Reimagining Neighborhoods + Streets: Creating Community Spaces Together

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Streets have always been a place where communities come together, and the sights and sounds associated with streets engrained in our memories. What sensations do you associate with the modern street? It is loud and bustling with activity on a Friday night? Is it quiet and serene during a morning walk? Maybe kids are playing a game of street basketball, or the savor of street food wafts through the air. Public space provides a great equalizer; they provide truly democratic spaces that everyone has the right to enjoy.

Streets comprise approximately 77 percent of the City’s public space network and should be adaptable to serve multiple functions and needs—a place where people are prioritized and anyone can access multiple modes of transport, visit with their neighbors, and safety is assured.

The last 100 years of transportation planning have centered on street design that facilitates the expeditious movement of vehicles—often to the detriment of safety and comfort of other roadway users.

Reimagining Neighborhoods + Streets project is an opportunity to envision and put into action what the streets of tomorrow will look and feel like. The community is invited to engage in a process to develop new street and public space typologies that will guide how streets are built in the future and allow for more spontaneous use of public space.

Project has three main parts:

  1. Develop new street typologies. The existing street functional classification system is based on the federal system—which is organized primarily around traffic volumes. New street typologies will consider vehicle movement, but will ensure that street design serves social, environmental, and economic needs and functions as well.

  2. Develop new public space typologies. Public space typologies will be designed to optimize the existing right of way by enabling social hubs, expanding connectivity, and improving environmental outcomes.

  3. Create a public space activation strategies toolkit. A toolkit of activation strategies that empower community members, organizations, and the City to program public spaces that express our collective diversity and cultural richness.

The project scope includes several opportunities for community engagement. The initial project kick-off event occurred on May 24th.   Roundtable discussions took place during the months of June and July in six neighborhoods centers to discuss the communities desire for use of public space and identify opportunities for pilot projects. Results from the neighborhood roundtables were analyzed and follow up surveys sent to each neighborhood. Pilot projects will be announced after the results from the neighborhood surveys are analyzed.

To stay up-to-date on project happenings, please sign up for the Reimaging Neighborhoods + Streets listserv below.

Project is expected to conclude in November 2022.


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