Shared Space: Reconciling People, Places and Traffic

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Under the label of shared space, a radically different approach to street design, traffic flow and road safety is rapidly emerging. Combining a greater understanding of behavioural psychology with a changing perception of risk and safety, shared space offers a set of principles that suggest new radically different possibilities for successfully combining movement with the other civic function of streets and urban spaces. Shared space has evolved most rapidly in the Denmark, Germany, Sweden and the northern part of Holland. However there is a growing range of examples in France, Spain, the UK and other European countries. The paper considers the potential for shared space principles to prompt a new approach to the design, management and maintenance of streets and public spaces in cities, towns and villages. Drawing on well-established examples from a variety of countries, the author examines the outcomes of schemes that deliberately integrate traffic into the social and cultural protocols that govern the rest of public life. The findings raise important implications for governments and local authorities, for professionals, for communities and for citizens.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: May 29, 2008

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  • Built Environment is published quarterly in March, June, September and December. With an emphasis on crossing disciplinary boundaries and providing global perspective, each issue focuses on a single subject of contemporary interest to practitioners, academics and students working in a wide range of disciplines. Issues are guest-edited by established international experts who not only commission contributions, but also oversee the peer-reviewing process in collaboration with the Editors.

    Subject areas include: architecture; conservation; economic development; environmental planning; health; housing; regeneration; social issues; spatial planning; sustainability; urban design; and transport. All issues include reviews of recent publications.

    The journal is abstracted in Geo Abstracts, Sage Urban Studies Abstracts, and Journal of Planning Literature, and is indexed in the Avery Index to Architectural Publications.
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