The making of Demoratic streets by Paris Parken

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When reading this article I noticed that “pedestrianization” is clearly focused on consumerism. The addition of malls, mini malls, and expensive boutiques into cities in order for people to comfortably shop in America can be positive, especially for constant shoppers, but I can also see how it is negative. In Perugia, for example, there are street vendors, friendly faces in the deli, and small inexpensive stores. Ultimately the ‘feel’ of Perugia is homey, diverse, and the opposite of commercialized. In America the constant shopping malls can be looked at as tasteless and not diverse.

The privatization process does affect many areas. I often seen parks constantly closed and “no loitering signs” littering my city in America. Public use is necessary to a good city. Places should be friendly to citizens; open and welcome and available to every person. Places should be used regularly and with enthusiasm by pedestrians. Public places should be accessible, for example malls should have available city transit for all people to be able to get to them.

Overall many things make a street democratic. The addition of a bike path, a garden, a bus from one major location to another; it all makes a difference. The location, the safety, and accessibility all play a part into street design. In the end places need to be made more public, people of all sizes, ages, and conditions need to be considered, and streets need to be cared for.

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