Which location would you target first if you wanted to make downtown Portsmouth a better place?
After hearing ideas and seeing illustrations by landscape architect Robert White , there was a clear audience preference at a PS21 event: the Vaughan Mall.
More than 70 people attended the presentation and discussion at the library Feb. 1. The vote tally (estimated by PS21) was:
- Vaughan Mall ~50%
- ‘Spring Hill Square’ (Hanover and Market streets) ~ 35%
- State Street – 10%
- Market Square ~ 5%
Vaughan Mall supporters cited the need to improve the pedestrian walkway and the ease and relatively low cost with which it might be done.
The Feb. 1 session was a follow-up to PS21’s fall workshop on “place-making.” Place-making is a philosophy and approach to creating better public spaces that focuses: uses and activities, access and linkages, sociability and comfort and image. From the workshop, ideas for the Vaughan Mall, ideas included
- Add a children’s play area
- Provide more seating and a variety of seating options
- Add a water feature
- Bring back the stage
- Consider expanding into the Worth Parking Lot
- Provide better wayfinding for pedestrians and cyclists
- Offer better lighting
- Vary walking surfaces and textures
- Improve maintenance of facades and storefronts
- Add more vegetation