Tuesday, 3 February 2015

The Quote of the week. Mikoleit/Pürckhauer 2011

Today, a simple but fascinating study of Soho in New York shows a long series of statements that describe streets and their uses locally, but could be applied to infinite street spaces around the world.

"88 - Good walkways have a good range of destinations along them. Promenades are the spatial expression of human needs and purposefulness. Strolling, walking up and down, seeing and being seen: these embody needs ranging from sensual perception to social contact and consumption."

Mikoleit, Anne, Moritz Pürckhauer, Urban Code, 100 lessons for understanding the city, The MIT Press, Cambridge Massachussets, 2011, p98

With a limited bibliography, but one that is rich in concepts of public space, this study opens the doors of a phenomenological analysis of streets. The 100 lessons are straightforward and have no pretensions, but describe and analyse streets in Soho in a way that makes you feel like you are actually walking them. This lesson, 88, is one of my favourites for it is so graphic and unquestionable. No matter what the destinations are or what the context of the street is, they will be full of life if there are destinations, and practically empty if they are not.