement of the body — or proprioception, sometimes referred to as the sixth sense....Whether intentionally or not, this "choreography of the streets" invokes Jane Jacobs' famous description of sidewalk ballet on a lively city street.
That feeling and control of where we are in space is important right now; dancers, through years of training and sensorial alertness, grasp this inherently. If this pandemic is teaching us anything, it is that we need to return to our bodies. Life is precious, and so is movement.
“It is appalling how we disuse the body,” the postmodern choreographer and dancer Steve Paxton once said. “Dance reminds us about that. Dance explores some of the physical possibilities; dance refocuses our focusing mind on very basic existence, and time, space, gravity open up to creativity. This seems to me a reminder of nature, of our natures.”
|Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities|
|Salemites sewed masks for doctors, nurses, and technicians,|
whose bodies are on the line
|People create the value, not cars|
Addendum, April 13th
Kaiser Permanente yesterday ran a full-page ad employing empty highway spaghetti to signify empty urban streets and sidewalks. This might be worth coming back to, especially as Kaiser has supported walking and biking. The focus on passing-through by car rather than on a place with people is striking.
And more. New York Magazine published a series of large format photographs of empty New York streets and sidewalks.
|Flatiron Building, Flatiron Plaza, sidewalks, 5th Ave|