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This a picture of a street in Stroudsburg, PA. Coincidentally, the day I visited this city after a hike was also the day of a summer festival. Parades, live music, and other festivities littered the city’s street, which only added to the good vibes naturally released by Stroudsburg. The whole town had a sense of community and life, perhaps because of the festival but I think year round as well. I really enjoyed the pedestrian and cyclist friendly nature of the town, as well as the cute mom & pop stores. I could definitely see myself living here or somewhere like this.1013674_10151683180778664_1822865004_n

This picture was taken on my trip to Germany, and unfortunately I cannot remember the name of this village, as it was only a rest stop for my roadtrip. However, I do remember being pleasantly surprised by the village’s center, pictured here. Like Stoudsburg, it has a cute and bustling feel, local shops, and a sense of community. However, unlike Stoudsburg and almost all places in American, there are no cars. The entire village center is meant for pedestrians, which reduces the dependence on automobiles and all the problems they bring. This is an idea I wish would catch on in the US, but it seems unlikely. Note the beautiful architecture as well.

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I took this picture of Lombard St. on my trip to San Francisco, CA; one of my favorite cities in America. Lombard St. is a well-known tourist attraction, and cars queued up for a chance to drive down it. Although it is a beautiful and no doubt a draw to the city, I think this is an example of poor urban planning. You don’t have to pay anything to drive down it, so it doesn’t directly produce revenue for the city. Also, the street creates a lot of traffic, and noise/air pollution due to all the cars. In my opinion this would be much better as a pedestrian-only street, to negate all these issues and preserve the beauty. On a side-note, it was pretty interesting to watch my 90-year-old uncle drive flawlessly down this road.

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This is a street in Dresden, Germany. I like how this area is historically preserved so well, or recreated since the city was heavily bombed during WW2. Not just with the obvious old style architecture, but with the cobblestone streets and lampposts. Yet, the city still has modern stores and amenities giving it a pleasant combination of historic and contemporary. The road pictured here is a one-way, which is useful considering most streets in old European cities are so narrow.

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This picture was taken on a side-street off of college avenue. I have a love-hate relationship with this area: I like the architecture of some of the houses and find them very endearing, yet some of the look decrepit, run-down, and just seem like a waste of space in general. I know the houses are not maintained well by college students but I wish this area looked a little better. To the left of the picture there is some construction of new apartments. Hopefully the new apartments add to the neighborhood and make it look less run down. On the other hand, if this area was all apartments it would definitely lose some of its charm.easton

This picture was taken on Easton Avenue, a street infamous for its cheap yet satisfying food and specialty shops. I mostly don’t have a problem with this road, I actually quite like it. Its just places like this, empty space, that take away from the avenue’s true character. In the warmer months this small lot in front of run-down apartments is just a dirt field, which looks terrible and probably isn’t very sanitary. I think some smart growth/form-based zoning techniques could be applied effectively here. Place some shops or apartments that fit in architecturally, and put them right on the sidewalk to remove this empty space. This whole part of Easton would look a lot friendlier and would no doubt bring in extra business if they did something like that.

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