Comparing the Streets and Sidewalks of Perugia and Boston by Christian B.

Reading about the roles that sidewalks and streets play in civilization has lead me to reflect on my thoughts and experiences when walking in Perugia compared to my home city of Boston. There are significant differences in the cultures and roles of streets and sidewalks of both cities, as I perceive them. While both are full of more strangers than acquaintances, I am connected to the people I see through language in Boston, and I feel like more of an outsider in Perugia. This does not make me feel uncomfortable or unsafe though. In Perugia, I have learned that streets have much more of a community feel than they do in Boston. In Boston, people congregate in public areas such as Fenway Park, Boston Commons, and Harvard Square. The majority of streets and sidewalks serve as ways for vehicles and pedestrians to reach these desired destinations. In Perugia, vehicles are much less common on the streets. The distinction between sidewalks and streets is loosely defined, and consequently streets gain much more of a community feel and serve as a place where people congregate and build relationships. In ways, despite my familiarity with the area, I might feel less safe in Boston than in Perugia, as people spend less time in the streets and more time in other public areas. Then again, my experience may be different than others’ and I spend most of my time in the more frequented streets such as Piazza Novembre. In addition, Perugia is vastly smaller than Boston, and because of its small size it is naturally safer. The idea presented in the reading of effective eyes seems to be more successfully applied to Perugia than in Boston, leading me to believe that its streets are safer for both residents and strangers.

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