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Old September 27th, 2010, 04:09 AM   #141
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Interesting topic. I think paved square + underground multistory car parking is a win-win solution. Those square are usually located in a easily-connected area from nearby blocks and makes the optimum location for huge parking lots underneath.

There is something that bothers and annoys me in some pictures: tables and kiosks set up in a permanent basis on those squares (not talking about the occasional if outdated and dangerous farmer's market, but indeed about restaurants "taking over" space on such squares.

Those tables impedes pedestrian traffic and spoil the monumental character these plazas can have when there is no standing activity (like a table with chairs were people eat) outside the buildings. Plazas can get a much more monumental and impressive feeling when people feel small, nothing, powerless and irrelevant compared to the mighty buildings, monuments and other constructions surrounding/in a square. On a dirty (literally) side, presence of restaurants and coffee's tables on the open increases Europe's #1 urban animal hazard: pigeons.

So restaurants should not be allowed to set up business in the open air, but only within their own premises, at least on a regular basis (a kiosk selling water during a show is something very different that a full-service restaurant with tables on the middle or on a corner of the same plaza).
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Old September 27th, 2010, 04:24 AM   #142
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Farmer markets "dangerous and outdated?" Restaurant's only allowed "within their own premises?"

Yeah, NO.
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Old September 27th, 2010, 04:47 AM   #143
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Interesting topic. I think paved square + underground multistory car parking is a win-win solution. Those square are usually located in a easily-connected area from nearby blocks and makes the optimum location for huge parking lots underneath.

There is something that bothers and annoys me in some pictures: tables and kiosks set up in a permanent basis on those squares (not talking about the occasional if outdated and dangerous farmer's market, but indeed about restaurants "taking over" space on such squares.

Those tables impedes pedestrian traffic and spoil the monumental character these plazas can have when there is no standing activity (like a table with chairs were people eat) outside the buildings. Plazas can get a much more monumental and impressive feeling when people feel small, nothing, powerless and irrelevant compared to the mighty buildings, monuments and other constructions surrounding/in a square. On a dirty (literally) side, presence of restaurants and coffee's tables on the open increases Europe's #1 urban animal hazard: pigeons.

So restaurants should not be allowed to set up business in the open air, but only within their own premises, at least on a regular basis (a kiosk selling water during a show is something very different that a full-service restaurant with tables on the middle or on a corner of the same plaza).
that's definitely not the "free-market" thing to do
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Old September 27th, 2010, 10:49 AM   #144
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Farmer markets "dangerous and outdated?" Restaurant's only allowed "within their own premises?"

Yeah, NO.
Well, have you ever lived near a farmer market? I can assure you: it's not pleasant! They begin setting up their stuff early (4-5am) in the morning, causing nuisance to neighbors. After market hours there is a mess, and they smell a lot (hence, annoying).

Then, they sell stuff that is not subject to the same quality control, managed exposure and tracking as even the smaller groceries shop can do now with cheap IT system, increasing the risk of contamination by pathogens due to loose standards of hygiene and so (hence, dangerous).

Moreover, in the era of global supply chains, RFID, tracking and backtracking of produce, food, dairy and everything else, global supermarket retail operations, MTS and PTS production paradigms applied to food industry, their last frontier, who needs an open, spoiling, noisy ans stinking farmer's market in the city center (outdated)?

Then can just move elsewhere to a dedicated space near a major road intersection, in the middle of... other farms.

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that's definitely not the "free-market" thing to do
I guess you are mistaking free market for anarchy.
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Old September 27th, 2010, 11:25 AM   #145
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All I can say, is if you don't like it, move. I always enjoy our fresh markets here. The food is magnificent, and the collections especially of cheeses, olives and salami's are breathtaking.

Maybe they are cleaner here too, as it only smells of lovely food and is cleaned up perfectly afterwards.
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Old September 27th, 2010, 01:00 PM   #146
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All I can say, is if you don't like it, move. I always enjoy our fresh markets here. The food is magnificent, and the collections especially of cheeses, olives and salami's are breathtaking.

