Everyone loves a good before/after image, whether it’s a house flip or the makeover montage from Clueless. A group of Brazilian urbanists are expanding the genre to include public space transformations—as documented by Street View.
It’s called Before | After, and it’s an ever-growing collaborative database of urban spaces that have been dramatically improved by shifting the focus from cars to pedestrians. How do they collect these before and after images? Using Google Street View, of course! Right now, there are more than 300 submissions on every continent except Antarctica (forgiveable), and the team behind the project is always accepting new submissions.
The site, first pointed out by Archinect and Business Insider, is run by a collaborative urban design studio called urb-i, based in São Paulo, Brazil. “Part of our mission is to open the eyes, sharing knowledge about what good urban design practice means and how it affects our lives in the cities,” they explain—a mission clearly supported by Before | After. Check out the full archive here, while a few examples follow below.
A safer intersection and pedestrian street in Montreal:
An elevated highway removal in Seoul, South Korea:
A pedestrian-focused street in Auckland, New Zealand:
A parking lot transformation in Copenhagen:
A particularly dramatic transformation in Budapest: