Pedestrian crossing sun shading – a simple solution with a huge walkability benefit

posted in: Global, North America, Tel Aviv | 0

A July in Manhattan is hot and sweaty. While it’s relatively easy to escape into parks or air-conditioned businesses, there’s one spot where we are forced to stand and wait, under beating sun – waiting to cross the street.

In crowded cities like New York, where we frequently have to wait for crossing, these accumulating minutes of exposure to unwanted sun radiation can be annoying, and a notable discouragement for walking.

While enjoying a short break in Flatiron District, I was wondering why not applying such simple solutions – parasols, to pedestrian crossings.

So let’s go back to that sun beaten wait

and add a parasol. That’s a relief!

I got back to Tel Aviv for yet another “extremely sunny” day

and kept thinking about a simple parasol that can contribute dramatically to walkability.

Parasols can be placed and maintained by municipalities, but a better implementation would be harnessing adjacent businesses to do so – at least for daily maintenance. With a proper reward mechanism for businesses, municipalities can encourage contribution to public space without an expensive and complicated logistic effort.

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