Designers joined business and community leaders for Salt Lake Design Week, an annual event intended to raise the public awareness of the local impact of design. The week-long event concluded Saturday, October 17th. As part of Design Week, Salt Lake City Urban Designer, Molly Robinson led a walking tour to look at how urban design principles activate the downtown Salt Lake streetscape.
“The street is a social place that should be designed accordingly,” said Molly Robinson to the tour group of over 40 people.
Robinson focused the tour on five urban design qualities that activate streetscapes and improve walkability, adapted from the book “Measuring Urban Design: Metrics for Livable Places” written by University of Utah professor Reid Ewing and transportation planner, Otto Clemente.
- Imageability: the visual impact based on the personal experience of the pedestrian, including trees, landscape, landmarks and signage.
- Enclosure: buildings, trees and walls create a room-like ambiance along a street.
- Human Scale: the spacial relationship between structures and human proportions.
- Transparency: the visibility or perception of human activity between public and private space.
- Complexity: includes structural and aesthetic details that create rhythm along a corridor.
Below are examples on and around Main Street that according to Robinson reflect the different degrees of street activation in downtown.