A brief look back


Yesterday we posted about the placement and design of civic structures. Thank you for all the feedback. If you have not had a chance, be sure and read the comments from the post. Losts of other (sad) examples of the same thing.

On our off-day here (we typically publish Monday, Wednesday and Friday), I thought I would share one more picture with you. This street, the one that now terminates with the loading docks and penitentary-looking facade, is called Front Street. This was taken on a Friday around 2:00 PM, although it could have been any time. This place is always void of humanity, and for obvious reasons. It is not an inviting place, made more so by the auto-centric design (from the street section, to the lack of parked cars, to the lights to the abundance of parking lots, to the gaps in the facades, etc....)

Here is how this same street looked in the late 1890's. No commentary needed.

Just one thing to note that may not be obvious: Everything in this lower picture was built with private-sector funds at a time when we were a developing country (read: poor) and without zoning, design standards, tax-increment financing, local economic development initiatives and the automobile.

Regression on this scale is what happens when you measure prosperity in terms of traffic volumes, available parking spaces and other modern growth metrics.

 

We continue to receive requests from communities looking to host a Curbside Chat. We're trying to reach you all. If you are interested in supporting our Curbside Chat program or our efforts to create a Chat video for broad distribution, please consider a donation to Strong Towns. We are slowly working our way down and now need to find just 87 people willing to make a modest, $25 donation towards the video project. Thank you for your support.