A visit to Vestas and Crandal/Arambula

During the second half of the day, we met with George Crandall – the principal of Crandall Arambula, which is one of the only singularly focused urban planning consulting firms in the country. Crandall discussed several interesting points about the appeal of a city. Specifically, he mention six aspects that contribute to the success of an urban park: safety, circulation, function, character, central in the city, and accessible to all ages. We will keep this information in mind when we create our designs for the park. He also noted that interactive ground floors make a building a success or failure. For example, if a building uses its bottom floor for retail and has many windows, it creates an inviting atmosphere while also making pedestrians feel safe. Buildings with solid walls on the ground floor push pedestrians away from the building and can be less safe because less eyes are on the street. I noticed that both Crandall and the executive from Vestas pointed out that people don’t always know what they want. The executive from Vestas told us that he often tried to push people to work in different work spaces, and even though they might be reluctant at first, they found it beneficial in the end. Crandall gave us an example of this from the urban planning perspective. If he wanted to widen the roads for bike paths in a city that doesn’t usually bike, many people would tell him that the public wouldn’t use the bike paths because they don’t bike. However Crandall suggested that this lack of biking might be because there aren’t safe ways to bike in the city, and adding bike paths could encourage people to bike more often.

– Audrey

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