The Porticoes of Bologna

Bologna has extraordinary light. This is thanks not only to buildings painted in rich hues of red and orange, but to the city’s 45 kilometres of sidewalk arcades, which filter the sun into geometric shadows and turn sidewalks into softly glowing chambers. These arcades are not simply beautiful: they are a profoundly democratic innovation that […]

Posted in: Architecture, Europe, Heritage and Preservation, History, Public Space by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on The Porticoes of Bologna , , , ,

Too Many Pedestrians, Not Enough Space

When Hong Kong urban planner Peter Cookson-Smith steps out of his office in Wan Chai, he doesn’t like what he sees. “You go out into the street and find yourself walking on the road because the pavements are so crowded,” he said. “People just want to walk in an unobstructed way, but there are railings […]

Arcaded Sidewalks

Arcaded sidewalks in Kuala Lumpur

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Vancouver Decorates Its Sidewalks

Don’t talk to my friend Sam about sidewalk decoration. He’ll snort and expound upon the many ways in which it’s useless. I take a more sympathetic position towards it: I think it enhances the pedestrian experiences, especially if the decoration combines aesthetic or artistic value with practical or historical information. At its best, it creates […]

Vancouver Furnishes Its Sidewalks

Downtown Vancouver has an abundance of high-quality new street furniture, thanks in large part to a proactive planning department that gives developers density bonuses in exchange for public amenities. So far, developers have paid for countless water features, a good number of parks, social housing, a permanent home for the Vancouver International Film Festival and […]

The Spots on the Sidewalk

Next time you walk down the street, take a look down. See the spots? That’s gum, pressed into the pavement by thousands of footsteps. I normally don’t pay them much notice but, now that I think of it, they’re a good indication of how busy a particular stretch a sidewalk is. The more pedestrians that […]

Posted in: Canada, Public Space, United States by Christopher DeWolf 2 Comments , ,

Finding Sidewalk Stamps

Matt Blackett is obsessed with sidewalk stamps. He wrote about them in Spacing‘s first issue and his interest was even featured in the Globe and Mail. Last month, when Matt met with a group of fellow public space enthusiasts here in Montreal, he asked us if our sidewalks were stamped too. Everyone shook their heads. […]

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Sidewalk Spillover

Open Da Night (Café Olimpico) on the weekend, Montreal Ripple’s Ice Cream on the Main, Montreal

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