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Image source: Jane's Walk
Jane Jacobs (1916-2006) was an urbanist and activist best known for her writing on cities. Her book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities (1961) modernised city planning and architecture. Her vision and focus on 'ten big ideas' provided a guide for planners to create diverse and vibrant cities.
If longevity is the mark of a great street, Oxford Street* in London would probably win the prize. The street was originally a Roman road, and its survival is testament to what early masters the Romans were of creating public infrastructure.
Ask a lay person what makes a great street and they might have trouble answering. But they may easily be able to name a few of their favourite streets or at least a street they “like” whether in their home town or a city somewhere else. Various elements such as wide promenades to ramble along, mosaic tiles, trees, room to move around and an interesting combination of architecture and shelter all come into play.