Bruce Schimmel on our street furniture opportunity

Bruce Schimmel’s latest City Paper column, “Decorating in the Dark” explores Philadelphia’s evolving plans to redesign our on-street furniture – which includes bus shelters, kiosks, bike racks, etc.

Here’s where the writer is coming from:

“This redesign, especially of the bus shelters, represents a rare and excellent oppurtunity for local artists, architects, urban designers, landscape architects and community organizers – anyone who wants better transit and a more civil streetlife – to make a difference. It’s an instance that clearly calls for civic engagement and a robust community design initiative. But so far, only minimal Philadelphia talent seems to be engaged.

“That would be a lost opportunity, especially since the multi-national companies that have already presented appear open to involving local creatives. You know how important this is. When people come to visit Philadelphia, I don’t want them to see street furniture designed in Barcelona, and conclude that we’re a backwater in city design backwater. We are much, much better than that.”

Read the column: http://citypaper.net/articles/2009/11/12/decorating-in-the-dark

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