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Another confirmation that cross-use is crucial: “Reinventing Grand Army Plaza”

I just came across this piece on Cool Hunting, on Reinventing Grand Army Plaza.  This bit really jumped out for me:

With regal statues and a sparkling fountain, it’s majestic and — its function as a busy traffic circle separates the cultural landmark from the surrounding pedestrian sidewalks — inaccessible.

In other words, the traffic arterial (a single-use feature) strangles cross-use within the Plaza.

This echoes what I just wrote for my next (November) article for Focus Magazine, on the topic of Victoria’s Tourist District (single-use) working together with other single-use areas (the Legislative Precinct, Beacon Hill Park, the Department of Defense/ Ogden Point, and the shoreline) to thwart cross-use within the residential district of James Bay.  The solution for the neighbourhood isn’t to strengthen those barriers by making them even more strongly single-use only, but rather to make them more porous, introduce cross-use into the  barriers (at least the Tourist District, as the others are too difficult to shift), and thereby encourage cross-use within the neighbourhood.

I had already blogged about this at the beginning of the month (Jane Jacobs on “differences, not duplications”), but it really became clear for me in the article I just finished today.  Strengthening the single-use areas that encircle James Bay will only increase James Bay’s troubles within its neighbourhood centre, not lessen them.

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