Snow as Social Glue

 

by Danielle Pierce

Location: Seattle, WA (Wallingford, Greenlake, Capitol Hill, University District)

In cities where it rarely snows, this type of climatic event induces a state of excitement in the streets of the city. The slippery roads reduce the number of cars on the road, resulting in more pedestrian activity and use of mass transit. This activity, in turn, increases the number of interactions and conversations with strangers an individual experiences on the street, as well as random acts of kindness. For example, helping a person who has fallen to get up on their feet or giving your gloves to a homeless person. The key characteristics of my selected micro-urban subject are: 1) snow increases people’s outside-time through play and pedestrian/mass transit commuting, reducing the number of cars on the road; 2) snow increases the excitement of a city, providing a convenient topic of conversation with strangers; 3) sticky snow is an outlet for creativity and group-process; 4) finally, snow increases spontaneity in that it alters environmental conditions on a large scale.

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Micro Urbanism

The term “micro-urbanism” describes small-scale urban spaces and design interventions that enable a wide variety of activities, events, processes and functions to take place. It also involves ways to reinterpret the urban landscape. As a class project, the purpose for creating this Guide is to bring attention to aspects of our everyday environment that are important but often neglected parts of the urban experiences.

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