Using our streets better « Designing Dublin: Learning to Learn

Using our streets better

What are our streets currently used for in the City?

Generally car-parking and car driving mostly, with narrow pavements for pedestrians.

No space for children playing, not much space for trees, or seating, or for neighbours to feel that they can gather.

I found this picture interesting…the children (or perhaps their parents) felt that the snow somehow gave them ‘permission’ to play on the street. Normally they would feel that they’re getting in the way of someone’s car parking. Why was it OK once there was snow?

Is it because everything in the city has slowed down? (Cars drive much more slowly, and there’s much less traffic.)

Is it because the difference between path and road are now blurred? (Not so distinct here, but in areas you can barely tell where the carriageway ends and pathway starts).

Is it because the roadway is now ‘less suitable’ for cars (it’s almost foolish to drive), whereas usually that’s all it’s suitable for (it’s purposefully designed for cars, and cars only)?

Across the road, there are two older men chatting.  The snow encouraged all the neighbours on my street to start to make comments to one another (usually starting with the weather). Is it that we all want to talk to each other, but need some excuse to start?

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