I came across this statue of Galatea in a downtown public fountain this week. Occasionally "decorated" by locals having fun, reality can reflect myth. After all, Galatea is the ancient Greek myth of the statue brought to life by her creator. Neighborhoods and streetscapes too can come to life when residents have, or seize, the latitude to act.
Neighborhoods decline when the people who live there lose their connection and no longer feel part of their community - The Great Neighborhood Book
Streetscapes appear in a prior blog titled Beauty, eh? From the beginning of CPTED we've known the importance of streets and sidewalks. Professor C. Ray Jeffery, author of the first CPTED book stated the obvious: "People must have some reason for using the sidewalks; otherwise they stay indoors."
Jeffery mapped out CPTED 40 years ago in two simple equations:
"Crime can be controlled through urban design, wherein safety and security are designed into streets, buildings, and parks."
"Cities can also be designed so as to increase human contact of an intimate nature. Loneliness and alienation need not characterize our urban life."
The first idea of design is 1st Generation CPTED. The second idea of contact (culture and cohesion) is called 2nd Generation CPTED, reintroduced in 1997.
This week I searched my town for streetscapes that fit both ideas and found great examples of design and culture. In a few cases residents modified public spaces on their own.
Apparently when given (or when seizing) the latitude to act, residents can create lots of beautiful and fun reasons to use the public street. Galatea can come to life.