Well-maintained and cleaned gardens, such as the Lyndale Park Rose Gardens close to Lake Harriet, are an invitation to slow down and benefit from nature’s lessons, blue skies, and sunny days. Parks of the same caliber in neighborhoods with communities of color are an instrumental way toward recovery and erasing disparities.

Parks

Twin Cities, Minnesota


Photo credit: Tasoulla Hadjiyanni

Portland is embarking on the “Slow Streets|Safe Streets Initiative,” which aims to ease social distancing, accommodate more pedestrians and bikers, and make Portland’s eventual re-opening smoother. Three components are of importance: eliminating or slowing car traffic, expanding protected pedestrian spaces and bike lanes on busy streets, and creating dedicated pick-up spots and loading zones on commercial streets. Submitted by Ingrid Schneider, University of Minnesota (ingridss@umn.edu)

The many ways by which streets can be used to give people more space have been documented by urban planner Mike Lydon of Street Plans. These range from closing streets to changing pedestrian signals. See examples of some of the most beautiful streets for inspiration.

Streets

United States


Photo credit: Tasoulla Hadjiyanni

Concrete sidewalks become a canvas for children to express their creativity and find ways to tell stories of resilience and perseverance, connecting to others around the globe. Dan McClanahan, a photographer in Iowa, captured some of these moments.

Streets – Sidewalks

United States


Photo credit: https://www.mcclanahanstudio.net/

As Athen’s streets and plazas empty out, photographer Alexandros Maragos captures the opportunities that arise when emptiness can be a catalyst for innovation and a rethinking of what else streets can be. In the words of poet Argyris Xionis, as cited by Demetra Hadjiyianni, “Step on the asphalt with respect. Underneath it there are stones dreaming of gardens.”

Trees at Minneapolis’s Lake Harriet park enable teenagers to maintain social distancing while sitting in hammocks. The hammocks’ womb-like feeling and soft swaying engender feelings of comfort and safety to a population scarred from anxiety after their lives have been turned upside down.

Parks

Twin Cities, Minnesota