People Places Cases
These are examples, lists, links to case studies, and personal accounts of places that have characteristics of people-oriented places. After all, my People Places site promises information about people-oriented places. Readers should ask: Where are they? Show me the city!
Well, the real world is not like theory. In truth, there are very few places in the world where human beings are given precedence over automobiles and where urban planning and architecture are designed around people as opposed to functions.
In choosing a place, seek to find places which are more people-friendly or are pursuing policies that integrate multi-modal transit and mixed use developments into planning.
- Foot Traffic Ahead: Ranking Walkable Urbanism in America’s Largest Metros
- Walker's Paradises from walkscore.com, this list shows areas of cities with a Walk Score of 90 or above.
- The Project for Public Spaces works to create and sustain public places that build communities. Some examples: Balboa Park in San Diego, CA; Country Club Plaza in Kansas City, MO; Covent Gardens in London; Milwaukee, WI; and Staples Street Bus Station in Corpus Christi, TX. These places are meant to serve as examples and guides. I hope that some of the qualities of these places can be infused into the everyday environments of people everywhere.
- Richard Florida's Creativity Index. This index claims to measure the power of a city to draw members of the creative class, members of which Florida claims are the key to economic growth. This list, to me, indicates a way to think about fine-grained amenities and aesthetics that people enjoy, as opposed to mammoth sports stadiums and downtown malls. I think Florida's qualitative research into what attracts young people to cities sheds light on what makes cities great. See his books Cities and the Creative Class and The Rise of the Creative Class.
Top Creativity Index ranking for regions of over 1 million:
- San Francisco
- San Diego
- New York
- Car-Free Areas.
There are very, very few operating car-free areas in the world, but some emerging projects as well as an established list of
- There is a List of Carfree Places at Wikipedia. Most of these car-free areas are in the center of European cities or island or resort areas. This list includes areas that have limited automobile access (otherwise this list would be extremely short). This information can shed light on what pedestrian-only and pedestrian-oriented areas look like.
Cities / Neighborhoods
These are specific cities and projects within cities that support various ideals of people-oriented places. Many are oriented toward ecologically-sound, sustainable development. Others are oriented toward New Urbanism ideals.
- Home Zones
- A home zone is a pedestrian and cyclist-oriented group of streets where motorists are encouraged, through traffic calming and other features, to drive safely. This site includes a directory of home zones in the United Kingdom.
- Global Ecovillage Network
- Network of ecovillages with emphasis on ecologically, economically, and culturally sustainable future. Includes a directory of ecovillages. A subset network, Urban Ecovillage Network, has an urban emphasis.
On the opening page of People Places, I switch out various photos that visually capture what I mean by "people-oriented places." These are places that I've visited and really enjoyed. Click the thumbnail photo for a bit larger image.Chicago, Illinois, USA. An urban park can be a vibrant, interesting place with activities oriented around music, art, gardens, sculpture, skyline admiring, walking, food, and people watching. (See more photos.)
Madison, Wisconsin, USA. This street serves as the main cultural axis of the capital city of Wisconsin and shows how a bus-only street can operate (cars do cross State Street at intersections) with a canopy of trees, cafes, restaurants, stores, and cultural centers. Unfortunately, panhandlers exploit this public space and harass pedestrians. (See more photos.)
I'd like to list here articles or links to articles in which people describe experiences about where they live and how it supports people-orientation.