For our first City R+D competition, our panel of judges chose WalkStop, a proposal for midtown San Francisco that aims to make the city more walkable.
"Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody," Jane Jacobs wrote in The Death and Life of Great American Cities. We couldn't agree more and and so it is with great excitement that we announce the judges selection for the City R+D 2010: San Francisco. The group, comprised of local residents, business owners, urban planners, landscape architects and city officials, was built by organizers Liz Westbrook, Paul Supawanich, and Thea Selby.
"Feasible," "relevant," "inspiring," "focused," "achievable," and "shareable," were all words our City R+D judges used to describe the Walk Stop proposal aimed at making the Midtown area of San Francisco safer and more walkable.
From the proposal:
The purpose of this pilot program is 4-fold:
1. To promote the health of San Franciscan residents and tourists and the environment by encouraging walking.
2. To build social capital within neighborhoods by developing a network of Walk Stops with benches, greenery, community posts (for posting notices) and wayfinders with walking and biking times to adjacent communities and points-of-interest.
3. To connect communities by creating a network of Walk Stops throughout the city.
4. To calm traffic at important intersections by building safe and inviting spaces.\n
The proposed Walk Stop will also increase safety, create a sense of place and promote public health among other things.
-Increase safety and sidewalk space with Bulbouts where possible; if they already exist, all the easier
-Add greenery through the smart use of permeable pavement, at least 2 squares/walk stop
-Build vibrant places for commerce, seating and foot traffic with the inclusion of a parklet by a retail outlet adjacent to Walk Stop without blocking traffic
-Showcase local artists and create community with chalked mandalas in the center of the intersections, temporary, but refreshed biannually
-Promote health and community connection with a combined community post/wayfinder at each WalkStop. Wayfinders would not only promote the presence of good resources, but also reduce the psychological distance to walking to them.\n
"It's so rare that you're able to get attendance from community members," says organizer Paul Supawanich. "City R+D gave us the opportunity to connect the right people and to get people to have a conversation in the first place. That's really important."