Seeking out 'human-scale' public spaces

A small courtyard in London provides inspiration for places like Seattle's Pike-Pine Corridor.
A small courtyard in London provides inspiration for places like Seattle's Pike-Pine Corridor.

Human-scale public spaces create a sense of belonging and comfort, and Seattle is not unique in seeking to bring people back to streets, alleys and walkable places. In any city, stumbling upon places like London's Neal's Yard is undeniably special, and can create indelible memories which fit today's dialogue of urbanism.

The small courtyard pictured below, in London's Covent Garden section, is home to holistic-health restaurants, shops and businesses — accessible through a narrow passage off of Monmouth Street — a reminder of why walking-oriented guides or articles are often the best "radar" for touring a city.

Areas of Seattle such as Capitol Hill's Pike-Pine Corridor reflect our quest for urban places of scale. Developers including Liz Dunn, head of the National Trust for Historic Preservation's Green Lab, are attempting to adapt such inspirational environments to local conditions.

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About the Authors & Contributors

Chuck Wolfe

Chuck Wolfe

Chuck Wolfe provides a unique perspective about cities as a London-based urbanist writer, photographer, land use consultant and former Seattle land use and environmental attorney.