Urban Headlines

by Garrett Charlson

Location: Multiple Locations. Primary Location for Study: 3rd and Columbia

For my Seattle Micro-Urbanism Case Study I chose to analyze how a news paper stand fits into the complexities and activities of our daily lives. News stands are commonplace throughout the city, found near bus stops and coffee shops, or just about anywhere there is a place to sit and relax. Throughout pioneer square and along the main avenues downtown where the buses run (i.e. 3rd and 5th avenues) one will encounter these upright standing, immobile news boys on nearly every corner. The common characteristics of these sites is a grouping of news paper dispensers, most commonly dispensing the Seattle Times, Seattle PI, New York Times and USA Today, and less often the Stranger, Little Nickel, Computer User, Apartment Finder and Apartments for Rent. The news stands come in two basic types: padlocked and steel constructed models that require money to operate and high density plastic models that generally offer free publications. Generally, the location of these dispensers is dictated by the amount of foot-traffic that the particular area receives. The higher the amount of foot traffic, the more news paper stands one will find. Often times, the most stands are located at high activity nodes where one encounter’s the highest density of people in the city.

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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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