kottke.org posts about williamwhyte

The Social Life of Small Urban SpacesMar 06 2009

A tantalizing 10-minute clip of an hour-long video called The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces.

The clip shows an analysis of the plaza of the Seagram Building in NYC and what makes it so effective as a small urban space.

A busy place for some reason seems to be the most congenial kind of place if you want to be alone. [...] The number one activity is people looking at other people.

The video was adapted from a book of the same name by William H. Whyte, who is perhaps most well known as the author of The Organization Man. The video is largely out of print -- which is a shame because that clip was fascinating -- but I found a DVD copy for $95 (which price includes a license for public performance). (via migurski)

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