Until street-level development occurs and people start using it, it can be hard to tell what will transform a space from dangerous to safe, or unpleasant to pleasant. But in a world where most of our cities were designed for cars, with humans as a secondary concern, people-centric street design warrants a little more investigation and attention.
That's the opinion of Brazilian urban planning collective Urb-i, at least. The group has collected together Google Street View pictures to compile before and after shots of streets which have changed to better accomodate people. The pictures give an instant view of how radically paving or plant pots can transform a space - and how small tweaks can change the way we use it.
Take this street in Palmero, Italy, which was reduced from two lanes to one:
And a visual timeline of Times Square's gradual (and possibly temporary) pedestrianisation:
This bridge in Seoul is particularly fun:
You can see more examples in Urb-i's gallery here.
The collective is also planning an "urban corner" on the site, which will show positive and negative examples of urban development in Brazilian cities. Stay tuned.