As cities struggle to maintain character of neighborhoods and commercial districts, they are conflicted between two options, the preservation of old buildings versus allowing development to proceed. By preserving a district you also preserve a “walkable, vibrant streetscape where people want to be.” Enter Urban Taxidermy.
Robert Allsopp defines urban taxidermy as “the art of preserving, stuffing and mounting buildings for lifelike effect to simulate an intrinsic social, cultural or commercial vitality.”
|Before urban taxidermy.|
|After urban taxidermy.|
Experts suggest that struggling Rust Belt cities must look to the future of their cities by slimming down strategically through “smart decline.” Smart decline refers to “the ways in which cities can plan around population loss and find ways to manage it (and maybe grow again one day).” Some strategies include moving lowest density occupants to compact neighborhoods, building greenbelts instead of maintaining untraveled streets, encouraging urban farming or letting the barren areas revert to nature.
A multi-tiered approach to getting people out for an art tour in downtown Des Moines, Iowa offers some ideas on how to attract visitors to your district for one-off events and beyond.
The “place” in Placemaking is the combination of many more elements than you might’ve previously even considered.