The Edmonton Journal, in the video above, catches Project for Public Spaces (PPS’s) Cynthia Nikitin in action, doing a tough critique of an Edmonton strip mall.
On a scale of one to 10, Nikitin gave the Lendrum strip mall a six; high scores for local businesses showing pride in what they do, but low scores for the absentee landlord who hasn’t co-ordinated simple improvements to make the place attractive and physically connected to the neighbourhood.
Don’t miss the part where she asks a somewhat bemused pizza shop owner if he would consider creating an outdoor seating area to replace the benches near his storefront — because, as she so correctly points out, “It’s just hard to eat pizza on your lap.”
Nikitin offers the following suggestions for improving Lendrum:
• Take down the fences and draw in foot traffic from the townhouses around by making sure the back side is clean, painted not full of scattered Dumpsters.
• Widen the walkway in front of the stores to give space for patios, outdoor displays and perhaps a “Lendrum day” when the stores turn themselves “inside out.”
• Limit ugly neon road signs and use a unified colour scheme for the banners and awnings, perhaps extending the striped Sunterra awnings right down the row. That’s more eye-catching for a car travelling 60 km/h than a series of cheap signs.
For the full article click here.