Week 4 2017

Further on literature:

Appleyard, D., Gerson, S., Lintell, M. (1981). Liveable Streets. University of California Press Berkley. Los Angeles, London.

questions about the desired lifestyles and activities:
‘street life. Children wanting to play, and people talking, sitting, strolling, jogging, cycling, gardening, or working at home on auto maintenance are all vulnerable to interruption.’ p. 35

Perceived intrusion and the disruption of behaviour
‘Danger and Accidents. Traffic is in itself dangerous. Most children are killed or injured on a street near their homes. It can create the fear of danger, especially for parents of small children.
Nuisance- noise, vibration, air pollution, glare. Perceptions of the nuisances vary when inside and outside dwellings. Their perceived effects may be accompanied by hidden health effects.
Appearance and Maintenance. Pride in the appearance of the street and awareness of it as a liveable environment can be affected by the visual impacts of traffic and its emissions, and by the presence of trees, vegetation, and other amenities. Street maintenance and neighbours upkeep play a significant role in the street’s appearance.

Impacts on street life. Traffic can suppress children’s street play, adult conversation, sitting out, gardening, and other street activities.’ p. 35

‘adaptive behavior. Unpleasant environments can force people to change their living patterns. They move to the back of the house, forbid their children to play in the street, even sleep in the daytime.

the street as a sanctuary (clean, quite, maintained, attractive, safe), child-rearing, accessibility, and neighbourhood identity. (Ben Elia, 1979) (p. 53)

Appleyards study found in relation to values that social qualities were generally ranked low. He reasoned along the following comment ‘it is almost impossible to predict what the neighbors will be like when choosing a street to live in’. (p. 51) Although having ‘interesting people and activities on the street, a quality popularized by Jane Jacobs,

‘Danger for children disturbed over 50 percent of the residents even on light streets, rising up to 80 percent on heavy streets.’ p.57

‘Careless and speeding vehicles were nearly as much of a problem on light streets, where 57 percent expressed annoyance at them.’ p. 57

Noise is the primary disturber of indoor activities. p.62

Vulnerable groups

‘In the more densely populated older central areas of our cities there is often little nearby relatively sheltered play space for children. Back yards may be minimal, if they exist at all, and are used for the storage of many things, often bulky and sometimes dangerous. There is frequently little space between the dwelling and the street, save a fairly narrow sidewalk, on which children may gather and play. Parks are often distant and may be physically more dangerous to children than the local street itself.  Furthermore, the activity level on the street and sidewalks may stimulate the children and thus lead to a preference for this area as a location for gathering and play. Children cannot be expected to exercise at all times the vigilance necessary to prevent traffic accidents, nor can they be constantly monitored by more responsible older people in order to avoid accidents (Sandels, 1975).’ p. 125

Problems of play on heavily traveled streets, there are the dangers incurred in travel to school and short local trips –> households with children are especially sensitive to the hazards of residential streets with heavy traffic levels. p. 125

older people may have difficulties with their sight and hearing that make them much less aware than others of the presence and speed of traffic. (Carp. 1971). p.125

  1. ‘Children have a central need for game and continuous movement, because they are  developing physically and must learn to adjust and revise previously learned movements. They love to play and engage in games all the time, often giving up one game for another quite suddenly. Their play rules up to the age of eleven or twelve are quite indeterminate and changeable: This is the reason why we meet children who show off, trying to dash across the road just before a car passes, who hop on one leg over the zebra crossing, who use the safety bars between the pavement (sidewalks) and the roadway as vaulting bars, or who stand and fight in the middle of the road.
    Children therefore find it difficult to grasp and follow rather complicated rules to which traffic conforms. They cannot predict the movements of cars, they cannot put themselves in the position of drivers, and they expect so- called “safe” places like pedestrian crossings to be safe at all times.
  2. Second, children have physiological problems. They cannot look over the tops of cars to assess situations, so they must often go into the street before seeing traffic. In 20 percent of all children’s accidents in the Skandia Report (1971), the children were obscured by parked vehicles. Their low eye-levels direct their attention to pavement level and items of interest in the road itself, making it difficult to see high road signs placed well above their vision.
  3. Children “react with their whole personality” to everything which interests them, and they therefore find it difficult or impossible to do more than one thing at a time. “For example, we have seen 6-7 year-olds who are unable to cross the road and watch out at the same time but who instead try to look first and then walk: we have seen in the same age category those who are so entirely forget the traffic around them”— (Sandels, p. 132). This place numerous limitations on children’s ability in traffic conditions. Many, for instance, prefer to cross on straight streches of road rather than at intersections because the intersections are too complicated for them to grasp.’ p. 128
  4. There are problems of instruction. Children may not understand the full sentence or terms of the adult giving them instructions. Even among eight year old’s less than half of them understood what was meant by ‘crossing the road’.Children quickly forget instructions, especially when they come impulsive.’ p.129

