Tuesday, December 9, 2008

What is Shared Space?

Shared Space is a philosophy of movement made famous by the late Hans Monderman, a pioneer in the field of transportation and urban design.

The basic premise is that modern attempts at controlling traffic behaviour through the use of signage, barriers, signals, lights and other instructions are counter-productive and, in fact, lead to people feeling paying less attention to what they are doing - this results in more accidents, more delay and the death of the street as a place.

The alternative is to remove the signs, make no distinction between street spaces and allow users to navigate the space based on eye contact and common sense.

Of course, this mainly applies in areas where auto usage is fairly low, but is surprisingly effective on busy streets too.

The following links are good places to learn about these things:

Wiki - Shared Space

Shared Space.org

Naked Streets


Streets used to be places where people interacted, where lives were lived and the heart of the community was found. Now we have roads and all they do is get us from A to B. Shared Space is a way of reclaiming the streets and finding a balance that does not favour one mode (cars) over any other.

Anyway, that's what Shared Space is.

Cheers,

5 comments:

theShaggy said...

Just randomly stumbling in now.

Having learned about where you work, you're witnessing a small renaissance of urban shared space with all the construction on Bloor at the moment. Despite the continuation of construction that has plagued midtown from St. George all the way Bay (almost constant), it can only benefit the area.

I am, however, bothered that by expanding sidewalks to accomodate more pedestrians, they are reducin the amount of safe cycling space on the road. I can only imagine that bottlenecking traffic there will cause us cyclists to get shoved around more. In that regard, I'm not sure I'm all up on the philosophy.

CarefulWhatYouSay said...

"Streets used to be places where people interacted, where lives were lived and the heart of the community was found."

And where people use to share the gospel- like Jesus.

I totally like this.

;)

(hahaha-hopefully you take this as a joke. However, I find with things like texting and blogging 'tones' of voices get taken out. I am totally attempting humour here.)

I am sure that the humour is gone now that I have had to explain that I was trying to use humour.

*sigh*

I give up.

CarefulWhatYouSay said...

Dang-it!

I spelled humor wrong.

Over and over again.

Now, I really give up.

ExPatMatt said...

Hey, I'm English; Humour has 2 U's as far as I'm concerned.

And what would a street be without a street-preacher?

Kevinsref said...

Dang-it! I spelled humor wrong. Over and over again. Now, I really give up.