Shared space

Fully integrated traffic

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Web http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shared_space
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About the project Edit

Shared space is an urban design concept, pioneered and promoted by Hans Monderman, based on the observation that individuals' behaviour in traffic is more positively affected by the built environment of the public space than it is by conventional traffic control devices and regulations. Shared space removes the traditional segregation of motor vehicles, pedestrians and other road users. Conventional road priority management systems and devices such as kerbs, lines, signs and signals are replaced with an integrated, people-oriented understanding of public space, such that walking, cycling, shopping and driving cars become integrated activities.

In what ways is this project unique and creative? Edit

Shared space is a concept that tackles in a creative way common problems related to safety, congestion, economic vitality and community severance by designing and managing streets and other public spaces in a way where traffic is fully integrated with other human activity, not separated from it. A major characteristic of a street designed to this philosophy is the absence of traditional road markings, signs, traffic signals and the distinction between "road" and "pavement". User behaviour becomes influenced and controlled by natural human interactions rather than by artificial regulation. As the Monderman says "When you don't exactly know who has right of way, you tend to seek eye contact with other road users... You automatically reduce your speed, you have contact with other people and you take greater care ».

What is the social value of this project? Edit

The goal of shared space is an improvement in road safety, encouraging negotiation of shared areas at appropriate speeds and with due consideration for the other users, using simple rules like giving way to the right. Where share spaced principles have been implemented, the result has been slower traffic, fewer accidents, and shorter trip times. This can be attributed to the risk compensation effect where the perception of risk may be a means or even a prerequisite for increasing objective safety. Because when a situation feels unsafe, people are more alert and there are fewer accidents.

What is the potential of this project to expand and develop? Edit

Numerous towns and cities around the world have implemented schemes with elements based on the shared space principles such as Ejby (Denmark), Bohmte (Germany), Ipswich and London (UK), Ostende (Belgium) and Emmen (Netherlands). Despite its popularity, shared space has raised a few concern. Shared surfaces, which are generally used in shared space schemes, can cause concern for the blind and partially sighted who cannot visually negotiate their way with other road users, as the lack of separation implicit in these features has also removed their safe space.

What was the triggering factor of this project? Edit

What is the business model of this project? Edit


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