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Thread: Retail open directly to public space

  1. #1
    Member
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    Retail open directly to public space

    I am doing some research on retail that opens directly to urban public space. This could be a window at an espresso stand that serves people on the sidewalk or a walk-up fast-food outlet in a downtown area that has no interior and just a large open storefront; I'm avoiding street vendors because they seem to be their own beast altogether. Right now I am looking for these types of sites in Vancouver, BC and Portland, OR to add to what I've located in Seattle.

    Any other information, existing esearch, etc is much appreciated as well.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    Take a look at "Squares" by Mark Childs, published in 2005. It is a design manual book for urban designers around the concept of the plaza, square, green, etc. (he does discuss other forms of public space and classifies them).

    In planning and architecture here in New Mexico, the plaza is a key typology we all must study. No plaza is worth its weight in frijoles without retail to ring the exterior. This is what gives it life. It is the "third place" and provides the excuse for being there at all, let alone a reason to stop. The typical scenario (not always followed) for the Laws of the Indies settlement requirements included an open rectangle of specified proportions with the church on the north side, government functions on the south and retail on the sides.

    Make sure you do consider the role of vendors in public space in some sense, though, They are extremely important in addressing some of the key factors that make public space lively (and are adaptable to locations where a permanent structure may be impractical or costly). Again, Childs' book has lots on this, as does William Whyte and the Project for Public Spaces (based largely on Whyte's writing). Food is especially important, which Childs relates to the psychologist Maslowe's "hierrchy of needs" (meet the most basic needs first).

    Good luck
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  3. #3
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    thanks

    i've got the book on hold and look forward to going through it

  4. #4

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    Death and Life of Great American Cities

    As I recall, there's a chapter in Jane Jacob's book on this topic. I'd have a look at that.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

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