Amazing Transformations Of Public Spaces Caught On Google Street View (51 pics)

Posted in       7 Oct 2016       5177       GALLERY VIEW



Today cities are being transformed for the better. They become more people and cyclist-friendly. Here are some before and after shots that show some of these incredible public space transformations.

We are a society "addicted to cars," according to the four young founders of Urb-i.

Traffic halts in New Delhi, India.

Yuval Fogelson, Carolina Guido, Fernanda Mercês, and Rodolfo Macedo founded Urb-i in 2015.
 

Traffic lanes and parking take precedent over green spaces and outdoor seating. People traveling on foot are quarantined to tiny sidewalks.

An aerial view of São Paulo, Brazil.
 

It just doesn't seem fair. Fortunately, the founders of Urb-i have an addiction of their own ...

Aalsmeerplein, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
 

They're obsessed with Google Street View.

Ferenciek tere, Budapest, Hungary.
 

Yuval Fogelson spends hours diving into the search engine's rabbit hole, scanning the world for stunning public space redesigns that favor pedestrians over vehicles.

Suwon cheon, Suwan, South Korea.
 

In some areas, Google Street View offers a timeline of images, so you can see how a space has evolved over time.

Times Square, New York City, United States of America.
 

It's pretty satisfying to see the results.

Moscow Zachatyevskiy per., Moscow, Russia.
 

Urb-i began curating the images in a gallery, hoping to showcase public spaces that put pedestrians — and cyclists — first.

Retsif Herbert Samuel St., Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel.
 

"I have already developed a few strategies to finding these transformations, and quite frankly, I'm addicted," says Fogelson.

Praça Mauá, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
 

The group keeps tabs on urban transformation blogs and architectural projects, so they know where to check on Google Street View.

Van Gogh Walk, London, England.
 

The before-and-after images look like reflections, thanks to carefully angled screenshots.

Krymskaya nab., Moscow, Russia.
 

Today, Urb-i's before-and-after gallery contains more than 1,000 public-space transformations from around the world.

Gwanggyo, Seoul, South Korea.
 

In São Paulo, Brazil, where Urb-i's members work at a socially responsible architecture firm, this curb got a new life with paving and a park bench.

R. Barão de Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil.
 

The makeovers vary in scale. An alleyway in San Francisco is nearly unrecognizable after an outdoor seating area is installed.

Annie Alley, San Francisco, United States.
 

Two pavilions made of glass and steel jazz up this street in Milan, Italy. A ticket office and a cultural event space operate inside.

Via Luca Beltrami, Milan, Italy.
 

Archways add some decadence to a side street in Singapore.

Muscat St., Singapore.
 

Sometimes all it takes is a sidewalk.

Osborne St., Auckland, New Zealand.
 

"For the pedestrian, an extra meter or two of sidewalk means a whole lot," Urb-i says.

Fort Street, Auckland, New Zealand.
 

Size isn't the only thing that matters.

R. Antonio de Albuquerque, Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
 

"If designed well," Urb-i says, a public space "functions as a place of permanence where we socialize, rather than just a passage to get us from Point A to Point B."

Gansevoort St., New York City, United States.
 

Let's take a look at some more examples.

Myeongdong-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea.
 

A little greenery goes a long way in Budapest, Hungary.

Csarnok tér, Budapest, Hungary.
 

Pedestrians can enjoy the shrubbery in Lyon, France, too.

Avenue Général Brosset, Lyon, France.
 

Fake trees and art installations work well in Montréal, Canada.

Rue Victoria, Montréal, Canada.
 

Montréal's Avenue du Musée doesn't disappoint either, with a rotating sculpture installation available for public viewing.

Avenue du Musée, Montréal, Canada.
 

A new boardwalk outside Seoul, South Korea, lends stunning views of a river.

Gwanggyo, Seoul, South Korea.
 

These planter boxes make for a perfect place to each lunch on a rare sunny day in Seattle.

2nd Ave Ext S, Seattle, United States.
 

There's no more parking allowed on Van Gogh Walk in London, England.

Van Gogh Walk, London, England.
 

Iskola utca, Budapest, Hungary.
 

Designers can get creative with pavement, too. A semi-circle pattern spruces up a public space in Lower Manhattan.

Coenties Slip, New York City, United States.
 

Copenhagen, Denmark, has a case of the spots.

Vester Voldgade, Copenhagen, Denmark.
 

Madrid, Span, gets its very own, star-studded walk of fame.

Calle de Martín de los Heros, Madrid, Spain.
 

Across town in Madrid, a public space gets the cobblestone treatment.

Plaza Sta. Bárbara, Madrid, Spain.
 

Where once there were cars, bicycles reign supreme in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Regnbuepladsen, Copenhagen, Denmark.
 

A main artery in Brussels, Belgium, gets a bike lane for safety.

Waversesteenweg, Brussels, Belgium.
 

Almada, Portugal, looks like a postcard with its new public square.

R. Cândido dos Reis, Almada, Portugal.
 

Not far away in Lisbon, Portgual, pedestrians and motorists seem to share the space, instead of competing for it.

R. Fialho de Almeida, Lisbon, Portugal.
 

London's Granary Square gets a face-lift.

Granary Square, London, England.
 

In Tel Aviv, Israel, a raised platform offers a place to rest while you run errands.

Yehuda ha-Levi St, Tel Aviv, Israel.
 

You won't find any cars in this beautiful grove in Amsterdam.

Iepenplein, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
 

Paris, France, swaps a roadway for public transit, giving pedestrians a whole new view.

Boulevard Masséna, Paris, France.
 

A bustling street in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, turns into a tranquil walkway.

R. Pernambuco, Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
 

We might even call this an excessive amount of sidewalk in Budapest, Hungary.

Idősebb Antall József rakpart, Budapest, Hungary.
 

This intersection in Lyon, France, looks totally different.

Avenue Général Brosset, Lyon, France.
 

Over in Toulouse, France, a park takes the place of a parking lot.

Allée Jules Guesde, Toulouse, France.
 

This makeover in Seattle is just stunning.

Marion St., Seattle, United States.
 

While Fogelson curates most of the before-and-after images himself, there is a way public-space enthusiasts can help.

Mr. Visserplein, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
 

In January, Urb-i started a collaborators program so people can volunteer time searching for transformations on Google Street View.

Fort St., Auckland, New Zealand.
 

He hopes to eventually launch a platform where people can share proposals for future before-and-after public space transformations.

Place Cardinal Mercier, Jette Brussels, Belgium.
 

"We are seeking to create a bottom-up network which will connect professionals, residents, designers, and hopefully decision-makers," Fogelson says.

Rue Alphonse Vandenpeereboom, Brussels, Belgium.
 

You can see more before-and-after images (and contribute your own) by visiting Urb-i's website.

Balfour St., Chippendale, Australia.
 


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