Thursday, November 4, 2010

Street Traffic and the Assault on our Territory

Some great graphics from StreetFilms inspired by Donald Appleyard's work deciphering the role car traffic (light or heavy) has on neighborhood connectedness, more specifically the interpersonal connections of the street, how many friends do you have on the street?

Also, asking and then mapping what residents thought of as their "turf" or home territory. Where traffic was lighter, they would often expand their home to include their entire block or precinct. Where traffic was heavy, they assault from traffic occasionally invaded their home and the line of demarcation was drawn at the auditory boundary where the noise from the street entered their home. Their "home" was quite literally smaller than the bounds of their unit.

All of this is very similar when I talk about how "tethered" two sides of a street are. The connections are the laces tying the shoe together, bonding it, becoming a real, tangible place that people willfully express as bigger than themselves. They are a part of it. These connections can be physical (moving from one place to another), emotional, interpersonal, commercial (financial or trade dependence), or even today, digital.