Of walkable city, filled with markets, sidewalk cafes, and bustling street life
I found this interesting video showcasing Barcelona’s approach to designing the city, integrating the use of side-walks, public spaces, and implementing a new system for car use. It is a rather interesting concept that they are testing out for their grid-like city landscape, and I thought I would like to share this with you guys.
It somehow reminds me of the reading Sidewalk City: Remapping Public Space in Ho Chi Minh City by Annette Kim; but in this case Barcelona transformed some of its’ sidewalks and roads into public spaces as alternative system to get around, even facilitating economic growth. The question is then, would this idea or an adaptation of it work in other cities?
This is an interesting take on 2 designers who decided to document and reveal their daily observations to each other across continents by sending personal postcards weekly. The project turns small observations about their lives into data through visualisation. Also, we get to see the different approach and styles comparing the 2 and it is simply intriguing, I love it.
In the above example, the designers even visualised how much they swore in a week (and what were those about). What if this technique can be used to map sounds we hear everyday and turn them into diagrams? We can also map other different emotions and perhaps mapping our experience in a larger context.
Footway / pavement / sidewalk; british or american english
The sidewalk is indeed an interesting and undervalued subject of interest as the common area has so much potential to be something more than merely a walking space.
The subject of sidewalk reminds me about the historical context of Singapore’s five foot way, an ubiquitous pedestian pathway that is literally five feet wide in the past. In Malaysia and Singapore, five foot ways date back to the time of the Colonial Government; the feature was integral in many settlements in neighbouring British colonies, and remains a prominent element in modern architecture in Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei. It is a space where people used to set up small businesses for trading, providing inexpensive commodities and services. On a brief research, I found that attempts in Singapore to clear the walkways of hawkers in the 1880s led to the so-called “Verandah Riots”.
On my exchange in USA, I enjoyed how the sidewalks are used by food trucks to stop by the campus during lunch hours. It is a flexible alternative that is convenient and easily accessible for students and faculty.