I think that the subject ‘sidewalks’ is really interesting, especially because it’s from there you encounter the city and most probably where you get impressions and create memories. The meaning of sharing the sidewalk both in a direct way between us people and sharing it when it comes to a wider context such as in economic growth and progress, and to whom the sidewalk belongs to after the change has taken place is interesting. Who should we develop the sidewalk for, how should we design it? Is it for the most efficient transport of people, workers, with wide esplanades? Or is it for the sellers standing there to make their business go round? Both these interest could might go along side by side, but I can see that these two interest are competing with each other, that cities and communities whom striving towards economic growth and a more westernized lifestyle turn away from this and letting their streets belong to famous coffee companies and fast food restaurants. In a way this might be the natural way of development, which later will turn in to the search for what the particular society came from. Such as we can see now in Sweden for example where small cafés, food-trucks, street sellers, alternative restaurants reclaims more of the cityscape, streets and sidewalks in some kind of search for the genuine experience of the future of the past.
I think you, as a designer, has to consider the identity of a street, the people walking there everyday, the people working there and the people just passing by. As it was mentioned in the text, the research of a designer has to be connected to the reality through the citizen who are the user. I like the idea of the SEED network because it doesn’t matter how many prizes it has won when the human who lives, works or passing by there can’t use it.
This is just thoughts I got while reading the text, it’s easy to be caught up by small things when you write about possibilities and problems like this and you end up might missing the bigger context. Anyway, I really enjoyed the text.
How will the increasing effectiveness of our production change the cityscape and sidewalks, when automated robots and computers will do more of our work and everyday commuters might not have to go to geographically bound work?