This week’s reading got me thinking about the importance of maximizing space while also incorporating attractive elements that invite people to the area. I think the most interesting piece of information was that although cities are perceived as overly crowded, there are many areas that are scarce or next to empty, such as countless parks and playgrounds. When we see areas that are packed, however, like the subway stations in New York, it warps our perception of the rest of the city. We convince ourselves that the whole urban area is cramped, when in reality, many places are not used to their maximum advantage.
This got me thinking about my mom and her job in Jersey City. She works in property management and often deals with innovating different ways to make her building, and the area it’s in, a more inviting place for people (usually businessmen & women) to spend their time. My mother and her coworkers put an emphasis on the attraction of food establishments and appropriate seating in the plaza, serving as a meeting place for coworkers to spend lunch and have conversation mid workday. This reminded me of the reading where Jolie Hammer “conceived the idea of an outdoor cafe with ethnic food.” The article indicated that this attraction brought many people to the area, even 500 to 600 during peak lunch hours. I never thought about how the relationship between food and people is great for encouraging socialization, which generally draws people back to an area.
Below I added a picture of Newport Tower, the building my mom works in, and its plaza/seating area.