Maybe they are cleaner here too, as it only smells of lovely food and is cleaned up perfectly afterwards.
Well, this is getting off-topic. Small farmers usually don't abide to the aseptic and quality-control standards of supermarkets and grocery chain stores. But that is a discussion concerning agriculture, way off this thread.

My point is that farmer's markets spoil the plazas of their magnificence and remind us of old, nasty, unhealthy when life was miserable. We don't trash bathroom waste into streets anymore, why should people keep selling agricultural products in the open, making the whole place smell like hell? Supermarkets usually have devices and systems to take away the smell. The only places I want to smell food is in my plate at a restaurant or in my kitchen while I cook! As for the open plazas, they should be as neat and clean and odor-less as possible, to match our modern age in which we got rid of backward habits and uses.

Worse than a farmer's market is only a fish market...
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Old September 27th, 2010, 02:18 PM   #147
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Well, this is getting off-topic. Small farmers usually don't abide to the aseptic and quality-control standards of supermarkets and grocery chain stores. But that is a discussion concerning agriculture, way off this thread.

My point is that farmer's markets spoil the plazas of their magnificence and remind us of old, nasty, unhealthy when life was miserable. We don't trash bathroom waste into streets anymore, why should people keep selling agricultural products in the open, making the whole place smell like hell? Supermarkets usually have devices and systems to take away the smell. The only places I want to smell food is in my plate at a restaurant or in my kitchen while I cook! As for the open plazas, they should be as neat and clean and odor-less as possible, to match our modern age in which we got rid of backward habits and uses.

Worse than a farmer's market is only a fish market...
Considering that many of these open plazas in Europe were originally created for markets, then discussions of markets are not really off topic if in relationship to the squares.

What is a bit off topic is your unusual dislike of the smell of fresh food. I have nothing against supermarkets. I'm not one of these hypocritical people who bash supermarkets and their obvious conveniences, and I have no problems using them myself. But quite honestly, I don't know what the markets are like where you live, but every one I come across in my part of the world are of breathtaking high quality and extremely clean. The food is simply mouth watering and fresh, and are a smorgasbord of colour and activity. Maybe people are not quite so hygienic in your part of the world.
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Old September 27th, 2010, 05:45 PM   #148
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You're a laugh riot, dude. I do live near one of the many farmer's markets in my city. And guess what? People love them! Of course, this is California we're talking about, the world's fruit basket. It's the people's choice: if the people want fresh produce and goods from their surrounding area, give it to them. Farmer's markets have been around for pretty much all of human civilization. Not only that, but those smells and those noises you mention actually help create an atmosphere. I can tell you that I feel safer eating an apple I got at a farmer's market where the farm is about five miles from my house rather than going to the supermarket and eating an apple from Mexico/China/France/New York. Again, though, it's California we're talking about (which is off topic for a thread on European squares). Also, regarding your anarchy comment, it's not anarchy at all. It is free market capitalism. A restaurant sees a potential source for great income (the square). They set up shop. They make a ton of money. How is that anarchic at all? Never mind, I don't want to hear your convoluted answer.

On topic, Europe has some of the most beautiful and exquisite squares and public spaces I've ever seen. They look like a trip to the past, but again, for someone like me, most of Europe seems that way.
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Old September 29th, 2010, 02:17 AM   #149
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I have nothing against restaurants, just against they using public space and "corralling" curbside and and open plazas with tables, kiosks and fences.

