Active streets

With the remarkable observation on how to improve streets “smaller, simpler, cheaper and pedestrian focused projects should have more attention”, Annemieke Molster nailed the friction between promising planning intensions and the lack of acupuncture interventions at the level of the street. Not everything demands a masterplan or big plan, it is better to look to a series of smaller actions that really can have an impact and make a shift “that people are willing to walk longer distances once you give them the opportunity”. From Copenhagen, Rene Kural brought us some examples on how Copenhagen is responding to the increasing of pedestrian and cyclist flows, underlying the importance of proximity: “because if it’s very short distance from your home to your work, and from your work to your leisure facilities, the possibility that you choose to bike, or to take public transportation is much higher than if there are great distances”. Looking to the shared space of streets, Daniel Yabar showed an inspiring example of a street in Santiago de Compostela where skateboarding was an integral part of the project, enlightening us with some of the identity particularities within the skateboard community, and advising to prioritise a “negotiation with the local community, with the government (…) involving the local stakeholders of the project”. Integrating ´active use and physical activities´ into the street design can be achieved on different manners, not everything is naturally and some combination will introduce (new) frictions, but seeing it as one part of the street space can bring new interesting combinations, especially from the angle of social interaction and health.


return to homepage