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Towards a fine City for People June 2004


Assisting transport planners

Project clients:

The following transport planners have participated in collecting data for the public life survey: TfL Surface Transport Windsor House 42-50 Victoria Street London Sw1H 0TL Tel. no.: 020 7941 4500 www.tfl.gov.uk

29 Heddon Street London W1B 4BL Tel. no.: 020 7478 8460 www.c-london.co.uk For further information please contact the Communications Team

Consultant: Project manager: Jan Gehl, Professor, Professor, Dr. litt. Project coordinator: Henriette Mortensen, arch. MAA Project team: Helle Søholt, arch. MAA, M.Arch. Louise Grassov, arch. MAA Kirstine Brøgger Jensen, stud. arch. Line Spangsmark, stud. arch. Kristine Sundahl, stud. arch.

Natasha Brown, London Borough of Camden Stuart Croucher, London Borough of Camden Tim Long, London Borough of Camden Peter McBride, Transport for London Christopher Nicola, London Borough of Camden Matthew Prince, London Borough of Camden Andrew Smith, Transport for London Graham Tanner, Transport for London

Assisting students London School of Economics

The following students have participated in collecting data for the public life survey: Tal Ben Amar Tina Bebbington Amy DiCarlantonio Joy Dio Sarah Ichioka Daisuke Jepsen Daniel Lee Louise Mansfield Chelsea Mauldin Elias Redstone Mriganka Saxena Attila Szanto Adam Young Maja Erlund, stud.arch, Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts Architecture School

Disclaimer issued by Transport for London & Central London Partnership This study has been undertaken by Gehl Architects acting as consultant on behalf of Transport for London and Central London Partnership acting as co-clients. The views expressed and the recommendations set out in the report are those of the consultants and these do not necessarily reflect the views of the clients.

Web page : This report can be downloaded from www. gehlarchitects.dk


Foreword

Bob Kiley, Commissioner Transport for London London is a great city with many fine streets and squares that are rightly celebrated by residents and visitors alike. Sadly there are other public places that have seen better days, where the vibrancy and success of the city have resulted in simply too many people using certain streets and spaces thus undermining the experience of being in these areas. I believe that making better spaces makes a better city and a city that is easier and more pleasant to get around and be in: TfL is guided by the Mayor’s Transport Strategy and London Plan that set out proposals to create better streets for people and improve our public realm. The Mayor has a vision for London to become one of the world’s most walking-friendly cities by 2015. This is a very challenging aspiration but would reap enormous economic and social benefits if realised. To do this we need to encourage all Londoners to make their contribution; those who live, work and do business here. We need to think afresh about our streets and public spaces; how we use them and how we move between and within them. I believe London is starting to make good progress to this end. Schemes such as Congestion Charging, Trafalgar Square, Kensington High Street and the new Thames pedestrian bridges have shown how the quality and experience of public space can be improved greatly. The key challenge now for TfL, the London local authorities, residents, businesses and other stakeholders is how to create a better balance between traffic and other city users and promote our city streets and squares as places to stay and enjoy rather than pass through or avoid. But how can we be sure that the approach taken will deliver the best results? How can we guarantee that the most effective use will be made of the resources available? We can learn from the examples of other cities, particularly those that have set the highest standards in providing for people and how they move around and are now reaping the benefits. That is why I welcome the involvement of Gehl Architects in looking at how we can improve Public Spaces and Public Life in London. Jan Gehl played a key role in the process that saw the transformation of Copenhagen city centre into a lively and prosperous place where people can move and meet in comfort and in safety. Working closely with TfL, Central London Partnership, the local authorities and other partners his study and report suggest how London too could be transformed. The ideas and processes underpinning the success of Copenhagen have been exported around the world with similar extraordinary results: now it is London’s turn. I believe that ’Towards a Fine City for People’ gives us all the confidence to build on our city’s many outstanding and unique qualities to create a network of better places to be admired and enjoyed by all. This will strengthen London’s position as a leading World Class City.

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Introduction

Patricia Brown, Chief Executive Central London Partnership This report sets out the findings, observations and recommendations of Gehl Architects’ Public Spaces and Public Life study for London that was commissioned jointly by Transport for London (TfL) and Central London Partnership (CLP). The study sought ways to upgrade public spaces and improve conditions for walking and public life in London based on detailed examination of conditions at specific locations in central London. It has followed similar lines to previous studies conducted by Gehl Architects for other cities and therefore benefits from the experience of best practice from around the world. Whilst the observations and recommendations in the report are based on experiences of central London it should be recognised that the general messages are considered applicable across the whole city. The intention of the report is to act as a catalyst for change demonstrating to key decision makers and delivery agents how London’s public space could be transformed. It is recognised that London is a magnificent city with many unique qualities and plenty of examples of good urban design; opportunities to build on these good points should be taken to raise overall standards for public space. The study was conducted in two stages during the spring and summer of 2003. The first stage analysed the quality of public spaces including main pedestrian routes, pavements, crossing facilities, squares and parks. The second stage examined the way these spaces are used and by whom. The results provided the basis for recommending improvements. The direction of the study and report has been steered by discussions between Gehl Architects and TfL, CLP, central London local authorities, other partnerships and agencies, the London School of Economics Cities Programme and the Greater London Authority Architecture & Urbanism Unit. Following discussions and on-site observation Gehl Architects selected a number of key areas for examination: Euston Road, Oxford Street (& Circus), Charing Cross Road, Regent Street, Tottenham Court Road, New Oxford Street, Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square, Euston Square, Covent Garden, Trafalgar Square, Waterloo Station, Lower Marsh, Hungerford Footbridges and Victoria Embankment Gardens. These streets, squares and parks were chosen as they reflect the problems experienced and potential offered across London. Translating the findings into practicable and effective schemes and initiatives will bring benefits to all who live, work, visit and do business in London. Change is achievable and is dependent on further close partnership working between stakeholders who have already contributed to the development of the study or have an interest in the public realm in London. These partners will be supported by a report that is neither prescriptive planning guidance nor a transport engineering document. Instead it is a practical tool that points the way to how incremental change to perception, culture and decision making can be effected. It highlights a series of quick, medium and longer term ’wins’ that can be developed and implemented within the context of the Mayoral objective to achieve a world-class walking city by 2015.

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Contents INTRODUCTION Executive Summary Background London a city of many facets Public Spaces and Public Life survey Study areas Streets included in the study Squares included in the study The park included in the study Station areas included in the study

8 9 14 15 16 18 20 22 24 25

PART 1. PUBLIC SPACES - Problems and potentials

26

Three types of pedestrian activities Forming the pedestrian landscape

28 29

The Traffic environment

30

The Pedestrian environment

32

Where car is king A city dominated by traffic - Resulting in low priority for other city users Walking along The footway as an obstacle course Narrow footways - crowded footways Unacceptable congestion at Oxford Circus Frequent footway interruptions Getting across Impressive creativity concerning the layout of pedestrian crossings Missing pedestrian signals Crossing at red lights Detours and deviations vs. direct crossings Jaywalking - a dangerous habit Pedestrian subways Getting around Difficult access for people with special needs Getting from here to there Sitting in the city A city without seats - Secondary seating Number and distribution of Public seats Comfort and appeal of Public seats Outdoor cafe seats Seats and sitting at lunchtime on summer weekdays Hearing and talking in the city Climate in the city Looking at the city Ground floor frontages

30 31

32 33 34 35 36 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 46

47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56

A city of poor aesthetic coordination Poor maintenance and unappealing street elements The city by night Evening activities Lighting Metal shutters Security

58 59 60 61 62 63

The Cycling environment Summary of Part 1

64 66

PART 2. PUBLIC LIFE - Survey

68

Method Walking in the city

70 72

Staying in the city

84

Who spends time in the city Summary of Part 2

88 90

PART 3. RECOMMENDATIONS - Conclusions and Best practice

92

Introduction to Part 3 Key recommendations

95 96

Pedestrian traffic on a summer weekday Pedestrian traffic - Summer and Winter Pedestrian traffic on a summer Saturday Crowding Street capacity at Oxford Circus Staying activities

1. Capitalize on the unique qualities 2. Create a better balance between traffic and other city users 3. Improve conditions for walking in the city 4. Ensure access for all 5. Improve conditions for staying in the city 6. Improve the visual quality of the streetscape 7. Improve conditions for cycling Turning a city around Process Reflections

