Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Small is beautiful

Night-time Moscow from the International Space Station, NASA photo

When viewed from space, cities look beautiful, exciting and filled with energy. It's easy to forget they even have crime. Those who focus too much on that big picture look for big city solutions with a wide-angle lens.

Close-up, the picture of the city looks very different. Turns out it's the close-up picture with the zoom lens that provides the best opportunities for creating safe places. One example was provided at the ICA CPTED conference by Jim Diers, Seattle's neighborhood guru. His presentation is on-line at the ICA website.

Dead spaces, such as deserted nooks beneath overpasses, are isolated, not maintained, and ideal for drug dealing, robberies, and nefarious crimes. The neighborhood folks in Seattle decided to turn this one into something more interesting and fun.

Underpass no-man's land

After a long public dialogue one favorite design was chosen - the underpass troll. It is today among one of the choice tourist spots to view. It is also far safer than it was.

Re-activating dead spaces with fun, collaborative design

Fine tuned design with collaborative public input can produce beautiful results. Another ingredient for success.

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