Qualities of a Great Street

Think about the best street in your community, and then compare it to a great street.  What is a great street?

The Project for Public Spaces identifies its 10 qualities of a great street.  Here’s the list with just enough of a tease to check out the full posting on the PPS Website:

PPS has identified ten qualities that contribute to the success of great streets.

Attractions & Destinations. Having something to do gives people a reason to come to a place—and to return again and again. When there is nothing to do, a space will remain empty…

Identity & Image. Whether a space has a good image and identity is key to its success. Creating a positive image requires …

Active Edge Uses. Buildings bases should be human-scaled and allow for interaction between indoors and out. Preferably, there are…

Amenities. Successful streets provide amenities to support a variety of activities. These include …

Management. An active entity that manages the space is central to a street’s success. This requires not only keeping the space clean and safe, but also …

Seasonal Strategies. In places without a strong management presence or variety of activities, it is often difficult to attract people year-round. Utilize seasonal strategies, like holiday markets…

Diverse User Groups. As mentioned previously, it is essential to provide activities for different groups. Mixing people of different race, gender, age, and income level ensures that…

Traffic, Transit & the Pedestrian. A successful street is easy to get to and get through; it is visible both from a distance and up close. Accessible spaces have high parking turnover and …

Blending of Uses and Modes. Ground floor uses and retail activities should spill out into the sidewalks and streets to blur the distinction between public and private space. Shared street space also communicates that no one mode of transportation dominates.

Protects Neighborhoods. Great streets support the context around them. There should be clear transitions from commercial streets to nearby residential neighborhoods, communicating a change in …

Read more at the Project for Public Spaces Web site.

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