Turning a city around Proces Reflections

72 77 78 82 83

96 98 102 104 106 110 113 114 118 119

114 118 119

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Executive Summary

Introduction

Executive Summary

London is a city with many positive assets that include world-class historic and modern architecture, beautiful parks and squares and grand streets. But against this backdrop many areas suffer from a domination of vehicular traffic whilst pedestrians and cyclists, as important users of the city, are often given low priority and inadequate facilities. Public Spaces and Public Life - London 2004 sets out to examine the state of selected traffic, pedestrian and cycling environments in more detail in order to find solutions to the current situation through building on the existing good features. Public spaces - problems and potentials There are opportunities to improve the quality of public space in London and a series of problems to be overcome. Overall, the main findings and recommendations focus on several key areas for action to improve the current situation: creating a better balance between vehicular traffic, pedestrians and cyclists improving conditions for walking and cycling improving conditions for resting and simply passing time upgrading the visual quality of the streetscape promoting a shift in mind-sets towards a more people-orientated city culture The success of the whole process relies on changing fundamentally how we think about movement in London. The condition of pedestrian, traffic and cycling environments The city landscape has been considered from three perspectives; those of traffic, pedestrians and cyclists. Detailed examination of each is accompanied by a wide range of case studies of international good practice. These provide useful comparative data to support observations and recommendations for how to improve current conditions for all street users and walkers and cyclists in particular. The traffic environment The general trend of increased levels of vehicular traffic in Greater London has led to worsening conditions for pedestrians and cyclists despite improvements in central London as a result of the congestion charge. Furthermore, the streetscape is principally designed for the motor vehicle often to the exclusion of other types of user. For instance guard railing, staggered pedestrian crossings and pavements interrupted by side roads are designed to ease motor traffic movement but all detract from the street environment and walking experience.

Introduction - page 9


Introduction

Executive Summary

The pedestrian environment Providing quality, lively open space where people feel happy to wander, linger and rest will encourage people to socialise more in public places. At present walking is the dominant activity in London’s streets and squares and can be classified by three different types: necessary: functional, such as shopping and commuting optional: recreational, including walking for pleasure, sight-seeing social : such as sitting and reading, relaxing at a pavement café, looking and talking Optional and social activities are seen as indicators of a successful city environment and developing conditions to encourage such activities is therefore considered essential. However, whilst there are concentrations of cafés and other amenities in certain areas, in general there are relatively few facilities such as seating and public art to encourage social or optional activities. Overall London has not been designed with recreation in mind and it is noticeable that there are few children or elderly using the streets and limited accessibility for those with mobility impairments. To support this, survey results from Regent Street and Tottenham Court Road show that approximately 96% of all pedestrians are between the ages of 15 and 64. Walking in London is currently identified as being essentially functional and is largely undertaken out of necessity. For example, most locations studied showed that there was little seasonal or daily variance in pedestrian flows suggesting that walking is predominantly on a ’need to’ basis and not - as found in many other cities - combined with extensive promenading on good days. Other survey results indicate that public space often fails to cater adequately for the needs of the pedestrian: for example there is evidence to suggest that some of the busiest pavements are frequently overcrowded. Oxford Street west of Oxford Circus is cited as being particularly crowded with 80% of the daily pedestrian traffic being beyond comfortable walking capacity. However these and other such findings need to be viewed in the context of the historic built form of much of the city and in the light of past planning policies.

Introduction - page 10


Introduction

Executive Summary

The cycling environment The introduction of Congestion Charging presents an opportunity to re-examine how we use our space both for walking and cycling. London has excellent natural conditions for developing a cycling culture: in general it is relatively flat and the city centre is reasonably compact. Consequently this often favours quick and comfortable journeys by bike. However there are not enough cycle facilities at present to encourage any significant numbers of people to take up cycling. Serious consideration needs to be given to developing a network of safer, quality routes to a consistent standard and format alongside an education programme for all road users on how to be aware of, and respect, each others’ rights and needs. Turning a city around - the levels of change required The problems and opportunities that London faces are compared at three levels: city-wide: macro-level, where issues are generic to the whole city and fundamental to the overall nature of movement area-wide: looking at conditions applicable within localities detailed: micro-level, where specific details on streets and squares are identified City-wide issues At the locations surveyed the issues that emerged regularly were: vehicular traffic dominating the streetscape, conflicting with other road users as well as contributing to high noise levels pedestrians often crossing roads away from designated facilities, also when the lights were against them; there are examples at Piccadilly Circus where three out of every four people crossing the road risked doing so when vehicular traffic had priority poor conditions for cyclists and little awareness of cyclists’ needs by other users These issues are compounded by the lack of data on pedestrian movement meaning that until now the pedestrian has been largely invisible in the planning process.

Introduction - page 11


Introduction

Executive Summary

Area-wide issues The problems are varied and include: pavements that cannot adequately accommodate the volume of users interruptions to journeys on foot as a result of poorly designed crossings, staggered crossings and subways unwelcoming streets due to bad lighting or a lack of active, attractive ground floor frontages Detailed issues At the ’micro-level’ the problems that occur on the street include: guard railing that ’herds’ people on pavements clutter and obstruction from excessive and poorly sited street furniture lack of seating which restricts social interaction difficult access for the disabled, elderly, infirm or those with pushchairs generally a poor street environment Improving conditions for public space and public life The overall aims and benefits of implementing changes at the city-wide, area-wide and detailed levels are identified as: encouraging more journeys on foot and by bike, with associated environmental and economic benefits getting more people to rest and spend time in the city to engender a more vibrant, interactive public space safer, better public transport interchanges (especially buses) more accessible streets and town centres the revitalisation and regeneration of town centres To achieve a quality public realm London needs to shift from being a city that people simply pass through as part of a functional journey. It needs to become a series of more interactive spaces that offer opportunities for a wide range of activities to take place within each area. The design of these quality spaces and places must reflect how people move rather than focusing primarily on vehicular traffic.

Introduction - page 12


Executive Summary

Introduction

A range of solutions is proposed to create these conditions: celebrating London’s potential as a ’green’ city and maximising the use of facilities such as the city squares, the River Thames and the parks creating a better balance between vehicular traffic and other road users improving road safety reducing the impact of traffic on the city environment providing further quality solutions for public transport developing a coherent pedestrian policy enhancing the walking experience by introducing streets with greater pedestrian priority removing obstacles on the pavement such as unnecessary signposts and badly located litterbins developing more interesting walking routes and places where people can relax with public art, landscaping, planting and seating upgrading pedestrian crossings and improving access for all creating a robust design policy that takes account of climatic conditions (such as the value of direct sunlight in seating areas) when designing public space upgrading building facades improving conditions for cycling The process of introducing change The process of how change is pursued and managed is critical. It will take time to effect change and the solution cannot be prescriptive but must develop and evolve over time. The process needs to be iterative, from initial discussion to developing a strategy with ongoing evaluation, implementation and restructuring. It needs also to be adaptable and responsive to change as well as being inclusive, involving not only the key decision makers and delivery agents but also Londoners; encouraging them to enjoy and use their city. The importance of leadership, vision and commitment to drive the whole process is the key to successful change and a successful city in the future that meets the demands of all who visit, live or work in it. London has the potential to be a truly great walking city but it will require dedication, collaboration and considerable human and financial resources.

