The Urban Consumer Experience: New York Reinvents Street Life
If you haven't been in New York lately, imagine crazy-busy streets calmed down to a more human rhythm with some simple paint, street furniture and cooperation. On my last trip I was stunned at the difference these plazas made in the urban street experience. As a matter of fact, I was halfway through an email response before I realized that I was sitting in the middle of the street. I looked around, really studied it and ended up having a few very cordial conversations with my fellow loungers.
The parks serve as normal parks do—providing respite and relaxation, but because there embedded in the normal urban street fabric, they also serve as economic and social catalysts. During my lunchtime visit, most tables and chairs were filled with diners eating both brownbag and store-bought lunches from all over the area. I chatted with two people who use the park for a weekly catch up session because it was close to both of their offices and they got to pick up different lunches along the way.