What makes Dubrovnik’s urban fabric cool?

Looking at the plan of the town above, you’ll notice that all the gray areas are buildings, and all the white areas are pavement. At first, the ratio of building to pavement seems normal. Then, when you compare it to an American town you’ll often discover the plans are the inverse of this! Why? The Dubrovnik plan doesn’t have any roads, which also means there are no parking lots.

The big pavement areas in the Dubrovnik plan are either piazzas or pedestrian boulevards.

Another feature is that it isn’t a rectilinear grid, as you find in just about every American city, but rather more organic. People don’t walk in long straight lines (imagine taking a hike like that!) and it’s also a much more pleasant walk to have a street terminate with a building, giving the pedestrian the sense of arrival and comfortable feeling of being in an outdoor room rather than going through a tunnel. You’ll also notice small blocks and major buildings at the piazzas, as I mentioned in the creating diversity blog.

Now, if we can build something like that with fiber optic internet and loft office space, I’ll be happy. We’re trying.