Introduction - page 13


Introduction

Background

Primrose Hill

Linkages Com merce Euston Road

Euston

Street

Kings X

Regent

Marble Arch

Oxford Street

GOVERNME NT + STATE Westminster

RIVER South Bank

Hungerford

Park Lane

SHOPS + MARKETS

Court Rd

Paddington

Institu tions

Tottenham

Edgware Rd

Background

Strand + Embankment

THAMES South Bank

CULTURE + ARTS

Elephant & Castle

Diagram of the special structure of London, developed through centuries. Acknowledgement: Terry Farrell & Partners

Introduction - page 14

This report draws on the special knowledge of GEHL Architects of city environments and Jan Gehl´s extensive research on public life issues. As such, the findings and recommendations shown are based on an attitude towards planning that stresses the importance of the human scale and design based on how people use spaces. The report suggests a strategy by which incremental change to perception, culture and decision-making can be effected. It is neither prescriptive planning guidance nor a transport engineering document. The report is meant to act as a catalyst for change, and therefore introduces a process of developments intended to demonstrate how a city´s public space can be transformed. Developing a new culture The study is intended to build on a process - to change the existing traffic culture towards a more urban and wellbalanced handling of pedestrians, cyclists, vehicular traffic and to take the pressure off public transport. When a better balance is achieved, new ways of using the city will develop as seen in other cities. A new city culture can be developed resulting in a city that is healthier in both environmental and economic terms, more vital and liveable as it will invite people to spend time in the city, to visit the city and to live in the city. Long-term quality improvements of the public realm can invite more people to walk or cycle and thus take the pressure off the public transport system. Cultures and climates are different all over the world, but people are, in essence, alike. People will make use of, walk and position themselves in public spaces the same way, as the qualities of a space affect our human senses. The new culture that can develop in London should be based on these qualities and invite people to use the city in all aspects of life.


London - a city of many facets

Introduction

London - A vibrant and unique city

London is a fabulous city - with a unique identity and atmosphere. London is diversity, complexity and grandeur. A mix of beautiful English streetscapes and open spaces, grand monuments and ever-present history. London is spaces of human scale, beautiful architecture and fine architectural detailing. London has the hustle and bustle of a metropolis - it is buses and taxis that establish this quality of movement. And not least - London has a pulse. It is vibrant and full of colourful people 24 hours a day, weekdays, weekends, summer and winter. The special character of this city is unlike that of Paris, or New York……it has complexity and layers of elements - tradition, history, people and change.

Photo credits: Royal Parks Agency

City level

City level Seen from both the aerial view and at city scale London is wonderfully dense with strong landscape elements as the River Thames and the great number of parks that act as breathing spaces in the city form. Mass transport nodes are incorporated and interweaved into the built urban fabric of the central city, connecting the outer suburban areas with its beating heart of the city. Public Space level Within the city public spaces are beautiful and there are a range of grand monuments. The majority of streets in London have an interesting and wonderfully detailed built edge and fine architecture, whether it is a large street in the centre or a local residential street. Squares and spaces between the buildings are part of the city fabric and carefully interrelated to the buildings surrounding them.

Photo credits: London Development Agency

Public Space level

Detailed level But seen with the eyes of thousands of pedestrians, the city has great problems and the London identity is lost. Getting around in the city is not a quality experience, resulting in few recreational activities and little time spent in public spaces. People are constantly moving, rushing from place to place. Speed and a high level of activity in terms of numbers of people is the sign of a vibrant large city. Great activity in terms of time spent in the public spaces is the sign of a city of high urban quality. A better city for people London is a city rich on people, who bring colour, variety and inspiration to its public spaces, in a way unique to this city. To make London a better city for people is to create an even livelier city with good conditions for walking, recreation, outdoor activities and social life. People need to be offered places to linger and rest to ensure the city is not a mere transit zone where people are busy walking from A to Z but seldom stay to enjoy.

» It is a strong belief throughout this report that London can build on its potentials and become one of the most people-friendly and lively cities in Europe once people are given space and respect « Photo: St. Giles Circus

Detailed level Introduction - page 15


Introduction

Public Spaces and Public Life survey Reconquered cities 1

(Source: New City Spaces by Gehl & Gemzøe 2001)

Reasons for studying public life in cities

There is more focus than ever before on the human dimension in city planning and the need for quality in the public realm of our cities. Cities all over the world are rediscovering their public spaces and a general awareness has been awakened regarding the need for dignified, high-quality city environments for people. People are invited to reclaim their cities and restrictions are being made to reduce parking and traffic in central city areas in order to make room for more people-oriented activities. However two opposite directions in city planning can presently be identified. In some cities, the abandoned cities, walking and public life is disappearing, emphasising that life is becoming more and more privatized. In other cities, the reconquered cities, public life is carefully supported by the introduction of good pedestrian environments in order to supplement the private life spheres with a well-functioning public domain, inviting people to walk more and stay longer, offering a wide range of attractive public activities. The fact that people in all parts of the world respond eagerly and enthusiastically to these new opportunities for walking and participating in public life in public spaces, indicates that the walking environments and other types of public spaces where people can meet are important assets in present day society (possibly even more so than 20, 30 or 50 years ago). In a world being steadily privatised public spaces are gaining in importance. Information about public life Most cities have excellent statistics about traffic flows and parking patterns. Thus the issues of traffic and parking are generally well represented in planning processes. However, when it comes to insight and information about city quality as seen from a pedestrian point of view and about how the public spaces actually function for the people who use the city, there is usually little information available. It is the purpose of this study to collect such information and make it easily accessible to the residents, politicians, city planners, developers, landowners, business associations and other groups who work to improve the quality of the public spaces. This will make it possible in the future to follow new trends, identify changes in the use pattern of the city, and create a general public awareness of the quality of the city.

Barcelona

Visionary thinking and pioneering public space policy For the past two decades, Barcelona has been the most important source of inspiration for architects, landscape architects, urban planners and politicians who work with public spaces. Nowhere in the world can the viewer see in one and the same city so many different examples of new parks and squares and so much exuberance and experimentation in their design. Barcelona has been both radical and imaginative in implementing its public space policy. In only a decade, several hundred new parks, squares and promenades were created by tearing down dilapidated apartment buildings, warehouses and factories, as well as by renovating existing squares and regulating traffic to benefit pedestrians.

Placa del Paisos Catalans, Barcelona

Introduction - page 16


Public Spaces and Public Life survey Reconquered cities 2

Introduction

(Source: New City Spaces by Gehl & Gemzøe 2001)

The Public Spaces and Public Life study Introduction Presentation of study area, selected streets, squares and station areas. General characteristics of the selected areas.

Lyon

Poetic, coordinated and social public space policy The city of Lyon has renovated many of its public spaces on the basis of a cohesive policy formulated in 1989. The political will to make comprehensive changes existed along with the conviction that the entire city was involved, both socially and architecturally. The objective has been a better city for all or “a city for people”, as it has been formulated. Several hundred urban improvement projects have been carried out to renovate outdoor areas in the suburbs, extending to the renovation of the city´s main streets and squares. Characteristic of the public space policy in Lyon is work with traffic, creating a large number of parking spaces under the many newly renovated squares, and the use of a fixed set of furnishings and materials.

Part 1 - Public Spaces An analysis of the actual physical conditions provided for pedestrians. How are the public spaces organised, designed and equipped? What are the conditions offered for walking and spending time in the city? What is the traffic situation like? What are the major conflicts with pedestrian movements? Through qualitative analysis the public spaces in London are evaluated as to how people are accomodated in the city today. The analysis covers both the issues related to walking and getting around in general, and the issues regarding spending time in the city. Part 2 - Public Life Presents a survey of pedestrian activities on summer and winter days in the selected spaces. How are the streets, squares and parks in the study area used ? How many people are walking in the streets ? How many activities are going on ? What goes on summer / winter and weekdays / Saturdays ? Which groups in the population use the spaces in the city centre ? The data is divided in observations regarding pedestrian traffic and observations regarding staying activities. Together, the data gives information on the present state of public life in the city. Issues of quantity and quality are discussed. Part 3 - Recommendations Based on the above-mentioned analysis and use surveys a general evaluation of the pedestrian activity patterns as well as the quality offered for people by the public spaces will be discussed. Finally, problems and potential in London city centre will be outlined and suggestions and broad strategies for quality improvement will be presented. All recommendations are, as mentioned earlier based on the ideas of a new mindset as described in the introduction. As such, the recommendations present a number of different ways to go. The recommendations cover the detail, space and city level and are presented in a general form as a summary of the contents of the report. Based on the findings in the report, what needs to be done to solve the issues is presented. Again, the most important recommendation is to change the way of thinking about traffic and people and the way streets and squares are organised for people today. A more critical eye on the present conditions is needed if changes are to be achieved.

