Closer Than We Think: Rejuvenated Downtowns



Paleo-future

Over-the-top architect Morris Lapidus (where Mies said "less is more", Lapidus said "too much is never enough") also noted about cities that "a car never bought anything.". Others also thought that the way to save our cities was to get the cars off the streets and turn them into pedestrian malls. In the wonderful comic "Closer than we Think! Arthur Radebaugh thought so too. He wrote in 1959:
Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, as renovated by Morris Lapidus in 1960

Traffic-choked downtown sections will be rejuvenated and transformed into airy, wide pedestrian malls when the designs of city planners are adopted in a none-too-distant future.

Large-scale plans and programs are springing up all over the country. One example is fashionable Lincoln Road in Miami Beach, being studied today for conversion into a traffic-free shopping promenade. Another is utilitarian Woodward Avenue in downtown Detroit. There are many more in between.

Traffic will be parked in adjoining areas. Store fronts will be modernized and beautified. New lighting at night and newly planted trees, shrubs and flowers will give these malls an exciting air. The aim is to regain for downtowns their former status as urban headquarters.

They pulled it off in Miami Beach, shame they didn't give it a shot on Woodward Avenue. Paleo-future

More Urban Life in TreeHugger:

New York Times Predictions for 2009, from 1909
Norman Bel Geddes Predicts the Future
Sucking Waste Out of Sight, Out of Mind
Life Abroad, A Different Shade of Green
Cohousing Comes to Brooklyn
New Town in Canadian Wilderness by Philip Johnson

Tags: Detroit | Urban Life | Wayback Machine