First of all, the cool public piazzas, paseos and courtyards in other countries were built when people walked to get from one place to another. Because they’re still so popular, they set precedents to continue building such great places.
Not so much in the U.S. The country is an infant compared to others, and most of the great places we built in the all-too-brief ‘pedestrian age’ that could have served as wondrous precedents were made of wood, a short life. The mass production age brought longer lasting building materials (reinforced concrete, steel), but also focused on mass production homes – and not surprisingly, mass production lives. The worst of it is that the homes built today aren’t designed to last longer than those 200 years ago.
Next blog – if the demand for change is there, why haven’t things changed yet, and why they soon will.