Sunday, July 3, 2011

First Day in Deventer


I was welcomed to town by the Boschs and Richard, Spanish aerial dancers, and French street theatre. This weekend is one of Deventer's annual festivals. I think that my friend Dana went to Spain to study aerial dance. I will have to ask her if Delreves is the company you studied with. Tonny Bosch explained that the outdoor patio area where we were seated for lunch used to be car parking. It is only within the past 15 years that they have made the center carfree and started removing parking. They still have to fight battles every time they remove car parking. I look forward to seeing before and after pictures.

After lunch, Richard showed me around the center city. It is ringed by a canal, has narrow winding carfree streets in the center, cute shops and cafes, and was especially full of activity on account of the festival. Richard suggested that we could perhaps make streets like these in the US. Parts of Boston are already built this way. In Chattanooga, I could see parts of the southside developing this way first. Seeing as that Eugene's downtown is on rocky ground and the city recently created free parking I think it will be awhile before Eugene can attempt car-free streets again. I could see 13th Street near the University as a car-free street. Richard said that Dutch cities forbid the development of malls outside of the city center. I must admit I am envious. He said that there was an initiative to make modern developments in place of some of the old buildings in the center city. Fortunately, in our opinion, the city didn't have enough money at the time.

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