Friday, April 13, 2007

suburban street structure

At first glance some may not like the residential, suburban pattern of streets, serpentine strokes of car-dependence. Look deep, and read a city through its streets.

Yet the grande views down the street, from curb toward the hills, from front door looking across, and on one street peering around a corner, are all views determined in the street structure, coded by the street width, the setback distance of house from curb, the space of the yards, the height of the building, the variety of built topographical forms, the color and textures of each fixture, the natural environment intermix of trees, garden, shrubs, hills, forest, sky, air, and of utmost importance, people, feeling, life.

Car dependence may be derided but beauty we may treasure has arisen from the form of the streets.

What challenges does this offer to us to play? What responsibilities and what opportunities? What histories and what futures?

(c) M. Waxman 2007.