Los Angeles-based designer/writer David Yoon transforms LA’s overwhelmingly expansive thoroughfares into more digestible streets in his blog, Narrow Streets: Los Angeles. The project — “a fantasy urban makeover” — began one Fourth of July weekend when Yoon was strolling along Montana Avenue and was struck by the sheer emptiness on the otherwise bustling five-lane road. Inspired by the narrow corridors of old Europe, Yoon took carefully framed photos of the street then went home and narrowed it down to a single lane in Photoshop. The result was “irresistible in its suddenly human scale” and the start of Narrow Streets: Los Angeles.
Designed to provoke the viewer’s imagination, Narrow Streets emphasizes the importance of street design in dictating car speed, traffic, and ultimately our perception of urban environments. Through narrowing L.A.’s oversized streets, Yoon hopes “to re-calibrate people’s standard of space”, and in doing so “provoke people into re-examining their urban environments in a way that is immediately visual and visceral”. While Yoon considers Narrow Streets to be more fanciful than practical concept art, “the project has definitely struck a chord with people who are hungry for a city that’s less car-focused, less about being a place to plan getaways, and more about enjoying life on an everyday basis”. Narrow Streets may just be a pipe dream for Los Angeles, but it’s certainly redefining the way we view our vast city of asphalt.