Page B1.1 . 05 May 2004                     
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Streets for People Too

by Michael Southworth and Eran Ben-Joseph

One of the most intriguing design innovations of the last 20 years has been the "shared street" or integration concept for residential streets. The core idea is that the street is properly a physical and social part of the living environment, to be used simultaneously for vehicular movement, social contacts, and civic activities.

This point has long been argued by many authors, including Kevin Lynch, Donald Appleyard, Jane Jacobs, J. B. Jackson, and William Whyte. However, these characteristics of traditional European and American streets, though still found in many neighborhoods of American inner cities, have long disappeared from contemporary American suburbs.

Yet in suburbs of cities outside the United States, a major shift in residential street design has occurred. In The Netherlands, Germany, England, Australia, Japan, and Israel, the integration of traffic and residential activity in the same space is a concept that has stimulated new design configurations that increase social interaction and safety on the street and promote pedestrian movement.   >>>

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From Streets and the Shaping of Towns and Cities by Michael Southworth and Eran Ben-Joseph. Copyright 2003 Michael Southworth and Eran Ben-Joseph. Posted at ArchitectureWeek by permission of Island Press, Washington, D.C.

 

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Children and cars safely share a carefully landscaped street in Tokyo.
Photo: The Wheel Extended

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A shared street in Israel.
Photo: Eran Ben-Joseph

 

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