Kaid Benfield Archive


Accommodating the multiple purposes of streets (video)

Kaid Benfield

Posted January 28, 2011 at 1:26PM

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Streets are for assisting mobility, but also for definining and assisting human orientation to and interaction in a place.  In theory, the characteristics that make a street superior for one of those two purposes work against its utility for the other.  Thanks to the New Urban Network, I've come across two neat little British videos that present a very fresh take on the complete-streets concept.  

They show how to address the conflicting purposes and make streets work better as public spaces, not just platforms of conveyance.  Our narrator is Ben Hamilton-Baillie, a British urban designer.

The videos are both a little low-def and somewhat rough in spots.  (The first takes nearly a minute before the sound appears.  Bear with the echo in a portion of the second; it doesn't last very long.)  But they reward the watching.  Part one may be found here, but I liked part two, below, even better.  Notice how in many instances he advocates less, not more, explicit regulation: