Fascinating talk by urban designer Ben Hamilton-Baillie, at the Leeds Rose Bowl last night on shared space (or civilised streets), the new direction in street design. Lots of Leeds Planners taking careful note.
The basic idea, is for streets to become more democratic, civilised, and pleasant. Places where the street’s role of moving things around is no longer separated from its role as a place for a community to meet, greet and share. We have all been conditioned into seeing the separation of the highway – where our movement is controlled by the state with an increasing number of signs, lines and barriers – from the democratic human realm of the pavement. But if all the street is reclaimed for democracy, a growing number of examples are showing that it becomes more civilised without any need for ‘nanny state’ signs. In addition, shared space is helping regenerate town centres, and reducing accidents.
Examples of this growing trend are :-
Exhibition Road, London http://www.rbkc.gov.uk/subsites/exhibitionroad.aspx.
New Road in Brighton, http://stockley.co.uk/our-work/new-road-brighton
Ashford Ring Road in Kent (see video above)
We are lucky to have had an initial report (available soon) done by CABE by Martin Stockley on how shared space, could by used on the A65 between Nunroyd Park and White Cross to greatly enhance this ‘cultural’ area of Aireborough. Also in the Town Gate area of Guiseley.