Porphyry stone surfaces on sidewalks, streets and plazas create memorable and enchanting environments. Stone is prominent in our most cherished streets worldwide. They were developed before the age of the automobile.  These historic and human scaled streets invite people to spend time there. Today, society is moving toward a more sustainable way of life, with cities everywhere aspiring to become high-quality places to live, work, and play. Streets are fundamental to this shift. They define our system of movement; create connections between places, and offer opportunities to reconnect to natural systems. There is an increasing realization that the right-of-way is a critical and under-recognized resource for transformation, with new models being tested to create a better public realm, support balanced transportation options, and provide sustainable solutions for stormwater and landscaping. The book – Living Streets: Strategies for Crafting Public Space highlights examples and design guidance for creating memorable places.

Example of Living Street

Written for teams of engineers, transportation planners, landscape architects, and urban planners, this book provides a broad overview of the growing approach towards complete and sustainable street design. Its contents present the background on modern street design and where it has failed, describe a series of street typologies, and demonstrate, through geographically diverse case studies, the applicable lessons learned from each. Featuring examples from over two dozen completed street design projects around the world, it provides practical guidance on the complete street approach to sustainable and community-minded street and road design.


“A chief purpose of Living Streets is to encourage designers to see streets as “more than just places to drive.” The book explores how intelligent street planning can create good places for living, working, and playing; strengthen community interaction; encourage healthier ways of life; develop local economies; and promote urban patterns that are less dependent on fossil fuels.” (Better! Cities & Towns, September 2012)

About the Authors

Lesley Bain, AIA, LEED, is an architect, urban designer, and Principal at Weinstein A|U Architects + Urban Designers LLC. Lesley has played prominent roles in many ofSeattle’s urban design efforts including pedestrian planning, station area development, campus planning, and incorporating transportation into neighborhoods.

Barbara Gray is an urban planner with eighteen years of professional experience in community design and transportation planning. She currently manages the Transportation Systems Design and Planning group for the Seattle Department of Transportation.

Dave Rodgers, PE, LEED, is recognized nationwide as being at the forefront of innovative sustainable design. He is a Principal at SvR Design Company.

Living Streets provides practical guidance on the complete street approach to sustainable and community-minded street use and design. Written by an interdisciplinary team of authors, the book brings insights and experience from urban planning, transportation planning, and civil engineering perspectives. It includes examples from many completed street design projects from around the world, an overview of the design and policy tools that have been successful, and guidance to help get past the predictable obstacles to implementation: Who makes decisions in the right-of-way? Who takes responsibility? How can regulations be changed to allow better use of the right-of-way?

Porphyry stones are remaking streets

Streets already exist and can be integrated into the urban fabric as multi-purpose spaces. Today, stones like porphyry pavers are increasingly being used to remake surfaces into the beautiful and sustainable “floors” of public spaces.

If you’re an urban planner, designer, transportation engineer, or civil engineer, Living Streets is the ultimate guide for the creation of more humane streetscapes that connect neighborhoods and inspire people. It is available at Amazon and other fine booksellers.


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 beautiful materials are available from Milestone Imports.   Milestone supports the creativity of architects, planners and designers. Porphyry offers surfaces of various finishes and mixed colorings, tending towards tones of grey, gold, violet and red, depending on where it is extracted.  The products are available in North America from Milestone Imports.  –  www.milestoneimports.com