The urban fabric consists of much more than just traffic space. For us it is all about creating places to be. When people do more than just pass by, a city comes to life.
It is time to re-examine the role of city centers. Bureau B+B witnessed the change of inner cities in the last decades from within. In the fifties, the car made its entrance in the town centers. Wide, elegant boulevards changed into pulsating traffic arteries and the public domain was reduced to the width of the sidewalk. As a counter reaction, many cities chose to ban all traffic from the shopping streets in the seventies. At the same time, homogenous retail chains spread out uniformity over the towns. What remained were streets with phantom pains.
Today’s economic situation signals the end of many run of the mill retail chains. We are convinced that this is a blessing for the inner cities. It gives us the opportunity to search for local identity and new lifelines. Originally, the shopping streets were not meant for one single category of use: vibrancy and mixed use defined the atmosphere. That is why we design streets where pedestrians and bicyclists naturally merge with local traffic, suppliers and public transport. The shared space is more than just traffic space. We create places to be that make people linger longer than their movement lasts. They do things on the streets, making the city come to life.