Things We Like:David Yoon’s Narrow Streets Project,Helping People Imagine Livable Streets.

Posted on May 27th, 2010 at 11:55 pm by in News

Things We Like:David Yoon’s Narrow Streets Project,Helping People Imagine Livable Streets.

Believe it or not this image is a fake…..sort of.

This is what the street really looks like. Look closely, very closely and you will notice that these are exactly the same views. That’s right, the image above is exactly the same as the one below, minus a couple of tweaks in Photoshop.

At Public Workshop we are constantly working to develop  new tools for helping communities more readily engage in and re-imagine their neighborhood or city. The more simple and joyous they are, the better. Particularly when talking about street use, given many people’s particularly heated passions on the matter, a little levity or an incredibly convincing tool can go a long way to catalyzing a reasonable, meaningful conversation about possibilities.

This one doesn’t necessarily fit into our fun, participation category but wow, five stars for effectiveness. David Yoon’s Narrow Streets Project (here) is an ingeniously simple way of using a little Photoshop magic to help people recognize how much more livable their streets might be if they were a little narrower, a lot less car dominant…….perhaps even a bit on the ‘snug’ and cozy side.

Too bad it’s not quite this easy to make such pleasing adjustments although we couldn’t be more happy to see that temporary-use tactics are finally having a demonstrable impact on helping change people’s minds about street design in this country. Whether you look at the recent changes to Herald and Times Square in New York (here) or the great Build A Better Block Project in Dallas,Texas (here), it’s hard to argue that these tools aren’t having a positive effect on perception and policy.

David, we think you should really stir things up by figuring out a way to make your work even more public.

Perhaps a weekly photo column in a major LA newspaper? Wait, do they still exist?

Regardless, keep up the great work.

Make sure you stop by his site and also check out his rather charming Microlawns project (here).

All photographs in this post are by David Yoon.

Alex Gilliam