4. Small, tight streets work great, and so do wide streets, if designed right.
Walking through the Gothic Quarter, one can’t help but think of everything we see in terms of scale. The tight streets and alleys with high, enclosing building heights that, combined with the street widths, create an excellent “urban room,” would be illegal almost everywhere in North America. We’ve scaled our cities for cars and trucks.
At the same time, the city’s main streets can be very wide. Beautiful street-scaping and mature trees define “sub-areas” of the street and create a sense of scale, and the consistent building scale within and across blocks still works to enclose the “urban room.” The street doesn’t feel wide or have any of the usual weaknesses of wide streets.
Barcelona reminds us that the values and choices that shape our streets, and the design details, can matter more than the specific width.
excerpted from “6 Ideas Every City Should Steal From Barcelona“ by B. Toderian.
Great photos from Istanbul: http://alleysofseattle.com/2015/01/04/alleys-of-istanbul/