The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces

Found this book when I was really looking for the film of the same name. Whyte conducted years of research in the 1970s with time lapse cameras, measuring tape, and observation. Not a surprise to find that having places to sit is one of the biggest factors in whether people congregate in an area. Also important: sun, water, trees, other people, moveable chairs. He makes the point that most builders make their plazas unfriendly because afraid of the undesirables who might show up, but that only discourages everyone else from plopping down. And if you build to accommodate handicapped, everyone will benefit. I still haven’t found a copy of the film but am dying for footage of 1970’s New York.