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Porphyry Replaces Asphalt And Concrete In Placemaking Initiative

Porphyry pavers have recently been used to repave former streets that are now pedestrian areas.  The choice of beautiful stone over other materials calls out these areas as permanent and special. Dedicated space for enjoyment.

In many of the world’s large cities, authorities are recognizing the need to reclaim streets from the automobile and turn them back to the pedestrians.  The density of the urban environment and the quality of the experience of living there has demanded that these efforts be made even in the face of resistance to change. 

Calle Regina photo Noah Kazis resized 600

As reported by Noah Kazis in the Streetsblog, Daniel Escotto Sanchez, head of Mexico City’s Public Space Authority, has worked to put pedestrians and pedestrian activities back into areas that were previously devoted to the automobile. On Calle Regina in the old downtown area and Calle Francisco I Madero the results have been impressive.  On Madero, Escotto started by blocking traffic on Mondays, working with merchants who were fearful of the impact on business.  After just two weeks, the program was extended to include Tuesdays. “In three months, we got it completely closed,” he said. The city is confident enough of the improvement that it repaved the street, eliminating curbs that formerly delineated space for people and cars.

Calle Madero Porphyry 

Lastly, to celebrate the bicentennial of the Mexican Revolution, officials approved pedestrian-friendly improvements to the monumental Plaza de la República. “Sidewalks were widened and beautified with new street furniture and plantings. Plaza space once given over to car parking was reclaimed, creating room for amenities like a new fountain.”

The next step, according to Escotto, is to remove all four lanes of vehicular traffic surrounding the Plaza by the end of 2012, dedicating the space exclusively to pedestrians.

This trend to create people space, out of car space can be seen worldwide in urban areas and recognizes the value of public spaces. Escotto is also the force behind the new park at Chapultepec which was inspired by New York’s High Line.

Photo Credit Calle Regina – Noah Kazis

 

Porphyry’s composition determines its high compression strength, resistance to stains, slip resistance, and high freeze/thaw ratings.  The stone is the most popular paver in Europe, and is favored for its flexibility in design, beauty, durability and low maintenance requirements. ADA Compliant Porphyry pavers are also adaptable to a permeable paving set. The stone is by far one of the most durable pavers in the world.  These materials are available from Milestone Imports.   –  www.milestoneimports.com