No Diving Philadelphia, PA
Sidewalks have existed in urban areas for over 2500 years. One can find them in the remains of Pompeii and some of our earliest civilizations. Great architecture often overshadows sidewalks as to what makes great space. But I am convinced that it is the space between buildings - the social forum that make great public spaces. The Taksim in Istanbul, Las Ramblas in Barcelona, and even Chestnut Street here in Philadelphia are the places to go and people watch.
Philadelphia is an extremely ‘walkable’ city with some very 'unwalkable’ footpaths. The sidewalk network is plagued with issues from over use, others from the root systems of its vast street tree network, but mostly from just bad construction.
When I moved to Philadelphia two years ago I was fascinated with the dynamics of the pedestrian experience in Philadelphia - a place where every step must be a careful one. Large pools form during rain events creating pools for birds and urban wildlife. Massive plane trees tower over the broken concrete below them forced under the tension of their mighty roots. Philadelphia wouldn’t be the city it is without people tripping over the bricks they walk on.
In Collaboration with Danni Sinisi