Place des Terreaux, Lyon

Introduction - page 17


Introduction

Study Areas Euston Road

British Library Euston Square

Tottenham Court Road

New Oxford St

Regent St Oxford St

Charing Cross Road Piccadilly Circus

Covent Garden

London - study areas

Regent St Leicester Square Trafalgar rafa falga Square

Streets, Squares, Parks and Railway Stations included in the study area:

Victoria Embankment Gardens

Streets: Charing Cross Road (St. Giles - Trafalgar Square): Euston Road (Tottenham Court Road - King´s Cross): Hungerford Footbridge: Lower Marsh (Waterloo area): New Oxford Street (St. Giles - Kingsway): Parts of Oxford Street (near Oxford Circus): Regent Street (All Souls - Piccadilly Circus): Tottenham Court Road (Euston Road - St. Giles):

Hungerford Footbridge

S

Waterloo Station Lower Marsh

London city centre Congestion charging zone: 24,700,000 m2 Selected study areas inside the Congestion Zone

1 : 40,000

400

800

1200 m

Many city centres cover an area of about 1,000,000 m2, defining a distance of about 1 km from one end to another, which is what people normally accept to walk when they are in the city for shopping and outdoor activities. As such, the main shopping street in Copenhagen, Strøget, is 1 km. The previous Public Spaces and Public Life surveys have study areas of approximately this size, except Melbourne, Edinburgh and Riga which are somewhat larger. (PSPL surveys have been carried out in Adelaide, Copenhagen, Edinburgh, Melbourne, Oslo, Perth, Riga and Stockholm). Given that central London covers an extremely large area (24,700,000 m2), specific streets and squares have been chosen for this study. All areas comprise common problems and individual problems. Together, the study areas provide a broad aspect of central London and the problems and potential which are contained here. The study focuses on the human dimension in cities the various quality aspects regarding public realm and the relationship between motor traffic and pedestrians. Introduction - page 18

900 m 1250 m 325 m 300 m 700 m 450 m 850 m 1070 m

Squares: Covent Garden (included in the Public Life study only): about 22,500 m2 Euston Square: about 4,200 m2 Leicester Square: about 10,000 m2 Piccadilly Circus: about 4,500 m2 Trafalgar Square: about 20,000 m2 Parks: Euston Park : Victoria Embankment Gardens: (north of Embankment Station)

Station areas: Euston Station Waterloo Station

about 6,800 m2 about 47,000 m2


Study areas Reconquered cities 3

Introduction

(Source: New City Spaces by Gehl & Gemzøe 2001)

Copenhagen

A better city step by step Copenhagen’s old main street was pedestrianized in 1962, marking the start of what was to become extensive renovation. Over a period of four decades, many of the streets and squares in the inner city were gradually transformed into wholly or partially car-free space. This created good conditions for walking and urban recreation activities in the city centre. Systematic studies of the develoment of city life show a marked increase in activity in step with improvements. Cutting down on the traffic in the city centre along with gradually reducing parking options has helped limit car traffic in the inner city substantially. At the same time, a targeted policy to create better conditions for bicycle traffic has strengthened Copenhagen’s position as a cycling city.

Strædet, pedestrian priority street, Copenhagen

Melbourne city centre 2,300,000 m2, pop. 3,5 m. (city region)

Stockholm city centre 1,250,000 m2, pop. 1,2 m. (city region)

Edinburgh 2,480,000 m2, pop. 450,000 (city region)

Riga city centre 2,160,000 m2, pop. 1,2 m. (city region)

Copenhagen city centre 1,150,000 m2, pop. 1,35 m. (city region)

Birmingham 1,525,000 m2, pop. 2,3 m. (city region)

Comparison with other cities Studies of other cities will be used for comparison with the London findings. Comparisons will provide insight into what has been done to combat similar problems in other cities. Cities such as Stockholm, Copenhagen, Adelaide and Lyon will provide valuable references for comparisons.

All maps are shown in scale 1 : 40,000 400

800

1200 m

Introduction - page 19


Introduction

Streets included in the study All sections are drawn at counting positions for the public life survey. Drawings are shown in scale 1:500

Regent Street

Oxford Street

Total length Length included in the study: Street width: Footway width (effective): Pedestrian traffic, weekday 08 - 22: Bench seating: Outdoor cafe seating:

4m

7m

1m 24 m

7m

1200 m 850 m 25 - 28 m 4-7m 61,000 0 179

5m

Regent Street Shopping street dominated by classic architecture and a curved course. Introduction - page 20

New Oxford Street

Total length Length included in the study: Street width: Footway width (effective): Pedestrian traffic, weekday 08 - 22: Bench seating: Outdoor cafe seating:

6m

7m

1960 m 450 m 17 - 28 m 3 - 12 m 138,000 132 -

8m

21 m

Oxford Street Shopping street with large numbers of pedestrians and vehicles.

Total length: Street width: Footway width (effective): Pedestrian traffic, weekday 08 - 22: Bench seating: Outdoor cafe seating:

5m

11 m

690 m 17 - 21 m 5m 18,000 0 85

5m

21 m

New Oxford Street Local street with smaller hubs of cafes and shops. Divided into smaller parts by junctions.


Streets included in the study

Introduction All sections are drawn at counting positions for the public life survey. Drawings are shown in scale 1:500

Tottenham Court Road

Euston Road

Total length: Street width: Footway width (effective): Pedestrian traffic, weekday 08 - 22: Bench seating: Outdoor cafe seating:

4m

10 m

1070 m 17 - 29 m 3-8m 45,000 24 176

4.5 m

18.5 m

Tottenham Court Road (TCR) TCR is lined by smaller pockets of public space with great potential for future use.

Charing Cross Road

Total length: Length included in the study: Street width: Footway width (effective): Pedestrian traffic, weekday 08 - 22: Bench seating: Outdoor cafe seating:

7m

12 m

2m

13 m

1700 m 1250 m 27 - 60 m 3 - 10 m 27,000 0 42

11 m

45 m

Euston Road Main arterial road dominated by vehicular traffic and large scale buildings.

Total length: Street width: Footway width (effective): Pedestrian traffic, weekday 08 - 22: Bench seating: Outdoor cafe seating:

4m

10 m 17.5 m

870 m 19 - 26 m 4m 43,000 24 146

3.5 m

Charing Cross Road Tree lined, with many smaller unit shops. Central part of night life. Introduction - page 21


Introduction

Squares included in the study

Four squares have been selected for the study. Each square represents different problems and potentials. Together, the squares create a catalogue of themes to be considered when addressing problems in the pedestrian landscape. Piccadilly Circus is dominated by vehicles leaving only minor parts for recreational use. Leicester Square is one of the very few car-free squares, today over-utilised. Trafalgar Square is a large gathering point, but is still dominated by traffic even after renovation. Euston Square and Euston Park are entry points to the major public transport node of Euston Station and Euston bus terminal. ter ces Lei

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Glas sho use S

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Irving S

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Panto

1 : 2000

1 : 2000 r St Ma

5,950 m2 1,950 m2 0 0

Character: A traffic junction connecting various central locations with great intensity and many neon signs. The pedestrian area is situated at the southern end around the Eros Fountain.

Introduction - page 22

t Stree

Total area: Pedestrianized area: Bench seating: Outdoor cafe seating:

tin´s

Piccadilly Circus

Leicester Square Total area: Park area: Bench seating: Outdoor cafe seating:

8,850 m2 3,700 m2 120 583

Character: Leicester Square has a high concentration of cinemas, cafes and restaurants and thus a rich outdoor life, especially during the evenings. The park in the middle of the square is framed by trees and is a secluded, quiet spot for a break.


Introduction

Squares included in the study

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Charing

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n ra St

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Cocksp u

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North u

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and A venu e

1 : 2000

1 : 2000

Euston Square & Euston Park

ll eha Whit

Trafalgar Square Total area: Pedestrianised area: Bench seating: Outdoor cafe seating:

27,000 m2 12,650 m2 82 16

Character: Trafalgar Square is London´s historic, monumental square, just recently renovated. The National Portrait Gallery and Trafalgar Square are now connected and a staircase between the museum and the square provides secondary seating.

