In Jane Jacob’s book The Death and Life of Great American Cities she calls attention to various aspects of cities and its effects on the community. One of the key factors of a city is its use of walkways and sidewalks. There is a strong correlation between the safety of a neighborhood and the use of its streets.
In the city center of Perugia, from personal experience I feel most secure in areas that are taken care of and filled with people. Corso Vannucci (the main street of the city) is sprawling with people at almost all times of day. This is the result of shops, cafes, restaurants and bars that are open both early in the morning and late at night. I have never felt unsafe on Corso Vannucci, even at 3 am, because there are still young people walking around from bar to bar.
I am of a similar mind as Jacobs when she says that the safety of a city depends on the presence of eyes on the streets. Similar to Corso Vannucci, in Borgo Bello, the community is working on increasing the number of eyes on the street by bringing more vendors and consumers to the area. Also, when festivals and other events are held in Borgo Bello, Perugians learn about the neighborhood and its key features and are more likely to return. Corso Cavour (the main street in Borgo Bello) is increasing in popularity through events like Mezzanotte Bianco and famous gelaterie like Lick. Nowadays Corso Cavour rarely sees crime, vandalism and the like as the street is constantly buzzing with social activity.
The next task of the community is to bring those social activities to less frequented places in Borgo Bello (like the Salotto con vista and OrtoBello). There are many beautiful and unique places along and through the alleyways of Borgo Bello that are not visited as often as Corso Cavour. Knowledge of these hidden gems would not only increase the neighborhood’s popularity but also increase the number and frequency of eyes on the side streets.
Pictured: View from Salotto con vista found on a side street of Borgo Bello. Taken 12.09.2017