By Dom Nozzi
When constructing or renovating a building at a street intersection in a town center, it is critical that such a building be pulled up to the corner so that it abuts the sidewalks. Parking must be behind the building.
In my opinion, the public sector provides windfall benefits to the property owner at the corner of an intersection (high visibility to a large number of cars enabled by public expenditures). We therefore should realize that it is fair for the public sector to demand something in return. My demand is that the building be pulled up to the corner, where it can provide important convenience to pedestrians, and form a very pleasant public realm in the most critical “space forming” location in a city: our intersections.
When you think about it, the most profound way a town creates an image for itself — be it a traditional, walkable town or a sprawl/strip commercial town — is at its intersections. If the buildings at intersections are pulled up to the street and the parking is at the rear, we’ve pretty much achieved that “small town” ambiance we all love.
Think about standing at the intersection of a town you love, and you’ll realize the buildings are pulled up, not way back behind parking and landscaping.