Alone or in groups, strollers normally seek places easily reached, entered, and toured, so they seek routes with handy access, few decision points, and no conflicts. Any intelligent child should be able to follow a good strolling path. For adults strolling there, the mind is free to focus on conversations, inner thoughts, or nothing at […]
For gregarious or anonymous strolling among crowds, we want still wider, perhaps specially built promenades. These public strolling plazas can be isolated from city bustle, like the malls Olmsted designed inside major parks or, as is increasingly being done, they can be part of the city’s flow, like the pedestrian esplanades of the Champs Elysées […]
There has always been the walk with a friend, the companionable, social stroll in a quiet setting, to catch up, to share the news, to chat. A path to accommodate social strolls has requirements, but they are few.
Solitary strolling paths are as ancient as a Chinese scholar’s garden and as modern as a walk in the park.
Walking without a destination, strolling, sauntering, meandering about, is seldom pointless. Path design can support strolls’ purposes.
How did Capability Brown convert the measly Glyme River into part of an international tourist attraction?
Goals are such powerful motivators of walking that a goal and its path can be considered a single thing.
“My walking is of two kinds: one straight on end to a definite goal at a round pace; one, objectless, loitering, and purely vagabond. In the latter state, no gypsy on earth is a greater vagabond than myself; it is so natural to me, and strong with me, that I think I must be the […]
Size and shape are only two of the requirements for successful public plazas. The most attractive plazas are also properly located, furnished, and related to adjacent buildings. These matters poorly done deal death to public spaces. Successful plazas are located in or next to the most frequented parts of town and can be seen from […]
To invite us to linger, an open space must not be too enclosed (a prison cell) or too open (vulnerable on all sides).
If where we want to sit, stand, or socialize is the same place where other people want to walk, run, or jog, user, we have a problem, and it’s the designer’s fault.
Outdoor spaces support walking or lingering or …well….not much at all. How can designers shape outdoors spaces to assure people are comfortable?
The most lively public spaces are sized so that everyone in the space can see and hear everyone else. How big is that?
Since standing soon becomes uncomfortable, we quickly look for something to lean against or, better yet, sit upon. Good design can accommodate that.
Although understanding what prompts vibrant city life has been growing in the past 20 to 30 years, many architects and landscape architects continue to design street furniture with complete disregard for people’s needs.