Essex Street Pedestrian Mall

The City of Salem engaged Utile to provide design and management recommendations for Essex Street Pedestrian Mall, an urban thoroughfare key to Salem’s downtown culture. Running between Washington Street and the Peabody Essex Museum, Essex Street is a well-loved public leisure space, a major circulation link, and an essential location for civic events. While the mall is central to Salem’s annual Halloween festival and other seasonal events, it languishes during the quieter months.

Utile worked with the citizens of Salem, a public process consultant, and city planners to develop a set of strategies geared toward the continuing improvement of Salem’s downtown culture through increased connectivity and pubic engagement with Essex Street within Salem’s urban fabric. The rigorous research and public outreach process culminated in a recommendation for the transformation of Essex Street into a shared street – a public space in which pedestrians rule the street, but one that fosters vibrant and diverse activity throughout all seasons of the year.

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