 

It was practice in Sweden in the 1970s to introduce methods for accidents with children. Planning of housing areas; better location of kindergartens, schools, and play grounds; safe stops for school and other buses; elimination of curbside parking; separating pedestrians from cyclist and motor traffic. p. 129

‘Children should never be required to cross a main traffic street o the way to school. If for no other reason, streets of the residential area should rigorously exclude through traffic. Another reason for routing through traffic outside the neighbourhood is to set bounds to the district, giving it a “clear identity in people’s consciousness ‘ (Perry, 1929). p. 148

Perry proposed ‘neighbourhood units’ in 1929 within which schools, local streets and parks would be protected from through traffic, which was to be confined to the periphery of the unit. p. 147

‘European cities have grown mostly from medieval origins, with small-scale, narrow, nongeometric street patterns. Later alterations and overlays form subsequent periods have emphasised arterials, which often cut through older quaters.’ Since Hausman’s Paris, many of these have been long, straight boulevards. The narrower, frequently disconnected street patterns were for local traffic. p. 151

environmental capacity has three factors.

  1. Streets with over 50 percent vulnerable pedestrians (old, young, mothers with prams).
  2. Streets with 25 percent to 50 percent vulnerable pedestrians.
  3. Streets with less than 25 percent vulnerable pedestrians. p. 153

‘Physical conditions need to offer different level of protections, depending on “visibility for drivers, fewer parked pedestrian access to dwellings, etc.” Hence streets could be classified as offering high, medium, and low levels of protection.’ p.153

Safety, comfort, convenience, appearance,

general level of pedestrian activity, especially the numbers of children. All of them were used to calculate an environmental score for an area.

Environmental quality of a street was determined by traffic volume, width of street, vulnerability, and physical levels of protection. p. 153

First environmental areas: Barnsbury and Pimlico in the UK.

A Statement of Principles was introduced as the “Charter of Street- Dwellers’ Rights.  p. 243

  1. The street as a Safe Sanctuary. Slow speeds, cars are guests bu emergency services should be still provided. p. 243
  2. The street as a livable, healthy environment. The street should not be subject to noticeable noise or vibration from traffic. No discomfort by traffic, a place where people can sit, converse and play. p.244
  3. The street as a community. local celebrations, optimal size is debateable but should be the street block itself. p. 244
  4. The street as neighborly Territory. respecting private domain is symbolic. maintain their street, tree planting, flowers and other amenities.
  5. The street as a place for play and learning. Places which are diverse in character, with different kinds of surfaces, adequate space to play all the street games children like to engage in, places where they can hide, places where they can build things without disturbing adults. ‘Backyard can accommodate many of these activities, but in central cities the street is often the only place available. The street as a learning environment (Carr and Lynch, 1968, Lynch, 1977). On it children can learn much about nature, through plants and trees, the sun and the wind, and through exposure to the earth itself. They can learn about social life if there are people on the street whom they can safely meet. Learning about this larger city depends on their freedom to roam safely in their neighbourhood.’ p. 244
  6. The street as a green and pleasant land. “Greening the street” sympbols of the cycle of life.
  7. The street as unique historic place. people take pride in places that have a special identity. ‘This identity may be due to some unique qualities such as views, a small creek, an old tree, gardens or buildings. Residential streets should be destinations, not routes.’ p. 244.

Woonerf concept:
‘ 1. The sharing of the street space between vehicles and pedestrians. To this end curb distinctions between the sidewalks and street pavement are eliminated.
2. Conveying the impression that the whole street space is usable by pedestrians. To this end abrupt changes in path direction, vertical features, surface changes, and plantings and street furniture are all designed as obstacles to vehicle travel and to create a residential atmosphere.’ p. 250

The real power of the ‘woonerf’ concept lies in the traffic rules and clear signage.

a) the street is for people playing on road is permitted and encouraged.
b) cars may not drive faster than a walking pace.
c) drivers may not impede pedestrians within a “woonerf”
d) pedestrians may not unneccessarily hinder the progress of drivers. p.251

 

 

Literature to get:

Great streets by Jacobs, Allan B, 1995, Paperback ed. Book:

 

 

 

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