Euston Square (ped. area): Euston Park (ped. area): Bench seating: Outdoor cafe seating:

4,200 m2 6,800 m 212 0

Character: Euston Square is secluded from Euston Park and Euston Road by buildings. People use the area mostly in connection to bus and train rides. Euston Park is quite poorly maintained and designed and, further more, suffers from noise and fumes from Euston Road. Introduction - page 23


Introduction

The park included in the study

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Wa lk

Vic to ria Em ba nk me nt

Sa

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Victoria Embankment Gardens (north of Embankment Station) Total area (northern part): Bench seating: Outdoor cafe seating:

Vi llie rs St re e

Character: Victoria Embankment Gardens is a recreation area close to the River Thames predominantly used for lunch breaks in a busy city district. Facilities for seating varies, including outdoor cafe seating, public benches and public deck chairs used in front of the stage where performances take place during the summer.

t

1 : 2000 Introduction - page 24

17,000 m2 550 82

Embankment Station


Introduction

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Station areas included in the study

rlo ate W

Waterloo Station Square

oR d

oa r we Lo

M

sh ar

3m

8m 14 m

3m

Section - Lower Marsh 1 : 500 Hungerford Footbridge

Waterloo Station area

1 : 5000

Lower Marsh

Waterloo Station Square:

5,500 m2

Lower Marsh Total length: Width: Pedestrian traffic, weekday 08 - 22:

330 m 11 - 17 m 12,000

Character: Waterloo Station is a gateway to London and for many visitors is their first impression of the city. The station has poor pedestrian access. Lower Marsh is a market street just behind Waterloo Station with an interesting mix of shops and a diverse public life.

Introduction - page 25


PART 1 - Public spaces Problems and Potentials


Contents of Part 1

Forming the pedestrian landscape Traffic environment - where Car is King

Pedestrian environment - walking along

- hearing and talking in the city

- getting across

- climate in the city

- getting around

- looking at the city

- sitting in the city

- the city by night

Cycling environment - cycling in the city Public Spaces - page 27


Three types of Pedestrian Activities Three types of pedestrian activities Activities in public spaces Of the three distinct categories of activities that people carry out in public spaces - NECESSARY ACTIVITIES, OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES AND SOCIAL ACTIVITIES - the optional and social activities are key to city quality. In poor quality city areas, one will only find necessary activities ie. people doing things they have to do. In good quality city areas, one will find not only necessary activities (carried out under decent conditions) but also a multitude of recreational and social activities. However these activities will only happen if the circumstances are right; ie. if the city offers tempting, good quality spaces. This is why a good city can be compared to a good party, people stay for much longer than they planned because they are enjoying themselves. Life in cities = Number of people + Time spent Below: Covent Garden - a place where Londoners as well as tourists come to enjoy the outdoor restaurants, the urban setting and the liveliness of the place.

Necessary activities The things that have to be done: Going to school, waiting for the bus, shopping and going to work. These activities occur regardless of the quality of the physical environment because people are compelled to carry them out. A Good City provides good conditions for the many necessary activities and will retain and strengthen these activities over time.

Optional activities (urban recreation) Activities people are tempted to do when climatic conditions, surroundings and the place are generally inviting and attractive. These activities are especially sensitive to quality. They only occur when quality is high. A Good City is characterized by a multitude of optional activities. People come to town, find the places attractive and stay for a longer time. A great, attractive city can always be recognised by the fact that many people choose to spend time in its public spaces.

Social activities These activities occur whenever people move about in the same spaces. Watching, listening, interacting with other people, passive and active participation. A Good City offers a wide range of necessary as well as attractive optional activities, and because many people use the city, there are many people to meet, watch and speak to. The city becomes a lively and wonderful city. A people city.

Public Spaces - page 28


Forming the Pedestrian Landscape A key word list for Urban Quality P R O T E C T I O N

Security

Traffic - Protection against traffic accidents - Pollution, fumes, noise - Visibility

-

E N J O Y M E N T

Together a number of issues form the public spaces and the way we act when in the city. These issues are presented in a key word list for Urban quality: Traffic A very dominant factor. If there is too much traffic, the environment deteriorates due to noise and fumes, the space for pedestrians is limited, more accidents happen and there is increased fear for pedestrians.

Staying

Walking

C O M F O R T

Lived in / used Streetlife Streetwatchers Overlapping functions in space & time

Urban Quality is the overall key term for the understanding how the relationship between cities and people works. When urban quality is low, the number of pleasure visits and activities are low. The activity is limited to the most necessary visits and walks, which people do because they are compelled to carry them out.

-

-

Room for walking comfortably Interesting layout of streets Interesting facades Good surfaces No obstacles Good accessibility to key points Few footway interruptions Convenient crossings Access for everybody, ramps, elevators etc.

- Staying zones - Good possibilities for sitting, view, sun, people to watch - Good seats - Good local climate - Soft edges, inviting facades for resting - Benches for resting - Points of support for leaning

Seeing, talking, hearing

Activities & Interaction

Reasonable seeing distances Free vistas Interesting views Good lighting (evening / night) Low noise level Bench arrangements ÂťtalkscapesÂŤ

- Invitation to physical activities, play and entertainment - day & night and summer & winter

Security Lack of city centre residents and 24 hour activities create a deserted city at night, where people avoid coming. This creates a downward spiral. Walking Poor walking conditions prevent pleasure walks and make the city difficult to get around, especially for pedestrians with special needs (e.g. children, the elderly). A lack of visibility, signage, many under- and overpasses and an inconsistent street layout adds to discomfort, disorientation and general confusion. Staying City life is more than walking. When possibilities for resting at conveniently-located and inviting sitting areas are not present, the public realm turns into a transit zone where only walking take place. The city environment is poorer, people with special needs stay away and possibilities for enjoying the city are greatly reduced. It is important for the ambience that people are invited to spend time in the city. Seeing, talking, hearing Seeing, hearing and talking are part of social interaction. When talking and hearing is made impossible by a noisy environment, people will give up even trying to communicate, thus eliminating another aspect of the joy of life. Enjoying nice views and vistas when staying and walking in the city is part of the city experience and reduces the perception of time used for the journey. Activities & Interaction Other city activities ought to be considered, such as skating + jogging, activities for special age groups as well as day and night, summer and winter activities.

Aesthetic quality

Climate Protection against: - Wind / draft - Rain / snow - Cold Possibilities for: - Sun - Warmth

-

Good design & good detailing Views / vistas Trees, plants, water Clean streets and squares Good lighting quality Good materials Building scale dimensioned to the human scale

Climate Being able to enjoy the sun in all parts of the year is a most important part of northern European living. Shaded, windy places are deserted places. Aesthetic quality The aesthetic qualities are part of our perception of city quality. What we touch and what we look at close by and in the distance form the urban experience. Garbage, bad maintenance, poor quality street furniture and poor lighting tell a story about a city not being carefully looked after. Public Spaces - page 29


The Traffic environment

Where Car is King

Paddington, London

A City dominated by traffic

St. Giles, London

Congestion / Car is king London has suffered from heavy traffic congestion. Gradually traffic has grown and measures have been taken to ease vehicular traffic through central London. This is a pattern seen in all European cities where car dominance has gradually worsened conditions for pedestrians to walk, rest and generally enjoy the life of the centre. Neglect of pedestrians The overall aim and concern over the years has been to get cars moving and to loosen up traffic congestion in the city. Pedestrians have had a very low priority in this process where the concern about traffic is steadily deteriorating walking conditions. This is the case in London where conditions offered for pedestrians are extremely poor. The general walking environment is dominated by guard railings, poor crossings with insufficient markings or no pedestrian lights, footways interrupted by delivery lanes or side streets, insufficient or poor lighting, noise, fumes etc. No one has intended it to become like this - it has slowly happened over the years.

Regent Street, London

Public Spaces - page 30

Congestion Charge / Towards a People City With the introduction of the Congestion Charge, traffic within the Congestion Zone has been reduced by about 20 %. This is good news and calls for a plan that deals with the traffic problems still present in the city centre and for improvements of the overall pedestrian environment. Planning needs to change its focus from cars to people, in order to secure a much better balance between traffic and people activities.


Where Car is King

- Resulting in low priority for other city users

The majority of all difficulties related to walking are caused by the high priority placed on vehicular traffic. Car has been king for a very long time and there is no end to pedestrian hardships. Below are displayed some general problems facing pedestrians and cyclists in London. All represent daily moments of irritation and danger.