This is why I hate agricultural markets within city limits (have nothing against one setting shop in the nearest highway exist away from homes and offices):



One of my favorite cities in Italy... Catania. One of its main areas is spoiled by a fish and meat market that trash the whole area. Butchers smoke while cutting meat, don't wear gloves, masks and hair caps as they would be required by law in any slaughterhouse or supermarket. Waste is left on the street up until 2 hours after the market is closed for business. It smells a lot, it is a shame for my home Italy that such venues are still allowed to operate in 2010 (just to avoid national flame wars: you can find such backward stuff (agricultural markets) all over Italy, from Alto Adige to Calabria)

It would never pass any sanitation inspection whose rigor was 20% of those applied to supermarkets in Italy, and we're talking about one of the warmest cities in Italy (as you all know, high temperatures increase significantly the risk of bacteria proliferation).
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Old September 29th, 2010, 04:42 AM   #150
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I'm just gonna go with your bolded red statement. Now, this isn't meant to be offensive (and I feel I can get away with saying it since I'm Italian-American), but this is Italy we're talking about!
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Old September 29th, 2010, 05:19 AM   #151
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Plazas can get a much more monumental and impressive feeling when people feel small, nothing, powerless and irrelevant compared to the mighty buildings, monuments and other constructions surrounding/in a square.
No public space should ever be designed to make people feel powerless or irrelevant: we build buildings and create art to make our lives easier and more pleasant, not to feel empty and afraid. I'm very sorry to say this, but judging from what you are saying here, you should've been born about a century ago. You probably would've felt right at home close to Mussolini or one of the other fascist zealots of that era.
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Old September 29th, 2010, 01:12 PM   #152
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I'm just gonna go with your bolded red statement. Now, this isn't meant to be offensive (and I feel I can get away with saying it since I'm Italian-American), but this is Italy we're talking about!
Yes, Italy should be stick with 18th Century uses so it keeps being the Western anthropological playground of the whole World. What is the point about thinking it is good to have unsafe food manipulation practices going on in 2010? If we were talking about such scene in America, health inspector would close the place and Fox News would be all but denouncing and yelling the risks American families were being exposed to. You don't want to have a filthy waiter smoking while taking your order in a restaurant, then why would you tolerate a butcher smoking while manipulating raw meat?

We need, as Italians, to be more wary of such risky and backward activities, no matter how traditional or typical they are. We need to borrow some cultural attitudes from America, like the fear of bacteria, virus and dirt at general, especially when it comes to food and children.

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No public space should ever be designed to make people feel powerless or irrelevant: we build buildings and create art to make our lives easier and more pleasant, not to feel empty and afraid. I'm very sorry to say this, but judging from what you are saying here, you should've been born about a century ago. You probably would've felt right at home close to Mussolini or one of the other fascist zealots of that era.
I didn't say afraid. Fear and irrelevance are not associated reactions. Your school of thought is a very specific one. I believe that the role of architecture as art in its most high form is to impress, shock and take all your attention to the building. It's not a fascist project, but a modernist-positivist one. Then you have secondary nonetheless important uses for architecture, like providing comfortable spaces for you to live, work and have fun. But a public place like a plaza should always be made to impress and make you feel insignificant while facing the overwhelming and undeniable beauty and mighty of the place, not to make you feel part of the place - that you leave for a club, a house, an office, a resort -.

It has to do with a place being so, so unique, big and architecturally powerful that you just can't stay indifferent to the place to focus on other people, on the kidding playing next to you or elsewhere. Architecture is quite coward these days, it cares so much about "fitting the surrounding" or "promoting street life" that it lost its appeal as the tool to build places where the human is made small and irrelevant and the art (e.g., the space/buildings/place) amazes you because it is so, so much bigger than yourself.

Just think of the National Mall in Washignton, DC. The perfect archetype of what a prime-class public space should be. If there were restaurants with tables, playgrounds, kiosks or any other stuff in the center area of the mall, it would be just another big grass/water/paved area in America near some famous buildings.

In any case: those are just different views of architecture. None is necessarily right. You can have spaces build over this two paradigms in the same city. I'll always stick to what I describe when talking about public space.

Post-modern, modernist or brutalist (my all-time favor architecture style) building + large open plan spaces + clean areas with no infrastructure for people to "hang out" in the open =
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Old September 29th, 2010, 08:53 PM   #153
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Why, oh WHY did I have a feeling you'd invoke Fox "News?" Never mind, that's another argument for another time.

