This week, a series from urban designer Gloria Venczel (principal of Cityscape Design), who asked “Is Vancouver the Urban Design-City-Building leader in North America?”

Today, she compares us with Manhattan.

As a pedestrian oriented urban designer, I was eager to revisit NYC and walk through as many of the streets of Manhattan as humanly possible in two weeks in March 2016. 

New Yorkers could not be deterred from using their public spaces by a dusting of snow, they were out there sitting on benches, window shopping, etc. regardless. There was very evident in the well established, older neighbourhoods on the West Side of Manhattan along Broadway.
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 West Side Manhattan along Broadway + Mid-Town. People were out enjoying the sun in the parks just after the snow dusting me
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West Side Manhattan along Broadway + Mid-Town. New Yorkers adapt to the cold , put out bistro sets and drink coffee.
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Mid-Town Manhattan, selling used books in a mixed-use neighbourhood. Apparently,  permits required to sell books.
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West Side Manhattan along Broadway + Mid-Town, mixed-use early last century. Vibrant shopping

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West Side Manhattan along Broadway + Mid-Town. Times Square area was quite safe even at midnight, St. Patrick’s Day.
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There appears to be a culture around the “public living room” in this US winter city, enhanced by building-edge programming for everyday needs like fruits, cafes, clothing etc.. They are the urban design ingredients for a vibrant streetscape.
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How does this compare to Vancouver’s newer developments from a pedestrian-oriented urban design perspective? Livability? Vibrancy?