Obstacle course on the footway

Narrow footways

Unneccessary footway interuptions

Poor access

Lack of room - lack of seats

Cluttered streetscape

Difficult crossings

Poor conditions for cyclists

Public Spaces - page 31


The Pedestrian environment

Walking along

There is more to walking than walking ........ Walking is a healthy and environmentally friendly mode of traffic, but it is much more. Walking is about experiencing the city at an appropriate pace, looking at shop windows, beautiful buildings, fine details, other people, traffic moving etc. Taking rests on carefully placed benches with nice views can be a valuable part of the walking experience. People are careful with their use of personal energy. As such we do not enjoy walking detours when the destination can be seen straight ahead. We do not enjoy walking up and down stairs if it can be avoided, and we enjoy being able to walk at our own pace, whether it´s a leisurely stroll or a more energetic pace. In London, walking along straight lines with few diversions is a rare experience. Footways have gradually been turned into obstacle courses with relevant and non-relevant street furniture, many changes in levels, minor side streets interrupting, detours and long waiting periods at crossings, crowded and narrow footways and many more hardships to be faced everyday. All in all, the various obstructions of normal walking pace create a stressed atmosphere, where pedestrians are annoyed and constantly try to find their natural walking pace and rhythm. This is why pedestrians jump guard railings, walk on the road, and run across roads on red lights - all dangerous situations both for pedestrians and drivers. Pedestrians constantly seek the most natural way to move - in a straight line, at the same level, at their own pace. The following pages will describe the problems pedestrians face every day.

What pedestrians want - no obstacles - wide footways - no changes in level Rue de la Republique, Lyon

What pedestrians get - slalom course on the footway Public Spaces - page 32

- narrow footways

- frequent, unnecessary footway interruptions


The footway as an obstacle course

Walking along

Guard railing Long stretches of London streets are fenced in by guard railings, causing a cluttered footway and diminishing the aesthetic qualities of the entire streetscape. The railings have been introduced to protect pedestrians from accidents, the idea being that the railings will keep overcrowded footways from spilling into the street and force people to cross the streets at few selected spots. Guard railings ought not to be part of a modern traffic system. It is unsuitable for citizens to be fenced in or forced to walk detours to cross the street. The result is people jumping the fences, walking at the roadside waiting for a hole in the railing etc. Guard railings are put in to prevent dangerous pedestrian behaviour and reduce accidents, but create other dangers. Means to solve these problems in better ways include widening footways to allow more space, creating safe pedestrian crossings where needed, regulating traffic speed and access and addressing key issues regarding the relationship between pedestrians and vehicles. These are measures which have successfully been introduced in a number of European cities e.g. Bilbao.

Below: Pedestrians often get trapped outside guard railings and are forced to climb the railing to reach the footway.

Commercial activities - Daily harassments

The spaces in the study area carry the following amounts of linear guard railing: Piccadilly Circus Oxford Circus St Giles Circus

425 metres 199 metres 160 metres

Regent Street Tottenham Court Road Charing Cross Road New Oxford Street Euston Road

52 metres /per 100 m 22 metres /per 100 m 17 metres /per 100 m 23 metres /per 100 m 106 metres /per 100 m

The amounts of guard railing on the streets mentioned are averages of the amounts placed throughout the streets on both sides.

Below: Guard railing coming round corners forces pedestrians to do detours, creates an abrupt walking rhythm and often causes crowding .

Above: Large billboards and flyers are part of the harassments at Oxford Circus and add to the general confusion. Advertisements and signs that reach far into the street leave only narrow spaces for pedestrians. Other hardships are people, who in their eagerness to sell goods or advocate for a special store, event or religion, become part of the problem. These people are especially fond of crowded places where they will stand, often in the middle of the footway, causing obstruction to the pedestrian flow. Below: Some shops put out a number of signs - often telling the same story

Public Spaces - page 33


Walking along

Narrow footways - crowded footways December crowding in Regent Street

With narrow, cluttered footways and huge volumes of pedestrian traffic, crowding becomes a frequent and very unpleasant aspect of the London streetscape. In the following we define crowding as a situation where movement sections is restricted and privacy invaded. Studies in other cities suggest that 13 people per minute per metre footway width is the upper limit for reasonably acceptable walking space. Beyond this level the situation turns into crowding. Other methodologies define crowding according to levels of service - that is levels of quantity how many people can the street carry. Here we operate with levels of quality. When Copenhagen´s main street, Strøget, reaches the level of 13 persons per minute per metre footway width people start finding alternative routes. This has been the case for the last 30 years. Observations have been made on Regent Street throughout summer 2003 and during December’s Christmas shopping 2002, when crowding is quite severe. Various indications showed that too many people were moving on the footpaths, resulting in limiting the individual from stopping, looking at window displays, changing direction, adjusting speed etc. Crowding is a sign of low walking quality. As such, the pleasure of walking is severely curtailed and walking turns into a fight to get from one point to another. What can generally be said about the drawbacks of crowding is that it is : Bad for commerce since people have difficulties stopping/ looking at window displays Bad for safety since the fast walking pedestrians will move out onto the road or people will accidently be pushed into the road Bad for those with special needs since people in wheelchairs, parents with prams, handicapped people, children and the elderly generally need more space for walking than what is available on a crowded footway. These groups are effectively excluded from any walking under such conditions Bad for the encouragement of people to walk since people will avoid walking in the city if there are too many related problems. Public Spaces - page 34

Observations showed that footways are not crowded for the whole stretch, but at certain points like knots on a string. People tend to walk in groups, or ‘platoons’ which is caused by the many halts in terms of intersections, red lights etc. To the left is illustrated the movement pattern on a weekday in December. (Movements have been simplified).

(A) Stopped at the intersection: they are doomed to platoon. When the light changes, the few may escape if they are quick. Side street

(B) Tempted by impatience and a wish for greater mobility, many will attempt a crossing against the light.

Oxford Circus at Christmas time (C)Those few who don´t start in a platoon will quickly catch the one just ahead, or be caught by the one coming from behind, unless they happen to be proceeding at the precise speed as both platoons.

Photo: Alex Hart

(D) Not far off is the previous platoon. A common sight in these platoons are those trying to escape by stepping off into the street and running forward to head off the platoon´s beginning.

Side street

(E) With pedestrian platoons proceeding at a pace even less predictable than cars, synchronizing signals to their progression is impossible. As a result, the signals often only reinforce the platoon structure, rather than allow it to break up. (F) When two platoons meet, the already slow speeds can be cut by more than half, coming almost to a complete stop.

Oxford Street. Pedestrians spill out into the street when the footway is overcrowded.

Study by Architect Alex Hart


Unacceptable congestion at Oxford Circus

25,850

110,620

Walking along

Pedestrian Pattern - south/ east corner Crowding points appear where the usable footway is narrowed substantially by commercial activities, stairs to the tube, goods from shops etc.

132,210 reet

St Oxford

Oxford Street

t

t Strre Regen

0 59,01

Recording: 5.30 pm 9372 pedestrians /hour 156 pedestrians /minute

Regent Street Number of pedestrians a summer Saturday 10 am to 6 pm going to, from and through Oxford Circus. Oxford Circus is one of the most busy areas in London. The volumes of pedestrians passing through the intersections plus the number of passengers heading for the tube station (320,000 people per day) create enormous congestion .

Oxford Circus south /east corner on a summer weekday 5 pm.

Counting position Available footpath width: 3.5 metre

Elements at Oxford Circus The present layout of Oxford Circus includes far too many objects and badly-placed elements. These elements are part of the problem, because they minimize the available walking space. Total: 85 elements, 199 metres guard railing

General confusion welcomes the pedestrians when they enter Oxford Circus.

Recommended pedestrian capacity: 13 person/minute/metre footway width x 3.5 metre available footway width = 46 pedestrians /minute The pedestrian traffic is therefore 3 - 4 times the comfortable capacity.

Between 5.30 pm and 5.45 pm 8.000 people go down the stairs to the tube station.

