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Old 12-12-2012, 04:39 PM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
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This was quoted in an article someone posted a while back.

Quote:
The more frequently you change someone's view as they walk, the better you entertain them. Entertaining those who are walking means they'll likely keep walking. Two simple geometric moves change views more quickly than anything else: The closer the building wall gets to the sidewalk, the more quickly your view of any given point changes. And the narrower the building, the more quickly you walk past it. Main Streets with narrow stores like in the picture above do an excellent job on both counts.
Walk Appeal Measurables | the Original Green | Steve Mouzon

Do you agree?
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Old 12-12-2012, 04:47 PM
 
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I like the whole article. Good points all around.
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Old 12-12-2012, 04:50 PM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
This was quoted in an article someone posted a while back.



Walk Appeal Measurables | the Original Green | Steve Mouzon

Do you agree?
Interesting article.

Not sure I necessarily agree that the ratio of street width to building height has to be 1:1 to be pleasant, or even that it is optimal. Not that 1:1 or less is bad just doesn't seem necessary all the time. I'm sure lots of people would disagree with that though. I guess I can just think of a lot of places I consider pleasantly walkable that don't meet that threshold.

Everything else I agree. Really good point on the side street - murals are a good way to spruce it up: http://goo.gl/maps/6FeJJ (there's actually one across the street too now).
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Old 12-12-2012, 04:53 PM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
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Quote:
Originally Posted by munchitup View Post
I guess I can just think of a lot of places I consider pleasantly walkable that don't meet that threshold.
Example?
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Old 12-12-2012, 04:56 PM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
Example?
Harvard Ave in Allston, Fairfax District in Los Angeles, Mission District in San Francisco are a couple that come to mind immediately. I don't have experience in Portland but would imagine outside of downtown most of the business districts are walkable but pretty low rise.

Smaller cities as well - Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Pleasanton in California all have compact, walkable downtown areas that are low rise (Pleasanton's is linear in nature ).
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Old 12-12-2012, 05:02 PM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
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Quote:
Originally Posted by munchitup View Post
Harvard Ave in Allston, Fairfax District in Los Angeles, Mission District in San Francisco are a couple that come to mind immediately. I don't have experience in Portland but would imagine outside of downtown most of the business districts are walkable but pretty low rise.
I think he says that the 1:1 ratio is ideal. I'm not sure if the Mission has that ratio, but it does convey a sense of enclosure.

Mission District, San Francisco - Google Maps
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Old 12-12-2012, 05:10 PM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
I think he says that the 1:1 ratio is ideal. I'm not sure if the Mission has that ratio, but it does convey a sense of enclosure.

Mission District, San Francisco - Google Maps
I was talking about mostly on Mission Boulevard: Mission District, San Francisco - Google Maps. I haven't been on the side-streets all that much. Wouldn't surprise me if it is built like LA with low rise retail and mid-rise residential (obviously SF is more mixed use).

Also I certainly don't dislike less than 1:1 - and now that I think about it I don't disagree that it is the most ideal. Certainly rather have it be closer to that then a parkway with big box stores on either side or even a large avenue with small strip malls on either side.
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Old 12-12-2012, 05:20 PM
 
Location: The City
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
This was quoted in an article someone posted a while back.



Walk Appeal Measurables | the Original Green | Steve Mouzon

Do you agree?
As some general principles this makes sense

One factor though is appeal, you can have a 1:1 ratio and it be unappealing or higher rates and it be unappealing

for example this
https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Phila...95.84,,0,-3.17

Though to be fair this street has a pretty high pedestrain level probably 18-20 hours a day because of what is around it
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Old 12-12-2012, 05:34 PM
 
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
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I think those are some good guidelines. Most commercial streets in Toronto fall short of the 1:1 ratio, but I think they would benefit from being narrower, and to a lesser degree, taller. He also mentioned the sides of buildings at street corners, I think these are good places for restaurants/cafes with patios, fruit markets, flower shops, etc.

Ex:
Runnymede - Bloor West Village, Toronto, ON, Canada - Google Maps
Kensington Market, Toronto, ON, Canada - Google Maps
http://goo.gl/maps/9D778
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Old 12-12-2012, 05:47 PM
 
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kidphilly View Post
As some general principles this makes sense

One factor though is appeal, you can have a 1:1 ratio and it be unappealing or higher rates and it be unappealing

for example this
https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Phila...95.84,,0,-3.17

Though to be fair this street has a pretty high pedestrain level probably 18-20 hours a day because of what is around it
That particular section fails at window view though. The narrow old run down building has windows/doors that are covered with what looks like aluminium, the building next to it (West Elm) has opaque windows and a blank wall. The bigger old building on the other side of the street has some sort of loading bay you can't see into, two dark doors you can't see through and a window that's above eye level... otherwise it's just a blank stone wall. The row of about a dozen dumpsters in plain sight and the fact that the narrow old building is extremely run down can't help. I don't think it would look any better if you had shorter buildings or a wider street. I think what he is saying is that having taller buildings relative to street width (or narrower streets relative to building height) helps, but that doesn't mean it guarantees success, or that having a more low-rise profile guarantees failure.

The problem is that many of the streets in North America that are 1:1 height to width are back alleys and side streets that were generally neglected, so there aren't too many good examples.

Quebec City's most popular streets meet most of these criteria though.
I'd say this is about 1.5:1 height to width, with narrow buildings, no setbacks, 70% window view, a bit of sheltering, although it's not really necessary in Quebec.
http://goo.gl/maps/lIvGS

This street is similar, but a bit wider, and allows cars, although it's still quite nice:
http://goo.gl/maps/teF7n

This street has a bit taller buildings, and the street might be a bit narrower.
http://goo.gl/maps/NShvd

Anyways, there are other things that matter too that he hasn't touched on, notably, how to deal with cars so that pedestrians are at ease.

Last edited by memph; 12-12-2012 at 06:11 PM..
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