Blog Prompt #2: Social Design Issue
As observing a social design issue in the cities the first thing that came to mind is our way of movement in downtown. Downtown Minneapolis creates areas of separation due to the skyway tunnel system. The skyway tunnels are meant to connect the city of downtown Minneapolis in a controlled climate atmosphere. The skyway tunnels sit a level above ground and are about 7 miles in length. When walking on the ground level it is very intimidating to look above at people looking down on you.
From my experience in downtown people do not only use the skyways for winter, which was its original intension, but also for summer days. To the average person it feels as a class difference from sidewalks to skyways. I love the skyway system, but it does take some time to get used to and at first can be confusing to the average person. Frequent visitors to downtown are more likely to use the skyway system.
A way to improve the skyway system is to make it clear that an average person is allowed to use the tunnel system. Intentions are for everyone to use it, but when walking through the skyway system in my jeans and sweater I felt unwelcome. Many professional employees were moving throughout the system. The skyway system is the most striking difference in downtown which creates a unique atmosphere for people unfamiliar to the area.