05 February 2010

In Appreciation of the New Times Square

Another cracking film from Streetfilms.org. This one singing the praises of the rejuvenated Times Square in New York City. The Mayor will shortly decide if the changes on the famous square will be made permanent. Let's hope they will be.

The media in New York is hemming and hawing about speed limits for cars on 7th Ave without paying much attention to whether or not life in the big smoke is better for pedestrians and even cyclists because of the project.

Thanks to Gehl Architects, who designed the changes.


Sean said...

This change to Times Square has been miraculous. I'm a NYC resident. Before the change, I always considered Times Square to be one of the most disgusting areas of Manhattan. The noise was unbearable, the air stunk of exhaust, the sidewalks were incredibly crowded. Walking through there was a hostile, miserable experience, and I avoided the area like a social disease.

With the plazas, the area is much better and safer. It's quieter, the air smells cleaner, people are more relaxed, and, most importantly, pedestrian fatalities in the area are down. It's now a place that's actually enjoyable to spend some time in. From the mayor's recent comments and those from business leaders, the change also has been good for businesses in the area.

This makes sense as a pleasant area draws customers who then, in turn, buy things from local stores. No one ever jumped out of their car on Broadway, ran into a store, and made a purchase.

In sincerely hope Mayor Bloomberg sees the value of these changes and decides to make them permanent.

Adam said...

The big smoke? Maybe I'm reading that wrong, but the Big Smoke is a nickname for Toronto and London. I've never heard it applied to New York.

Mikael said...

...and Galway, Belfast, Dublin, London, Manchester, Melbourne, Sudbury, Sydney, Toronto and Vancouver. And as a slang for any metropolis.

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Lasse said...

Danish Gehl architects must really get the credit for this transformation - the Sidney Opera might be a more famous danish architect work - as it is easier to grasp - but the work of Gehl Architects is the one that really changes the lives of thousands.

Jan Gehl and partners work all over the world improving living conditions for city people. see gehlarchitects.com it's worth a visit - if you are into the discussion of how urban areas should be used.