Transport for London's "Healthy Streets" approach integrates place and aesthetics considerations alongside mobility
Dave Hill of the Guardian not only produces that newspaper's Bike Blog, he writes a column on the city (not unlike how Edward Keenan of the Toronto Star covers "City Hall" and city life there).
A January column ("The cave of wonders that is Travel in London report number nine") discusses the annual report on mobility published by Transport for London, the transportation agency for Greater London.
Travel in London is a massive volume covering all aspects of mobility. I have never seen a document quite like it published by another city (although Helsinki has a very interesting unit, the Department of Urban Facts, which publishes a wide variety of research on the city and region).
Chapter 5 of the document covers the city's "Healthy Streets" program, which looks to satisfy "place" characteristics of streets simultaneously with mobility goals focused on sustainable mobility.
The chapter references the report, Improving the health of Londoners: Transport action plan, which laid out the foundations of the initiative. Their framework identifies 10 elements of a "healthy street":
- Pedestrians from all walks of life
- People choose to walk and cycle
- Clean air
- People feel safe
- Not too noisy
- Easy to cross
- Shade and shelter
- Places to stop
- Things to see and do
- People feel relaxed
The concept was developed by Lucy Saunders, a public health consultant working for the London Government and the transport agency. She gave a presentation to the Camden Cyclists organization last October, which was written up on the organization's blog. Her presentation has some awesome images illustrating the concepts.
The Healthy Streets model is an important advance that builds (I don't know if this work was referenced) on the pathbreaking studies by Donald Appleyard in the 1970s on the impact of traffic and what we might call the sociability of streets.
Appleyard found that the more traffic on a street, the fewer connections between and interactions with neighbors both on the same side of the street and across the street.
Ms. Saunders/TfL are developing a variety of measures and evaluating streets across London to determine how effectively the streets are at satisfying place and mobility characteristics, and chapter 5 of the report discusses their progress.
Labels: capital improvements planning, civic assets, government oversight, public finance and spending, public health, public realm framework, real estate development, real estate financing, urban design/placemaking