|Re: footpath width vs gathering node||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Rob Sandelin (robsanmicrosoft.com)|
|Date: Mon, 19 Jun 95 14:49 CDT|
John asked: >I'd be interested to know some of your "scientific" reasons for building >community this way. My experience leads me to think that it would actually >weaken the community by weakening the communal space. An 8' wide footpath has >a private feel to it. I would think, rather than the width of path being important, having places to sit and gather, in view from homes would be much more important. Whether the path is 6 foot wide, 12 foot wide or whatever I do not see what effect that has. The key element is creating opportunities for people to gently collide with each other, as well as gathering places, which invite people to come OUT of their homes. People who pass each other on a path, no matter how large or small are going to connect, if they are interested in doing so. The key, at least as I understand Gehl's work, and as it has been translated into cohousing according to Chuck Durret, is that the inside - outside interaction is the key. Example: This weekend I looked out my window and saw a neighbor who was sitting on the bench at our only gathering node. I wanted to talk with her so I came out of my house. She had come and sat at the bench in order to be social and we had a nice chat. The key element in this transaction is that the house view goes into the gathering node and the gathering node is an attractive place to go and sit. Chuck Durretts idea is that the more effortlessly it is to connect visually with people outside, the more likely that is to occur. If you have to go out your door and walk out the sidewalk ten feet to see if anyone is about, it is much less likely to occur than if you all you have to do is look out a window. So I would be interested in comments about gathering nodes. What makes them attractive? What ways can people be drawn out of their houses into the social public realm? For me, I am not sure the width of the sidewalk makes all that much difference in why people would come out of their house - the key at least as I understand it would be the ablility to see who is out there and encouraging them to linger. Rob Sandelin Sharingwood
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