Saturday, August 30, 2008

A More European Downtown?

In Europe, there are jumbotrons in public areas for watching sporting events. Large crowds gather to watch games.

In St. Louis, we're scheduled to get a giant big screen as a part of the plaza across from the Old Post Office.

If the plaza were complete and the TV operational today, would they broadcast tonight's Mizzou/Illinois game?


Anonymous said...

Apparently, the game IS being broadcast free downtown tonight in Baer Plaza.

LisaS said...

or do the big screens in Europe make their public areas more like American malls????

GMichaud said...

It might be better to focus on the city planning of European cities. I know I found more planning information about process and citizen participation in both London and Helsinki than I have ever found here in St. Louis.
Helsinki is especially noteworthy in that they print many planning documents in English as well as Finnish.
As a foreigner I found more current information in an hour than I have found in St. Louis in years.
Specific documents include principles of planning for the city, making citizens aware of the path and process to arrive at decisions.
The jumbotron is a superficial addition to the city.
Creating useful and vibrant opportunities for small business would be more useful.

A Jumbotron might be fun for a game here or there, but more important to me there are all of these elements are in play in downtown right now, (the arch grounds, ballpark village, multimodal station, the gateway mall etc) a tremendous opportunity is being wasted
to create larger walkable, people friendly environments, connecting the many disconnected parts of downtown.
Then the area with the jumbotron will be feed regularly with people.

It is a shame that the chance for creating a connected, integrated, people orientated downtown is being squandered.

Anonymous said...

What if the plaza were available to assist nonprofit groups raise money? Say the Cardinals or the Rams were to permit Old North to license the pictures and accounts of the game, sell admission to the plaza for $5 and then help finance the rehab of the Mullanphy Building?

Consciousness for Mullanphy would be raised, people would have fun at a civic gathering, and a worthwhile effort would get needed financial support.

If the the Rams or Cardinal game was already sold out, or if the team was playing on the road, how would it hurt the team? The PR would be a good move, wouldn't it?

The plaza could probably hold a thousand people. Maybe more. At $5 apiece, that's a good fundraiser for major efforts.

The hard part would be deciding who gets to use the plaza?

Say, KDHX, Old North, or the Urban League? There would probably be a long line of worthwhile organizations wanting a piece of the action.

So what will the programming be for the giant screen TV in Old Post office square be anyway? Will it be party central for New Year's Eve?

What is going to happen there?

Anonymous said...

Big screen TV European? Clueless.

Rick Bonasch said...

Anonymous, you apparently have visited Europe lately.

This summer, a group of Missouri high school musicians, the "Missouri Ambassadors of Music", made a trip across Europe. They were in Germany when the German national soccer team was playing in the finals of a major soccer championship.

When they returned, they described scenes all across Germany, where, in public squares, German soccer fans were gathered in what they called "public viewing areas", watching the tournament on giant screens.

For the young Missourians, being able to enjoy watching the soccer tournament outdoors, side by side with enthusiastic German soccer fans was a highlight of the trip.

Doesn't that sound like fun? But I suppose you do have a point. For people who were making a return trip to Europe, they did notice how much more Europe seemed like the United States...

Anonymous said...

"Big screen TV European? Clueless."

Apparently no one knows more about Europeans than white liberal Americans.

GMichaud said...

Yes Europe has some similarities to the US.
Unfortunately when I was last in Estonia they were striving to reach American mediocrity. Capitalism rules, that is fine, afterwords corporate powers buy everything to achieve success, including government, then failure is certain.
It may not be communism that is the next remedy to capitalism, but certainly some other method of social, economic interchange will arise to replace a bought government run for the benefit for a few.
It is certain, meanwhile we can enjoy the big screen distractions, that so define American life.