20 Amazing Public Space Transformations Captured on Google Streetview

Urb-i is a group of young urban designers aiming to inspire people to think differently about their cities.

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Urb-i Urban Design Public Space Transformations

Left: Ferenciek Tere in Budapest, Hungary. Right: Herald Square in New York City, NY

Urb-i is a group of young urban designers based in São Paulo, Brazil, whose mission is to change the perception people have of their city and come up with ideas to improve and enhance quality of life in urban environments.

Rua Lodônio Almeida, Itacaré, Brazil.

Rua Lodônio Almeida, Itacaré, Brazil.

Aiming to “open people’s eyes” to the possibilities of good urban design, Urb-i (short for Urban Ideas) collects a database of before and after images of public space transformations using Google Streetview.

Route de Polygone, Strasbourg, France.

Route de Polygone, Strasbourg, France.

The project draws attention to how simple changes from car-oriented to pedestrian- and people-oriented design can dramatically realign our perceptions of public space, and our ability to use it.

Krymskaya nab., Moscow, Russia.

Krymskaya nab., Moscow, Russia.

“We hope to inspire people and make it clear that it is a necessity to make cities more livable and pedestrian orientated,” said Yuval Fogelson, one member of the four-person team at Urb-i.

El Prado, San Diego, USA

El Prado, San Diego, USA

 “We hope to help form the opinions of people in the discussion of the transformation of the public space, that after all belongs to all of us.”

Ipswich Road, Brisbane, Australia

Ipswich Road, Brisbane, Australia

The group keeps their finger on the pulse of street redesigns globally, scouring urban design and architectural blogs so they know where to look on Streetview.

Minami 1jo Dori, Sapporo, Japan

Minami 1jo Dori, Sapporo, Japan

The results can be pretty incredible.

Av Jose Larco, Lima, Peru.

Av Jose Larco, Lima, Peru.

The Before/ After gallery is organized by country.

Waterkant St, Cape Town, South Africa.

Waterkant St, Cape Town, South Africa.

Using the interactive world map, you can search for street transformations all over the world.

public space transformations

Sejon daero, Seoul, South Korea.

Many of the transformations take place in large cities.

Old Town, London, UK.

Old Town, London, UK.

But there are just as many in smaller or lesser-known towns around the globe.

public space transformations

Diagonal Pedro Aguirre Cerda, Concepción, Chile.

The before/ after images are inspiring examples of how even small changes can make a big impact in urban environments.

public space transformations

Sderot Rothschild, Tel Aviv, Israel.

When we build cities for cars first, we impede the ability of people to enjoy public space by making it unwelcoming and unsafe.

public space transformations

Rua de Fortaleza, Sesimbra, Portugal.

As more people around the globe move into cities, the manner in which we design them is going to have an ever-greater impact on our health, the health of the economy and the health of the planet.

public space transformations

Cornmarket St, Cork, Ireland.

 While transforming one underpass into a livable street may seem like a small drop in a big bucket of water, its impact will be immense when it becomes the norm rather than the exception.

public space transformations

Sint-Rumboutskerknd, Mechelen, Belgium.

public space transformations

Ave Millen, Montreal, Canada.

public space transformations

Belgrano, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

public space transformations

Via Giudice Costatino, Cagliari, Italy.


To find hundreds more amazing public space transformations, and to learn more about Urb-i and their work, check out urbi.com.

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