The newspaper stands contribute to crowding by narrowing the walking space. Public Spaces - page 35


Walking along

Frequent footway interruptions

A clear sign of low pedestrian priority is the many minor side streets and delivery lanes which are allowed to interrupt footways in all streets included in the survey. Instead of closing some minor streets or taking footways across side streets pedestrians are forced to walk up and down the kerb and look out for traffic while they cross the small lanes. This is the case even on major shopping streets like Regent Street. The car is given first priority and pedestrians need to yield at every minor crossing. All these interuptions of the walking rhythm constitute an irritation and an overall feeling that pedestrians are not really welcome and cared for. An aim must be to give pedestrians high priority in the streets. This can be achieved through a step-by-step improvement of footpaths and by closing many of the minor side streets for traffic. Taking footways across these minor streets and delivery lanes is an overall goal to improve conditions offered for pedestrians and to enhance the quality of the walking environment.

How it ought to be done In various locations in London good examples are found on how to continue the footway across side streets.

Regent Street

Lower Marsh

Tottenham Court Road

Tottenham Court Road

Holborn

Shaftesbury Avenue

Lower Marsh at Westminster Bridge Road Public Spaces - page 36


Frequent footway interruptions

Walking along

Illustration: In the streets studied, a total of 74 unnecessary interruptions of footways can be found. Each of these interruptions should be addressed and efforts be made to create continous footways.

One building - two solutions

10 Euston Road

Example A A minor delivery lane cuts up the footway giving clear indication that the few cars using this lane have higher priority than the 30,000 pedestrians walking along the western footway on Regent Street daily.

19 Tottenham Court Road

14 New Oxford Street Example B Pedestrian accessway to the pedestrianised Heddon Street.

6 Regent Street North

12 Charing Cross Road 13 Regent Street South 74 unnecessary footway interruptions Unnecessary footway interruptions Footways taken across side streets

Public Spaces - page 37


Getting across

For the comfort of pedestrians and the vitality and functional quality of the city, it is important that people can cross the streets frequently and in an uncomplicated manner. It is a simple experience in most cities. In London, crossings have been made into labyrinths, ice floes and mole passages - all adding to confusion, disorientation and unsafety. There is an inconsistency in layout, which makes it clearly evident that there is no standard design for pedestrian crossings. The changing design layout, the lack of pedestrian lights, the lack of clearly marked pedestrian crossings, the appearance of push buttons at some crossings, the use of pedestrian subways or sky walks, the extensive use of guard railings - everything is part of an undeveloped traffic culture, where pedestrians are very poorly accommodated. The focus has been on vehicular traffic and ways of facilitating car movements, so that pedestrians have gradually become a category of secondary city users who face many hardships and experience both great difficulties and real danger when choosing to walk in the city. All in all, a situation is created where pedestrians trust their instincts more than traffic signals and choose to walk whenever they find it safe. This is a widespread culture in London, where people move across streets whenever they see a pause in the traffic flow. This well-known phenomena is not a sign of well-behaved pedestrians versus less well-behaved pedestrians, but merely a sign of a traffic system not laid out to meet pedestrian requirements for short waiting periods at lights and direct crossings at level.

Disoriented ??

Pedestrian islands Public Spaces - page 38

Pen crossings

Pedestrian subways


Impressive creativity concerning the layout of pedestrian crossings

Getting across

Pedestrian crossings ; London

Above: Pedestrian crossing at Regent Street Regent Street: The lack of a signal or distinct marking creates an unclear crossing at pedestrian´s risk.

Shaftesbury Avenue: Zebra crossing - yet another type of crossing.

Pedestrian crossings are yet another subject for the inconsistency that is dominant in the street environment. There does not seem to be one standard for a pedestrian crossing. Sometimes there are pedestrian lights, sometimes there are push buttons, sometimes there are stripes on the pavement, sometimes there are markings other than the ones painted on the road, sometimes the crossing is not straight but bends through a guard railed island in the middle

of the road. Every inconsistency adds to the confusion and the disorientation of pedestrians. The absence of pedestrian lights at crossings, where thousands of cars come through every day is a severe problem. Pedestrians are, in too many cases, left to rely on their own senses, which is not to be expected in a major city where children, the elderly, the blind and people in wheelchairs should feel as welcome as everybody else.

Charing Cross Rd: Signs warn pedestrians to look both ways and look out for buses - no signal or pavement marking.

Oxford Circus: Many written statements are generally not read. Marking is inadequate.

Push buttons are a widespread phenomenon in London, where crossings are supplied with often un-synchronized push buttons resulting in extra waiting periods at pedestrian islands. Push buttons are part of a traffic culture where pedestrians are meant to apply for crossing streets and where overall emphasis is put on keeping vehicular traffic running.

Above: Push buttons should be removed - to cross the street ought to be seen as a human right. Public Spaces - page 39


Getting across

Missing Pedestrian Signals

Cha

Cambridge Circus

te sb ur Sh af

s Rd Cros

yA ve nu

e

ring

Pedestrian crossings with and without Pedestrian Signals Pedestrian crossings with pedestrian signal

Total 101 pedestrian crossings with signal

20 16

Pedestrian crossings without pedestrian signal

yA ve n te sb ur Sh af

s Rd Cros

Cambridge Circus

pedestrian crossings without signal

20 7

3 out of 4 crossings are without pedestrian signals. Recording: An average weekday, 6 pm to 7 pm. Cars and pedestrians were recorded separately at each crossing during a 15 minute period.

8 1

(3.3 times as many pedestrians as vehicles).

74% of all pedestrians cross without pedestrian signal Cambridge Circus (CC) is regarded as one of the most dangerous intersections in central London. Each year many pedestrians are injured or killed at CC. A major problem is the lack of pedestrian lights in three of the four crossings. Pedestrians in these crossings are not able to see whether traffic lights for vehicular traffic are red or green, but need to rely on their own feeling of when it is safe to cross. Crossings happen in platoons, which build up on either side until a certain number of people is reached and the platoons start moving.

Tottenham Court Rd

19 4

2260 vehicles cross between 6 pm and 7 pm 7550 pedestrians cross between 6 pm and 7 pm

Public Spaces - page 40

Euston Rd

ring Cha

ue

Total 43

Oxford St

New Oxford St

Regent St North

9 0

Cambridge Circus

13 11

Regent St South

12 4

Charing Cross Rd


Getting across

tree t

B

A

2590

4360

I ent Reg t e Stre

Pedestrians crossing at green and red light:

%

y Stre Coventr

D

et

1060

1860

%

42%

C. 49%

51%

I ent Reg t e Stre

%

A. 72% 28% treet

yS Coventr

D

H

C

B. 24% 76% C. 28% 72%

D. 83% 17%

D. 36% 64%

E. 95%

E. 72% 28%

5%

2%

H. 23% 77%

G. 60% 40%

F illy cad Pic

H.

tre tS et

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I. 87% 13%

F. 35% 65%

E

G

n ge Re

1840

B. 58%

G. 98%

F n ge Re

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1750

B

A

%

F. 22% 78%

E

2180

C

Periods of green and red light:

Push button

2760

G

tree t

A. 90% 10%

3250

H

Glas sho use S

Sha Ave ftesbu ry nue

Glas sho use S

Sha Ave ftesbu ry nue

Crossing at Red lights

9% 91%

I. 61% 39%

et

tre

Distribution of pedestrians crossing at red and green lights The illustrations above indicate the relationship between waiting times at crossings and the number of people crossing who ignore a red signal.

Periods of red and green light at pedestrian crossings

Piccadilly Circus Recording: Wednesday 19 February 2003 between 12.00 - 13.00. A substantial number of people walk through Piccadilly Circus every day. Situated as a key junction between a number of important destinations, this is one of the most busy places in London. Piccadilly Circus today suffers severely from traffic, which has carved up the space into separate pieces. Pedestrians walk between these traffic islands to get from one place to another. The study conducted at Piccadilly Circus indicates a tendency towards vehicle traffic domination which can be found all over London.

People tend to walk relying on their instinct and not by the guidance given by pedestrian lights. In this respect, 31% of all crossings made in Piccadilly Circus are crossings made at a red light. In Piccadilly Circus, where most crossings are red for more than 60% of the time people walk when they think it is safe and not when they are told that it is safe.

This is not people deliberately wanting to break rules, but people who try to make their way in a traffic-dominated environment.

Public Spaces - page 41


Getting Across

Detours and deviations vs. direct crossings

Jumping between ice floes

Summer weekday, 2 pm - 3 pm, 2003

nd

alle

St ra

M Pall

Pen crossing Regent Street /Swallow Street There are many ways of overcoming the street layout in London. Below are listed three ways of crossing the street through or near a pen crossing.

