Weekend video: Coffee table at the bus, slide at the train
People generally keep to themselves at bus stops and don't find train stations the most fun places. But when designer Julie Kim added a coffee table with some flowers, it transformed the space into a focal point for conversation. And a Utrecht train station now has a slide for passengers looking for a little more fun.
Kim thinks that creating better environments for transit riders is certainly a missed opportunity for the city. "People wait for a while at these stops, 15 to 20 minutes," she says. "This is an opportunity for the city to engage them." Included in her growing ideas of creating "surreal, out-of-place" situations, is the idea of building exercise equipment at stops, so people could squeeze a few pull-ups in.This isn't the first time someone has tried making ordinarily utilitarian public spaces around transit facilities fun. Designers have added swings to bus stops or made stairways musical.
Sadly, she's got her work cut out for her, since most corners in L.A. offer the same ugly, uncomfortable bus benches, and not much else. "Many neighborhoods in L.A. still lack built features that stimulate the senses and elicit interest at pedestrian scale," she says. "Perhaps the coffee table filled that role momentarily."
The MTA told Gothamist they're pretty sure New Yorkers won't be getting anything like this. Does any US city do more creative things with its public spaces beyond the rare creative bus stop? Can we ever surmount the risk of theft and fear of liability to make public spaces and transit facilities a little more engaging and enjoyable?
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