Monday, May 22, 2017

Examining East Rock as a Walkable Community at New Haven Museum

The following is posted here, unedited, as an information service to the public.  It was sent by the New Haven Museum.
What makes an area truly livable? According to New Haven resident and writer Phil Langdon, it needs to be a walkable community—meaning that a resident can walk (or bike) from home to a variety of useful destinations, such as cafes, grocery stores, laundries, churches, schools, and parks in a few minutes. On Wednesday, June 7, 2017, at 5:30 p.m., Langdon will give an illustrated lecture drawn from the East Rock, New Haven chapter of his book, “Within Walking Distance: Creating Livable Communities for All,” published by Island Press. The free event is followed by a book signing.
Langdon’s book examines six places across the country that are relatively walkable communities—meaning that within in a few minutes a resident can walk (or bike) from home to a variety of useful destinations. In the chapter on the East Rock neighborhood, Langdon discusses how that section of town incorporated sociologist Ray Oldenburg’s concept of “third places” and New Urbanism’s ideas about the benefits of having a mix of uses and a convenient network of streets, sidewalks, and public spaces.
Langdon notes that in the latter half of the 1990s, several individuals formed a group called Upper Orange Street Neighbors, aimed at making the Orange Street corridor more attractive; helping merchants on Orange Street become more successful; stabilizing the residential section between Orange and State Streets; and creating a series of outdoor patios where people could gather. The first merchants to act on the patio idea, with some financial help from the city, were Lulu de Carrone at Lulu’s coffeehouse, Romeo Simeone at Romeo & Cesare’s, P&M Orange Street Market and the Orange Street Liquor Shop. Langdon says the patios have proven enormously popular, bringing a new level of sociability to East Rock, and especially the Orange Street corridor. He adds that there have also been other achievements, such as the reopening of the old pharmacy at Orange and Cottage Streets under a new name, East Rock Pharmacy, with vigorous new owners.
Langdon, who has lived in the area for 34 years, interviewed many people about the changes that have come to Orange Street and East Rock, and photographed much of what’s been accomplished.
Langdon was senior editor at New Urban News and is a freelance journalist. His articles have been published in The Atlantic, American Heritage, Planning, Urban Land, Planning Commissioners Journal, Preservation, Governing, The American Enterprise, Progressive Architecture, Architectural Record, Landscape Architecture, CityLab, and The New York Times. 
About the New Haven Museum
The New Haven Museum has been collecting, preserving and interpreting the history and heritage of Greater New Haven since its inception as the New Haven Colony Historical Society in 1862. Located in downtown New Haven at 114 Whitney Avenue, the Museum brings more than 375 years of New Haven history to life through its collections, exhibitions, programs and outreach. For more information visit or or call 203-562-4183.
Editor's note: All information and the photo in this post were contributed. Click one of the buttons below to share it.

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