Public Spaces

I watched the film The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces twice, and I found it amazing. The film discusses how the design and architecture of spaces impacts its use. After I first watched the film with Jasmin in her class, I felt like I was suddenly very aware of how the space around me was used and how it could be improved. I felt more like a flaneur than ever before.

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Living as a Flâneur

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Most of my memories of Salt Lake City take place on 400 S. This was the street we would often drive through when I was a kid, before I went to the University of Utah. It is the street where the Salt Lake City Public Library (SLCPL) is, and I would spend a lot of time there when my mother would work in Art of the Main, the art gallery in the library. In 2008 during the Presidential campaign, we would visit the Democratic Party headquarters located in a building just off 400 S. When my church, Wasatch Hills Seventh-Day Adventist Church, would have their Inter-City Outreach (ICOR) program hand out clothing and other essentials to the homeless, they would do so at Pioneer Park, right along 400 S. And every day, when I commute to the University of Utah on Trax, the train drives up along 400 S. The street is synonymous with Salt Lake City to me, so naturally I chose to observe 400 S.

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Human Scale and Cities for People

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I wake up every morning to an air raid alarm from my iPad, just ornery enough to make sure I get out of bed. After hitting the snooze button five times, it’s 6:00 AM by the time I actually leave bed. My floor is mostly clean in the morning, though I’ve often dropped homework or some other project down there, so I do need to be conscious of where I step. Certainly that could be improved, but after years of habit, I know it won’t be.

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