Back in 2008, I co-authored a letter to the Township of Langley to provide feedback on the municipality's 2007 Annual Report. We noted that many infrastructure projects have an “ugly industrial/utilitarian concrete designs that ruin the beauty of the surrounding area and neighbourhoods.”
Public infrastructure including streets, transit stations, parks, and buildings should be both functional and beautiful.
I know that some people think that public art and aesthetically pleasing design is frivolous, but that isn’t the case.
Public art helps create a sense of place for neighbourhoods and communities. It also draws positive activity to an area which boast economic prosperity while reducing crimes.
For example, the City of Abbotsford supports public art because it “creates safety, by putting eyes, and people onto the streets where it is located. It also attracts tourists, skilled workers, and businesses that desire to visit and work in an environment that places a high value on aesthetics and place making.”
People travel to Chemainus on Vancouver Islands to explore the large collection of murals that have been installed throughout that community. This helps support the local economy in that community.
Two weekend ago, I was in Seattle during the opening of a new extension to Sound Transit’s Link Light Rail system.
|A picture of me waiting for Link Light Rail at the new Capital Hill Link Light Rail Station.|
Sound Transit ensures that public art is funded and integrated into the facilities that it builds and maintains. I snapped the following pictures of the public art installations, and high-quality design of their recently opened light rail stations.
|Public Art at Capital Hill Light Rail Station.|
|Highlighting the high-quality design at the Link Light Rail University Station in Seattle.|
|LED wall installation at the Link Light Rail University Station in Seattle.|
Public art and aesthetically pleasing design improve people’s quality of life. Walking through the new light rail stations in Seattle highlighted to me how good urban design can transform a space.