My name has the perfect number of characters.
“Ask them if they’ve heard of New Urbanism or urban infilling, the wonkier, established versions of what they’re trying to do, and they shrug. Hsieh says there’s a benefit to their outsider perspective. “We don’t have some top-down idea of how this should be done,” he says. Ware adds that there’s a benefit to coming into something with no preexisting knowledge. “We ask the dumb questions.”
— Tony Hsieh, from Zappos, is building a downtown Las Vegas. Hopefully they succeed. Their guiding philosophy that a vibrant downtown is important to cultural and creative life is a good start.
Who is public space for? Streets and squares were designed for people, historically for gathering, for walking, for access, for assembly. Yes, they were meant for passage, but what societies proudly use them to demonstrate state control?
Has the world changed so much that authorities now believe the passage of vehicles is their only legitimate purpose?
To whom do the streets belong? Scores of drivers or thousands of protesters? Public citizens, or the public corporations that own surrounding buildings?
photo by Eduardo Munoz/Reuters via aberjona