Grand Street, Paris, Canada, 2005

Someone in this tiny town of 9,500 inhabitants had the grand idea to create this open, social space by stealing exactly eight parking spots from Grand street, the main shopping area. He or she selected a spot at the intersection of the main street and a pedestrian pathway, connecting a larger parking space in front of row of buildings. A couple of benches, some potted bushes and flowers, and there it is – almost a public square. Even on this summer, Sunday afternoon there are few people using it. Many of the square's amenities are missing, and the space is not clearly defined, but obviously it was needed. Hardly noticeable at first glance, there exist signs indicating that the square is used by the "wrong" people. Two very shy, little stencil designs and a few traces of urban art are immediately targeted by a reprimanding tone: "please use garbage cans, its your town!"
On the other side one more, very serious, street sign with official colours and design states: "no skateboarding". Is there any way we can guess the next move? Does this look like a chess mach? Can we interpret this chain of urban messages that the square itself is sending as a signal that there are needs in Paris that are not being met?

Compare the exhample in the similar size town in Nederland.

next square >

sociability
5
ceremonial
x
uses & activities
5
religious
x
access & linkages
6
social
x
comfort
6
residential
x
image
7
court yard
x
tourist value
5
with park
x
total
34
street, shopping
x
..........
...................





urban squares initiative by aleksandar janicijevic is licensed under a creative commons attribution-share alike 2.5 canada license.

Last time updated on Tuesday, October 22, 2013, 11:40 PM