I was looking at a scenery picture of Osaka, Japan and I was like, this look like Venice and Amsterdam but more electro-cool and wanted to look at a video of the Dontonbori shopping district. When I looked at the video, I became shocked because things clicked in my head and I finally figured it out. This is the video – see if you can tell: What many of you guys don’t know is me and the 3rd Strategic Institute research these videos for several years to understand economic activity and patterns and practices that can be brought to global urban areas, including the hoods in America. This is not new as I blogged about this plenty of times on this blog that this is how we worked on the Locations section of HustleSpace where we can determine business models to put on a street block. But I watched this video and it brought memories of a video I recorded in Tokyo for this blog going out shopping and talking about all the economic activity just everywhere in Japan. Then I remember watching videos in Seoul, Korea that looked similar. But I did not put it all together until I was doing research on another aspect of the hood and realize what we do not have in the black community here in America will create economic activity – we do not have pedestrian malls. A pedestrian mall is a no-car street where people can walk freely through. Basically, the road is closed off to cars and only for taxi cabs and delivery trucks and that’s it, if at all. This is an urbanization trend going on worldwide like the picture above is in Mexico City because this creates economic boom of commercial shopping districts. If you think about cars, they are evil to a shopping district. This is the west side (best side) of Chicago on Pulaski and Madison. This is a struggling commercial district like many black communities we have researched for HustleSpace and I realize from all my research, all of the black communities – we allow cars and this setup. Notice the setup on Madison and Pulaski – cars are parked alongside the street and you see 4-lanes with 2 lanes going each way. You should see the problem already. Cars do not shop and spend money on Madison and Pulaski in Chicago – people shop and spend money on Madison and Pulaski. We don’t need any damn cars in a black commercial shopping district, we need people! Look how much space on Madison and Pulaski in Chicago is basically given to cars instead of people! Look how much little space is for people! This is how our black communities are being handicapped by these evil cars! In order for brothas and sistas to empower ourselves and our communities, we must learn to look worldwide for patterns and practices that we can apply to our hoods and a pedestrian mall need to be the first order of the day we setup to revitalize the commercial district in our hoods. Many of you will argue that the Underground Atlanta was a pedestrian mall but there is a problem – the Underground Atlanta was too small and too narrow and do not have large buildings to scale up an area. And if you haven’t heard, the Underground was sold and they going to tear all that crap down anyway. Check out this pedestrian mall in Ginza district and it look like they close the street for the weekend because I remember this street but you will see how much room people got to walk down the street and notice more volume of people shopping and walking and more activity. You want to know what stands out in the video above more than anything. The following image is what I noticed. They setup chairs in a middle lane for people to sit down. If you look at the background, do you see how much more people are on this stretch of road walking in the middle? This increased traffic create increased economic activity and more businesses and more jobs in that local community. This is what we need to do in our communities – get rid of all those damn cars and close the street off to cars and give it to the people! One of the things we can setup is transform the parking spaces to parklets – these are spaces for people to sit down and relax or engage in other activities in spaces that were formerly designed as parking spaces. At night, we turn the pedestrian mall former street area into a night market for vendors in the community to sell goods and street foods and bring in more economic activity. All the big business close down so the hood accommodate the smaller merchants to attract people to the area to do business. Despite what simple minds want to believe – night markets actually have little crime and will make the whole community have lower crime as a result because people are out and about. Let’s start rebuilding and revitalizing our hoods like the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica and rip out these streets and get rid of cars and make it pedestrian only to walk and shop. This increase foot traffic and buying potential and increase economic activity which in turn generate a demand for jobs. This is what we are missing in our hoods and I researched hoods from all over and just realize this is what we are not doing in the black community that we have to implement ASAP.