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COVID-era is crucial for the future of city

Introduction

This COVID-era moment is crucial for the future of our city. What are you doing to change the way you practice Civic Design?

The changed circumstances have amplified the importance of collaboration and co-creation in improving cities. Here are 5 actions for your consideration… Note the ACTIONS, not the results!

Ideas

PROMOTE WALKABILITY

Engage with the community to design and enforce streets that discourage car-eating and encourage walking. Make it easy, safe and convenient to walk to the grocery store, to the park, to the library or to meet friends for coffee.
Be bold with street design, too! Apply innovative treatments such as street greenery, bus-only roadways, and calming treatments like pedestrian islands. Plan and design streets for bicycles or enhance existing bike lanes.

FOSTER PUBLIC SPACE

Enhance access to public land and structures, and ensure that all public spaces are activated and usable by the community. Consider ways to involve residents in designing and maintaining them. Bring the parks back!
Introduce more benches and seating as new builds or as installations on existing blocks. Amplify the social aspects of your neighborhood by animating your plazas and parks.

RETHINK PARKING

Be strategic about parking. Redesign streets so that fewer cars and more non-automotive modes are needed. Give priority to goods and services for people over cars.
Design where parking is not needed, such as where carpooling, public transit, walking, and biking are common and feasible.

RETHINK RETAIL

Provide more public-serving retail, particularly smaller-scale merchants and service providers that complement the street. Provide access to everyday necessities, such as groceries, clothing, drugstores, dry cleaners, banks, and pharmacies.
Provide facilities where people can pick up mail and deliveries, including mailboxes, package lockers, and online lockers. Include places where people can recharge and care for themselves when away from their homes.

FOSTER PROXIMITY AND DIVERSITY

Integrate housing, jobs, and services in easy-to-access areas. Prioritize public spaces that foster walking and biking, and that provide opportunities for neighbors to meet each other.
Organize “eyes on the street” with residents who are accustomed to seeing their spaces. Bring back the community center! Or what we can call Civic Labs!
Adapt existing structures and public spaces into neighborhood gathering spaces.
Organize networks of caf├ęs where people can meet and mingle. Create indoor and outdoor communal spaces for socializing, playing, and studying.

Which strategy would you suggest?

Share your ideas, thoughts and criticisms with the community!

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