Sidewalks and Borgo Bello

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In class, we discussed the readings on sidewalks and city safety by Jane Jacobs. This piece informed me a lot more on how a community comes together to protect themselves and others from crime and other unfortunate events. I hardly had thought about how a city operates on a day-to-day basis, having been from a small town, and I figured that they were much the same and overdependent on police. Some cities have fences, many have eyes on the street, trying to keep it safe. I compared her writing to the sidewalks in Borgo Bello (and the center of Perugia), and I see her point. When there were many people and the sidewalks were somewhat spacious, feelings of safety increased whereas the opposite is true as well. When sidewalks were narrow and many people walked them, I felt safe from people from not so much from oncoming traffic. While I agree with Jane Jacobs, she is also writing in a slightly different time than the one we are in today–her statistics are from the 1950s, and that puts me at odds with her to some degree. I am eager to see how these situations have changed since the time of her writing.

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On Friday, I and the class had the privilege to explore further the neighborhood of Borgo Bello. Our schedule went off track because of the rain, but we were able to learn a lot from Professor David at the Agricultural School. Until Friday, I had never been inside a greenhouse, nor had I even fully realized that there was so much on the other side of the wall from the street. Although things did not go as planned due to the rain, I feel as if we experienced and learned quite a bit about the area and its history. We are fortunate to have such supportive people in our neighborhood, and after basic repairs to the terrace I could see using some of the materials they have available for us for several possible projects to make the terrace more attractive to the neighborhood despite how out of the way it is. We also saw the paintings in some of the side streets which one of the previous Placemaking classes worked on, and it was inspiring to see the possibilities.

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About valendbid

Trans history lover, history and spanish student at Hollins University.
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