Why Only One Museum Mile?

Some images and reflections from last night’s Museum Mile Festival:

Museum_Mile_5th_Ave_NYC_ek_jun06_1.jpg

What if New York City’s streets were designed to support its cultural insitutions as destinations. What if New York City’s streets allowed the life and creativity inside these cultural institutions to spill out onto engaging sidewalks, plazas, and streets?

Museum_Mile_5th_Ave_NYC_ek_jun06_2.jpg

In a big, crowded city, space is one of the most limited and valuable commodities there is. The bulk of New York City’s public space is its streets. Many of us assume that street space must be dedicated exclusively to motor vehicles. What if we allowed this valuable public space to be used for other activities?

Museum_Mile_5th_Ave_NYC_ek_jun06_3b.jpg

What if city streets were places where children felt safe enough to sit and play? What is more valuable to the city, curbside parking or curbside creativity?

Is New York City a healthier, more competitive city when it allows its streets to be clogged and immobilized by traffic or when its streets support social and cultural activities that help build community?

One easy way to learn the answers to these questions would be to expand events like Museum Mile to other parts of the city and to more days of the year.

  • It is quite a beautiful site to see! It’s funny how 5th Ave gets closed down so frequently for parades and streetfairs during the Summer, even causing some traffic to build up in many cases, but no one would argue that we shouldn’t have the parades or streetfairs…well then again some of the cheesy streetfairs that totally lack any neighborhood character could go away in favor of simply closing down the block and allowing the local merchants to come out into the street…

  • Jon

    Show some graffiti ART work and mural pictures! Graffiti is ART!

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Vision Zero and the Challenge of Culture Change

|
This is the first post in a two-part piece about how Vision Zero will have to change attitudes toward streets and driving in order to succeed. City Council Member Mark Weprin’s Vision Zero moment came after watching video footage of the collision that killed 3-year-old Allison Liao in Flushing, Queens, last October. The driver of […]

Parking it in the Slope

|
In the coming weeks I will be transitioning my blogging over to a new domain: Streetsblog. This new blog, supported by The Open Planning Project, will be covering the New York City Streets Renaissance Campaign on a daily basis. It will include other contributors as well. While the new site is in development, I will […]

Melbourne, Australia After a Decade of Focus on Public Spaces

|
With apologies for my carbon footprint, I recently returned from a working tour of eight cities Down Under. The trip included an invitation to Melbourne to work with the staff of the city’s successful new public space development, Federation Square, and to help lead a Placemaking training course that included many city staff, local developers […]

Whose Parking Regime Reigns Supreme? LA, SF, and NYC Compare Notes

|
Less than a week after Queens Community Board 3 signed off on DOT’s PARK Smart pilot for Jackson Heights, New York’s neighborhood-level parking policy changes were given some national context on Wednesday at the National Association of City Transportation Officials’ “Designing Cities” conference. Given the Department of City Planning’s halfhearted attempts to reduce off-street parking requirements, NYC […]