Best Practices conserning design of Shared Space

Student thesis: Master thesis (including HD thesis)

  • Vendel Larsen
The concept of Shared Space was developed by the Dutch traffic engineer Hans Monderman, and was later further developed and spread by the British architect and traffic engineer Ben Hamilton-Baillie. The EU through the Interreg IIIB-North Sea Program now supports the project. It is a research project, which is concluded the of June 2008 by a meeting in Drachten in Holland. The team consists of seven participants from five countries. The object of this EU project is to develop new politics and methods of organisation of public space. The philosophy of Shared Space is to deregulate traffic and integration instead of segregation. Hereby mutual attention is created seeing as though nobody claims to own the road. The traffic flows slower but with greater flexibility based on the greater attention on the other users of the road by means of eye contact and negation about who goes first. Because of this theory the slogan “Slower is quicker” has come. This Project has examined 15 areas with three traditional streets and 12 shared Space areas. The Shared Space areas have been different variations of the ideal Shared Space area. Also the areas have been spread out on the groups of over and under 5000AADTand with busses. The examination contains of stop interviews regarding the quality of the city space and a registration of the traffic and street. The examined areas have been mapped and the data analyzed and compared to suggest which areas work best, and where the problematic areas are. The results of the conclusion and the recommendation are shown in figure 2.1 The examination shows that most areas with paving stone as road surface is evaluated as bad. Paving stone has two major disadvantages. One is that it makes it difficult for certain groups of the population to go about. The other is that paving stone makes noise when cars drive on it, which makes it uncomfortable to be nearby. In the light of this paving stone cannot be recommended for Shared Space areas in the future. Other possibilities for road surface could be surface treated asphalt, concrete and polished granite pavement. All of these come in different colours and shapes. A Shared Space area is a multifunctional space with traffic, spirit and leisure. There has to be entertainment and possibility for socialising. Hence it is important that a Shared Space offers experiences. All shopping streets were evaluated as good. Also the average speed on these streets was 23 km/h. The surrounding environment is evaluated by possible shelter, smoke from cars and other things, which doesn’t make a stay in the area comfortable. All of the examined areas with an AADT under 4100 is evaluated as good accept from Taastrup Hovedgade. The wide streets and the one-way traffic are here considered the reason for a better environment. Practically all of the examined areas, which had an elevated surface as an entrance, were evaluated as good regarding traffic safety. In light of this an elevated surface as entrance is seen as having a positive effect on a Shared Space area. Furthermore in areas with an AADT under 4100 vehicles the traffic safety is evaluated as good. As speed restriction it is recommended that the car traffic has its direction disrupted by abrupt displacements of the road, which forces the speed to drop. This can be implemented by placing street inventory in aisles displaced onto the traffic zone. Short lamp standards should provide the lighting, but in adequate amounts so that dark and unlighted areas are prevented, since the city space also should function optimally both in the evening and in the night time. The parking in Shared Space areas should be grouped and not in the entire area, because parked cars add traffic insecurity to the space. No matter the amount of car traffic and noise it was practically always evaluated too big or too much. From this it is concluded that the subjective opinion cannot be used as a precept.
Publication date2008
Number of pages144
Publishing institutionAalborg Universitet
KeywordsShared Space
ID: 14360746