Cities and Streets by Suprima B.

In class, the main discussion was based on the idea of streets and sideways of a city, being reflections of the city itself. I agree with this notion. In order for a street to have some character, one needs to look at what surrounds it. The same street can give of different impressions and have different attractions, depending upon what it consists of. For instance, a street with glowing twinkling lights, full of restaurants and music rooms attracts a crowd of individuals who want to engage with others, whereas, a street with one street lamp every 10 meters, and silent dark side alleys does not give a very safe and warm impression.

There is more to a street being safe than merely the presence of lights and shops, but we must also consider that streets are major points of everyday human locomotion. Hence, the way streets are organize influences the way that people interact with each other in the street. Cities nowadays are rated in various scales of education, economy, facilities, and most importantly safety. A city is as safe as its streets and sidewalks. If the streets in a city is free from barbaric activities, then the city is considered relatively safe. If one does not feel safe in the sidewalks, then consequently, the city is considered unsafe and dangerous.

There was various ways we can see if a city is safe or not. One of the ways is to observe how many kids can be seen, just wandering about freely. People let their children to go out and play outside all the time. If they have to play on a guarded, fenced area, and are always driven to the place to play, then we can say that the area is somewhat unsafe. I was born and raised in Nepal. When I was a kid, I used to go play outside my house. My grandmother would just stand outside while we played and, we were allowed to run around the neighborhood even during late evening. My neighbors knew who I was or which family I came from. I and my cousins got lost once while we were trying to explore a new street. We were 6 years old and since, we could not find a way to our house, we just sat on the sidewalk crying. The first woman who passed us, asked what had happened. We told her we were lost and we told her our names. The moment she heard our last name, she realized which family I came from. Then she took us back to our home. Hence, three lost 6-years old kids met a stranger on a side walk, and the stranger took them home. So, it was a very safe neighborhood.


Typical Newari Bricked street in Bhaktapur, Nepal by gettyimages

Safe places are very hard to maintain nowadays, with all the urbanization and industrializations. Hence, a layout of the residential area can help a lot to maintain a well-rounded community by catalyzing the type of interactions that community members have.

About suprimaishere

I am a junior at Hollins University, VA, USA. I am pursuing a B.Sc in Mathematics and a B.A. in Studio Arts. My aspiration is to work as an architect-urban planner.
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