This concept of eyes on the street, as portrayed by Jane Jacobs, is the innate reaction of those living, working, walking or enjoying a neighborhood to look after the well being of others. Safety comes from this concept because of the sheer number of individuals aware of their surroundings. After my time in Borgo Bello it is easy to find multiple individuals enjoying the great past time of people watching. This activity is something that is seen by Jane Jacobs as fundamental to the safety of the street.
I want to take this a step further, in the hopes that Jacobs would agree, few responsible eyes that have a feeling of ownership over that individual street or neighborhood is more important than a few hundred different set of eyes. Living here for now a month I have walked up down Via de Priori multiple times a day and have become aware of those keen eyes on the street.
There is a tiny meat market in the middle of Via de Priori, where my roommates and I have mainly bought our meet for our dinners. The man who works there (I assume the owner, I’ve never see anyone else) is constantly glancing out to the street. It is nearly impossible to walk by without him looking out and waiving or giving you a smile. His eyes are unavoidable and I feel the safest as I walk by his shop each day. That to me is the integral part of having eyes on the street.
To end on a Borgo Bello note. I spent most of my weekend down in Borgo Bello mainly because I am proud to show my friends the beautiful neighborhood. This weekend we ventured down to grab a few drinks and explorer the evenings in the neighborhood. Our last stop of the night was T-Trane. A definite recollection of what community means to me. There were plenty of hellos and the friendliest faces I have received while being in Perugia. This all culminates to a record player that was the perfect symbol of community building. Surrounded by hundreds, maybe thousands, of records and ample seating my perfect idea of community resides in that room. It was a place that was full of conversations and interactions that were all because of the music coming from the record player.