This site will focus on development in and around Syracuse, New York, chiefly because that is where the author is located. However, innovative plans for sustainable development and progress may be gleaned from any city across the globe, and applied to the Syracuse model.

We will also detail events, organizations and ideas which are promoting sustainability and progress in Syracuse and across the globe, with the hope of presenting our consumers with an outlet to discuss ongoing projects in Syracuse and elsewhere, and whether these projects are effective and help keep “eyes on the streets”.

Jane Jacobs is recognized as one of the founders of “new urbanism”. In her seminal work The Death and Life of Great American Cities, published first in 1961, she wrote that the success of American streets would be linked to the presence or absence of three qualities:

First, there must be a clear demarcation between what is public space and what is private space. Public space and private spaces cannot ooze into each other as they do typically in suburban settings or in projects.

Second, there must be eyes upon the street, eyes belonging to those we might call the natural proprietors of the street. The buildings on a street equipped to handle strangers and to insure the safety of both residents and strangers, must be oriented to the street. They cannot turn their back or blank sides on it and leave it blind.

And third, the sidewalk must have users on it fairly continuously, both to add to the number of effective eyes on the street and to induce the people in buildings along the street to watch the sidewalks in sufficient numbers. Nobody enjoys sitting on a stoop or looking out a window at an empty street. … Large numbers of people entertain themselves, off and on, by watching street activity…

This concept of “eyes upon the street” has come to symbolize the proper methods which should be used by planners in developing urban areas. The idea of having “eyes on the street” is a guidepost for people thinking of urban planning and revitalization to this day.

This blog is concerned with promoting “eyes upon the street” not only for crime prevention, as the idea was originally posited by Jane Jacobs, but also to promote the progress and sustainable development of the urban core.


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