The reality is American cities will never be able to clone Europe’s iconic networks of charming, narrow, pedestrian-friendly streets. But there’s another alternative, says Dave Amos, Cal Poly city planning professor and Next City Vanguard alum, on his YouTube channel City Beautiful.
“What if we took the large blocks we find in U.S. cities and filled them up with narrow Euro-style streets only a few meters wide?” he asks. “I know that it sounds crazy, but I think it’s possible. I know because I’ve seen it firsthand.” He points to Philadelphia’s historic – and remarkably dense, parking-free – Quince Street block, which itself contains six small blocks within Philadelphia’s street grid.
In this video, CityBeautiful explores what would it take to integrate more such narrow, walkable streets into U.S. cities, from overcoming regulations on minimum street widths and parking minimums.
Aysha Khan is the managing editor at Next City.