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Art in Motion: Salina Street isn't Dead

Lecture series continues with Mindy Fullilove's 'Just Design and the Future of Main Street'

Salina Street is Syracuse's main Main Street.

Whether you recognize it, or not, the United States is profoundly divided by race and class. This idea was driven home during Art in Motion's second conversation on the arts in relation to urban development. Columbia University professor Mindy Fullilove's talk at the Warehouse Gallery in Armory Square last Thursday evening was titled, Just Design and the Future of Main Street.

Fullilove is a psychiatrist. At Columbia, she is a professor of clinical psychiatry and public health. She is studying 100 main streets in the United States, France and Japan.

"Main Streets contribute to our overall well being and mental health," she said adding that Social Psychiatry says good communities are the foundation for good health, and that inequalities in health start with inequalities in the social structure.

Green space in Syracuse

Consider that Syracuse has more parks than a typical city its size. That's more than 1,000 acres of parkland. Fullilove's study has noted how important the integration of green space is to the overall welfare of an urban environment. Integrating rather than segregating that space.

She exposed her audience to the work of French Urbanist, Michel Cantal-Dupart. He reinvigorates cities through landscape architecture balanced with form and function particular to each urban center. One of his primary methods is to rethink the methods of automobile routes and parking.

Fullilove said she found Salina Street to be quite active after spending some time walking the thoroughfare. She compared a picture of the corner of Salina and Fayette with the Shot Clock Park in Armory Square on the corner of Jefferson and Franklin. Salina was concrete and metal with people of color, while Franklin had a park complete with grass, trees, flowers and adequate seating filled with white people in front of a Starbucks. Sure each corner isn't consistently black and white, but more often than not they do resemble her snapshots.

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