Measuring Urban Grain: A CityLab7 Investigation

by Laura Curry
Why do we feel differently walking down one street vs. another? Why do some retailers thrive while others fail? Why are some streets bustling while others are deserted? We propose to measure the “urban grain” of two divergent streets, creating a base metric to answer these questions. Through photo documentation, interview, and physical measurement, Laura will document the user frequency, endurance, purpose and time of day. Types of retail and businesses, footprint,size, adjacencies, economic health, types of residencies, and building typology will inform the context of the user experience. The qualitative and quantitative measurements and documentation will reveal patterns to answer the questions of why, as well as they questions of how. For example: how can we convince policy makers that excise tax for big box retailers does not financially sustain a community?