Downtown Perspective

“This is something everyone knows: A well-used city street is apt to be a safe street. A deserted city street is apt to be unsafe.”
- Jane Jacobs

Jane Jacobs was a pioneer in urban design and came to be a leader in developing urban form, not as a planner but as a writer. Her career in writing was a cause for her to spend much of her time in urban environments and well equipped her to both observe and report on such matters. This month’s article starts with an epilogue lifted from one of her most well known works, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, and it resonates with me as I have spent the last six or so months wrestling with a statement that I first heard in a neighborhood meeting, “I don’t feel safe going Downtown anymore so I don’t go.” I remember hearing that and feeling an immense amount of sadness and confusion as to why anybody would say that about Downtown SLO. I never want anybody to feel unsafe in our Downtown so this statement became a big part of that deep work which happens in the subconscious of our minds.