How the Street Connects to the Place

by | Nov 22, 2016

The Street as an Element of Place

Simply put, the most loved places offer lively environments that attract people to visit, shop, and work or otherwise enjoy an area. Great placemaking efforts revolve around influencing the built environment. Much of this is implemented on private property by the development community. The public sector can help stimulate placemaking on private land through enticing plans, regulations, zoning, funding incentives and public-private partnerships. Public streets are also an essential element in a complete placemaking toolkit. As the primary public infrastructure of our transportation network, streets have a direct impact on the overall character of a place. Design of the public right-of-way can often be a catalyst for change in the vibrancy of a district and in people’s travel choices.

Streets typically make up about 10% of a communities land area. A good network of well-designed streets can give that 10% a larger influence on how people and investors perceive a community. Street width and overall scale of the blocks they create provide critical connections between homes, businesses, institutions, recreation and nearby communities. Understanding the hierarchy of street connectivity and design can have a tremendous impact on community character.

 

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