Mary Beth Breckenridge reports on the resurgence of the front porch in the Akron, OH area. The front porch, especially when close to the sidewalk and in an area with uses arranged so as to encourage walking, can provide opportunities for social interaction, but at the same time allows you to escape into a private world when you don’t feel like being social. It’s being used both in new projects and in urban renewal efforts, where it has the added effect of creating “eyes on the street,” which adds to public safety. It fell out of fashion with the advent of modernism and the ranch home (one of the great ironies of our modern era),but is making a strong comeback along with New Urbanism.
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