Wait, wait, Italy is the anthropological playground of the West? WHERE DO YOU COME UP WITH THIS CRAP?! That hardly even makes sense! I spent ten minutes reading and rereading that statement, and I'm still not getting anything out of it!

I'm an American, and I don't have those fears. I'm not a damn germaphobe like everyone else in this country. There's something called "immersion theory," and it's rather simple. Researchers in New York had two rats. One rat was a purebred rat from the lab, never been outside of its controlled environment. The second rat was one found crawling around a subway station. So, one clean rat, one dirty rat. Following this so far? I hope so. They put both rats in the same sterile environments. They gave them the exact same food, the exact same water. Then, they introduced a simple virus: influenza. The lab rat? The one that grew up in the sterile environment, completely safe from all disease and bacteria? Died within hours of catching the disease. The other rat, the subway rat? It didn't show any symptoms of disease at all, and when they tested the blood of that rat, they found complete immunity to the flu. I believe in immersion theory, and guess what? I used to be a germaphobe. I was always catching colds and flus, almost like clockwork. Then, I slowly stopped washing my hands for every meal. I stopped staying away from sick people like they were Death itself. And guess what? I haven't gotten sick in YEARS! Quit being a Clorox loving germaphobe. It only exacerbates the situation.

As for your "risky and backward" activities, I thought you were a free market capitalist. If the people want it, give it to them. If somebody wants that meat, let them have it. Simple as that.
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Old September 29th, 2010, 10:31 PM   #154
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Wait, wait, Italy is the anthropological playground of the West? WHERE DO YOU COME UP WITH THIS CRAP?! That hardly even makes sense! I spent ten minutes reading and rereading that statement, and I'm still not getting anything out of it!
I might have exaggerated it, and probably did, when replying to the forummer who wrote that "this is what Italy is about" when he was, in turn, replying to my statement that people smoking and manipulating meat is filthy, gross, unhealthy, uncivilized and shameful to me as Italian. I've had too many foreigners complaining and whining that "true Italy is more and more hard to be found", like the fact I (or anyone for that matter) listen electronic music, occasionally eat at McDonalds and am not into any kind of folk dance/music/play/whatever makes me or anyone less "Italian". I've had too many people whining about Milano being not "truly Italian" because of "brand takeover of its traditional business". I got annoyed friends and people I met online start asking "where can I go to see how real Italian life is like", as if big cities in Italy were not Italian anymore (and I'm not talking about immigration but about the idea that ITalians would have to be lazy, not work-centered and always up for some fun). So, yes, I overreacted.

Quote:
I'm an American, and I don't have those fears. I'm not a damn germaphobe like everyone else in this country. There's something called "immersion theory," and it's rather simple. Researchers in New York had two rats. One rat was a purebred rat from the lab, never been outside of its controlled environment. The second rat was one found crawling around a subway station. So, one clean rat, one dirty rat. Following this so far? I hope so. They put both rats in the same sterile environments. They gave them the exact same food, the exact same water. Then, they introduced a simple virus: influenza. The lab rat? The one that grew up in the sterile environment, completely safe from all disease and bacteria? Died within hours of catching the disease. The other rat, the subway rat? It didn't show any symptoms of disease at all, and when they tested the blood of that rat, they found complete immunity to the flu. I believe in immersion theory, and guess what? I used to be a germaphobe. I was always catching colds and flus, almost like clockwork. Then, I slowly stopped washing my hands for every meal. I stopped staying away from sick people like they were Death itself. And guess what? I haven't gotten sick in YEARS! Quit being a Clorox loving germaphobe. It only exacerbates the situation.
Well, I know this theory, but it has a huge drawback if widespread adopted: those not "strong" enough to face mild bacteria, viruses and other pathogens would simple get very ill and die. This was the case before the onset of modern medicine. For sure, the survival of people who can't withstand a flu weakens the gene pool of mankind, but that doesn't make acceptable to promote a riskier lifestyle - if you want to risk only yourself, go on -. So children must be insulated as much as possible from germs and other disease. I'd never let my toddlers ( don't have any now btw) to play in a grass area full of other kids and dogs roaming among them. God forbid they ever get diarrhea or other disease like that from putting their fingers into their mouth. I prefer they playing on my backyard sandbox that will be disinfected regularly.
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Old September 29th, 2010, 11:38 PM   #155
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Some city squares in Serbia

