Creating people friendly streets and public spaces
People will walk and cycle if they can move in a pleasant, safe and convenient urban environment. It is increasingly recognised that the design of urban streets should strongly consider the needs of p
People will walk and cycle if they can move in a pleasant, safe and convenient urban environment. It is increasingly recognised that the design of urban streets should strongly consider the needs of people who walk or cycle. This includes urban design issues, services offered in a street, with the provision of enough space to move, to rest, to play and to talk. Particular attention should be given to vulnerable road users, such as children and older people. There are good examples of how new streets are established that take this into consideration or how existing streets, originally designed for the car have been converted to provide more attractive space for pedestrians and cyclists.
Example 1: Car-reduced neighbourhoods
Car-reduced neighbourhoods use a combination of "push” measures to discourage private car use and "pull” measures to improve the attractiveness of walking, cycling, public transport and various forms of shared vehicle use. For example, Vauban is one of the most celebrated "model sustainable districts,” comprising 2,000 low-energy homes in an attractive location in Freiburg, Germany. It is a car-reduced brownfield redevelopment with parking-free residential streets: car ownership and use are half that seen in a comparable reference district.
Example 2: PERS
PERS or ‘Pedestrian Environment Review System’ is a tool used in the United Kingdom to audit the walking environment. PERS is used to assess the level of service and quality provided for pedestrians across a range of pedestrian environments. PERS as an audit tool consists of two parts: Checksheet(s) with accompanying guidance for use in the field to score environments and software that is used to store results and produce presentational output. PERS is used to review pedestrian environments, such as links, crossings, routes or public transport waiting areas.
Example 3: Shared Space
Shared Space is an urban design approach which seeks to reduce the dominance of vehicles in streets and public spaces by integrating traffic with other forms of human activity. The most recognisable characteristic of shared space is the absence of conventional traffic signals, signs, road markings – all the clutter essential to the highway. The car driver in shared space becomes an integral part of the social and cultural context, and behaviour (such as speed) is controlled by everyday norms of behaviour.
Published on 28 Feb 2013
Updated on 28 Feb 2013