Monday, January 10, 2011



The quality of the pedestrians’ environment contributes immeasurably to the quality of public life in an urban environment. Pedestrians usually experience the whole urban environment while walking, which includes visual qualities of streetscape, behaviors of other people, traffic density, and sidewalk safety. It is the place where community meets, gathers, shops, works and spends its leisure time. The pedestrians’ environment consists of those places that people have unlimited and direct access to. There is now, however, growing concern that American streets are becoming “privatized”, denying people basic rights of access, use and enjoyment. Research, historical analysis and some demonstration projects have begun to show that good streets work democratically (Moudon 1987)—streets that have meaning for people, invite access for all, encourage use and participation, are loved, and are well cared for by their users. This study will focus on how to apply the democratic street and outline a number of objectives for improving the pedestrians’ experience in SoHo, NYC as the area changes over time.
SoHo is one of the most sophisticated neighborhoods in lower Manhattan. Demographic and physical changes have occurred since the local real estate act and market developed. With its high quality shopping environment and historic character, SoHo attracts people from every corner of the world. Many higher income families are willing to live there. The study of SoHo focuses on applying the concept of democratic streets to this booming historical neighborhood. The result of this research project will provide recommendations to reinforce the improvement of pedestrians’ experience in SoHo.

Walking in the walkways of Soho, New York City, photo by La Citta Vita
Spring Street in Soho, NYC, photo by La Citta Vita

Soho, photo by La Citta Vita

read more about pedestrianization in USA:

Kane County Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan

Walkability is a big step toward shaping up a community

On Walkability, Density, and Transit Villages

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