Friday, November 13, 2009

What Main Street Can Learn from the Mall

1. Gibbs' criteria for evaluating Main Street:
1. Do people feel comfortable?
-Is everything well-lighted?
-Is everything clean and free of graffiti?
-Is there enough space to comfortably move around?
2. Do the buildings give clear signs as to what is offered inside?
3. Do the buildings comply with right-turn tendencies?

2. To a certain extent, I disagree with Gibbs' idea of a successful town or city. I think the prospect of towns turning into malls in disguise is unattractive. However, following Gibbs' suggestion might lead to a town doing better business at the loss of some quaintness or uniqueness. I think the downtown area of Ann Arbor is an example of a perfect town. It has commercial draw, but it also has a great amount of unique shops and restaurants.

3. For the most part, my criteria for evaluating a Main Street is very familiar to that of Gibbs. However, I do think that a Main Street should have a sense of imperfectness to it. The downtown areas that attract me are downtown areas that aren't laid out on a grid with all straight roads and perfect intersections. They also don't appear so clean that they seem sterile. Imperfections make downtown areas unique, and this in itself is a draw.

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