Belgrade has many squares but non of them are completely paved...
Republic square




Novi Sad
Freedom square




Subotica
Republic square







In the right angle

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Old September 30th, 2010, 12:23 AM   #156
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Berlin Alexanderplatz




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Old September 30th, 2010, 12:39 AM   #157
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Interesting topic. I think paved square + underground multistory car parking is a win-win solution. Those square are usually located in a easily-connected area from nearby blocks and makes the optimum location for huge parking lots underneath.

There is something that bothers and annoys me in some pictures: tables and kiosks set up in a permanent basis on those squares (not talking about the occasional if outdated and dangerous farmer's market, but indeed about restaurants "taking over" space on such squares.

Those tables impedes pedestrian traffic and spoil the monumental character these plazas can have when there is no standing activity (like a table with chairs were people eat) outside the buildings. Plazas can get a much more monumental and impressive feeling when people feel small, nothing, powerless and irrelevant compared to the mighty buildings, monuments and other constructions surrounding/in a square. On a dirty (literally) side, presence of restaurants and coffee's tables on the open increases Europe's #1 urban animal hazard: pigeons.

So restaurants should not be allowed to set up business in the open air, but only within their own premises, at least on a regular basis (a kiosk selling water during a show is something very different that a full-service restaurant with tables on the middle or on a corner of the same plaza).
Obviously you prefer a dead square over a lively one. Well, in such a case, there are enough modern quarters across Europe and some feature what you may be looking for: large paved squares, 100% big, 100% empty and 100% dead.

Regarding farmers markets. If you feel they are no safe enugh for you, you don't have to buy from them. While they are not adhering to such high standards as shops, they have to adhere to the essential basic regulations as well. And due to their size they can offer things which don't pay off for bigger producers.
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Old September 30th, 2010, 12:59 AM   #158
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Well, I know this theory, but it has a huge drawback if widespread adopted: those not "strong" enough to face mild bacteria, viruses and other pathogens would simple get very ill and die. This was the case before the onset of modern medicine. For sure, the survival of people who can't withstand a flu weakens the gene pool of mankind, but that doesn't make acceptable to promote a riskier lifestyle - if you want to risk only yourself, go on -. So children must be insulated as much as possible from germs and other disease. I'd never let my toddlers ( don't have any now btw) to play in a grass area full of other kids and dogs roaming among them. God forbid they ever get diarrhea or other disease like that from putting their fingers into their mouth. I prefer they playing on my backyard sandbox that will be disinfected regularly.
Thats pretty insane. Disinfecting sandboxes
I can understand if you are sensitive to dog shit or something. But disinfecting sand boxes is as useful as cooling a boiling pot with with some droplets of cold water. Common disinfectents only kill 99,9% of bacteria either, I don't even know if they effect viruses that much at all. To translate it, thats three decimals. Ie if there were 10 mio bacteria per cm afterwards there are 10000 per cm.

Washing your hands is important after doing your business at the toilet. Its the place where human pathogens are closing the cycle. If the flu is rampant or some pandemia one may also wash the hand after touching stuff in highly frequented places like subways. But other than that, save your money. Disinfecting each and every peace is a waste of money. In the best case its for nothing in the worst you are damaging your immune system. Its especially bad for young children or babies if they are kept away from everything with extreme measures (disinfectants). The risk of developing allergies afterwards may rise considerably.

If you want healthy babies its more important to keep sugared baby food from them. Thats going to do much more good. Making them addicted to sugar in early stages will do much more harm to their health than the common small illnesses which are essential for developing their immune system.

Ok, sorry for that much off topic. I just had to say it.
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Old September 30th, 2010, 01:25 AM   #159
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Old September 30th, 2010, 10:22 AM   #160
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No Red Square yet?

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