January 31, 2012 at 7:13 pm #158707
Do you agree with this article: http://www.treehugger.com/culture/most-beautiful-street-world.html
Is Rua Goncalo de Carvahlo the most beautiful street in the world, or have you seen (or designed) better?January 31, 2012 at 9:36 pm #158713Trace OneParticipant
Very cool, Roland, thank you! and thank you for the distraction from my previous posts today..
I love the Champs Elysee in Paris and the Corniche in Beirut..these are sort of no-brainers. But I am interested in the word choice of ‘street’. I would define this as a vehicular, 15-40mph construct..It is not an autobahn, nor is it a driveway or woonerf..
I remember you are big on the woonerfs, roland? what is your favorite street?January 31, 2012 at 10:31 pm #158712Frank VarroParticipant
I have to say, whatever road it is that leads to Villa Lante from Viberbo is pretty mind blowing. Huge trees growing through the pavement in the street. A horror show, but amazing.February 1, 2012 at 2:24 am #158711
I think Lombard Street in San Francisco is both beautiful and interesting.
Unfortunately, I haven’t done any traveling in the Netherlands, but I imagine some of the shared spaces over there are well designed. They are certainly more complex and interesting than any of the streets here in the US, even our attempts at woonerven.February 1, 2012 at 4:09 am #158710BoilerplaterParticipant
Call me old world hill town, but I think the streets of places like the villages of Cinque Terre in Italy are hard to beat for spectacular scenery abutting fine-grained urbanism. http://cinqueterre.a-turist.com/index.php
These places were obviously not made for cars. People had to get around on foot, so they had to pack the dwellings in. But they couldn’t build them too tall back then, their building techniques did not allow it. Streets and footpaths are paved with cut stone, not asphalt or poured concrete, lending a human scale.
But for the kind of streets we are more likely to have a hand in creating, the Rua Goncalo de Carvahlo is worth emulating. You could actually achieve that effect in a modern suburb in a temperate or tropical zone.February 1, 2012 at 4:13 am #158709BoilerplaterParticipant
I’ve been to the Netherlands several times, and have even walked on Woonerven in small, ordinary towns. They are comfortable and you feel safe walking on them, but most are sort of sterile, in the way that a lot of American gated communities feel sterile. You feel like the environment is tightly controlled and that nothing unusual ever happens there. If it does, the evidence is quickly washed away. What I’m getting at is that for me, a beautiful street also has to have some street life.February 1, 2012 at 6:55 am #158708
Good points. There’s a lot to be said for the human scale, vitality and history found on a lot of streets in older cities.
I’ve only seen woonerven in pictures. Some show streets with playgrounds on them or residents sitting around tables in the middle of street. Other pictures show sterile places like you describe. I still like the idea behind them, though.
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