Cockspu r

North um

Aven ue

25% cross at green lights through the pen crossing

l ehal Whit

Trafalgar Square

berla nd

Pedestrian islands create a confusing streetscape where pedestrian routes cannot be pointed out directly, people are forced to walk up and down kerbs, wait for traffic signals to change, or wait further on the islands where new signals and push buttons are placed. Trafalgar Square has suffered greatly from this habit during the years and the recent redevelopment has not succeded in eliminating the islands. However, substantial improvement has been reached at the northern end by connecting National Portrait Gallery with the square.

45% cross at red lights

through the pen crossing

30% jay walk

- avoid the pen crossing and do not pay attention to signals Public Spaces - page 42

(Jay walking example at St. Giles)


Jaywalking - A dangerous habit

Getting across

Traffic campaigns are good - an improved walking environment better Numerous campaigns are implemented to teach pedestrians how to behave in traffic, how to take care of themselves and others by paying extra attention to passing cars, etc. All these campaigns serve a good purpose as they put walking safety on the agenda. What the campaigns do not produce are solutions on how to improve walking conditions and eliminate some of the problems which are the reasons for people behaving unwisely when walking in the city. Campaigns also need to be turned around to re-educate drivers to look out for pedestrians and cyclists, and to drive more responsibly. Yielding for pedestrians and cyclists needs to be part of a new traffic culture. (Introduction to Part 3 will elaborate further on a new way of thinking about traffic issues). Pedestrian harassments create numerous jay walkers There are good reasons as to why people jay walk and put themselves at risk. Some people are simply so fed up with long detours, numerous stairs, long periods with red light and push buttons that they simply choose to cross the streets at high risk of being hurt. A high number of jay walkers in the city usually points to a traffic culture where pedestrians are hard-pressed by traffic, where little room is left for passage and where crossing the road is combined with difficulties. Pedestrians who choose to cross the road at their own risk form a diverse group, but elderly who cannot walk very well or who have shopping bags to carry are often seen among the ones who cross along the most direct and obstacle-free routes. Pedestrians generally economise with their energy, not doing any unnecessary detours.

Many pedestrians choose a very dangerous course, when insisting to cross St. Giles Circus at street level

Text from campaign poster: Warning: Crossing the road is dangerous, use your stop + look + listen + think combat stance for extra long life. We reserve the right to claim that the human head is software and therefore not compatible with an enormous metal truck in hardware format. You could lose your PAL. Once run over by a car you will not be involved in public performance, arcade or internet usage, you will also be prohibited from playing in coaches, theatres, oil rigs, ferries or anywhere else because you will be dead. Your face is sushi, girlfriend. Mayor of London Transport for London

Jay walking at Oxford Circus. Crowding often cause more jay walking since people try to avoid the crowds.

Elderly with heavy loads are among the first who jay walk to avoid detours, steps etc.

Public Spaces - page 43


Getting across

Contemporary planning principles take account of the fact that pedestrian subways are largely avoided because they act as barriers for pedestrians, especially for disabled persons and people with prams. Pedestrian subways are also - for good reasons - perceived as dangerous routes. The atmosphere in the city is more relaxed, safe and friendly if people walk and cross at surface level. Furthermore, streets are seen as more accessible and friendly - rather than urban

Pedestrian subways

motorways, if people dominate the footways and cross at street level. Additionally many people choose not to use the pedestrian subways, but jump fences to cross at street level at danger to themselves and others. What was in the 1960´s seen as a segregated, safe solution has, time and again, been found to be more a dangerous solution because it disregards the fact that people prefer not to use stairs if this can in any

way be avoided. In many European cities, pedestrian subways are being closed and pedestrian crossings installed in their place as part of a policy to make the city streets more people friendly and, at the same time, reduce the volume and speed of vehicular traffic.

Waterloo Station

The study was made over a period of 60 min. on a summer weekday in the afternoon. Waterloo station is an area dominated by traffic and is, correspondingly, complicated to move around in for pedestrians. Long stretches of underground passages leading pedestrians underground to reach various locations are hardly the solution to improve safety and orientation in a complex urban area. What pedestrians should do:

336 pedestrians (60% of all observed) choose to use the pedestrian subways using the route shown at the upper right.

60% use the pedestrian subway at Waterloo St.

What pedestrians do:

228 pedestrians (40% of all observed) choose to

jaywalk - crossing the four lane road as shown on the right.

Public Spaces - page 44

40% cross the street outside authorized crossings


Pedestrian subways

Getting across

St. Giles Circus

The study was made over a period of 60 min. on a summer weekday, 2 pm - 3 pm. St. Giles Circus is a highly-trafficked junction between two major roads. Vehicular traffic has been given absolute priority and pedestrians are expected to use the pedestrian subways to cross. What pedestrians should do:

101

pedestrians (23% of all observed) choose to use the pedestrian subways using the route shown in the diagram.

23% choose to use the pedestrian subways

What pedestrians do:

336 pedestrians (77% of all observed) choose to jaywalk - crossing the four lane road as shown on the right.

77% choose to chance a crossing at street level Public Spaces - page 45


Getting around

Difficult access for people with special needs

The general streetscape in London is at present not laid out to accomodate people with special needs (people in wheelchairs, people carrying heavy burdens such as suitcases or boxes, the elderly, parents with prams or toddlers) Lack of drop kerbs Access for wheelchairs, prams or suitcases is limited because of missing facilities.

Welcome to London Carrying suitcases, boxes or bags through London is often a mixed experience.

Getting across Euston Road in a wheelchair ought to be much easier and straight forward.

Public Spaces - page 46

This is caused by: confusing layout of pedestrian crossings short green periods for crossing missing pedestrian lights at many crossings long forced detours for crossing streets (partly caused by guard railing and partly by unsuitable road layout) frequent footway interruptions changing levels for walking (pedestrian subways / footbridges) lack of wheelchair ramps /drop kerb few clearly visible walkways connecting desire points poor access to public transport overcrowded footways


Getting from here to there

Getting around

Two alternative walks from Waterloo Station to Hungerford Footbridge

Windy footbridge, crossing through various buildings

Waterloo Station Square Where to from here ?

Con cer tH

all A ppr oac h

Under the railway embankment - Sutton Walk

Abrupt end of footbridge

Yor kR oa d

Jubilee Gardens

Stairs to overcome from footbridge to ground level

Parking lot to be crossed to reach Hungerford Footbridge

Routes Getting from Waterloo Station to Hungerford Footbridge is a confusing experience since the station area is cluttered with signage and poles that make orientation difficult. Large and imposing pedestrian subway systems offer routes in various directions once you overcome the stairs. The conditions for a direct, dignified walking route are present but implies that stairs, footbridges and pedestrian subways are removed.

Concert Hall Approach

Final impediment to overcome Public Spaces - page 47


Sitting in the city Seating is vital for a good city area. Without a sufficient number of seats, the city becomes a transit zone where people move from one point to another, but where not much is going on in the public spaces. Good, comfortable seating placed in the right locations provide visitors with a rest and an opportunity to stay longer contributing to a more lively city. This also brings economic benefits - people spend more where they enjoy being. Below are illustrated three different seating options which the city has to offer.

Secondary seating

Public seating

Outdoor cafe seating

Alternative opportunities for sitting, such as stairs, ledges, niches, monuments, fountains or directly on the pavement. These secondary seating opportunities are mainly utilized in good weather and almost exclusively by young people who do not care as much about comfort.

The seating that is provided in the city is an important factor for the amount of recreational activities that take place. Older generations only enjoy sitting when comfortable bench seating is available and generally this age group avoid secondary seating.

in recent years outdoor cafe culture has provided European cities with a large number of extra seats where a meal or a drink can be combined with an interesting view of life in the city.

Public Spaces - page 48


A city without seats - Secondary seating

Sitting in the city

London has a serious lack of public seats along all its most frequented routes, forcing people who need a rest to either do without or seek some kind of second rate support. This happens all over London where people sit, eat, talk and enjoy the city from various locations on steps, fountains, signs, recesses, guard railing, footways etc. A high level of secondary seating is a symptom of a benchless city - a city without seats.

Sitting at the edge of traffic can be done, but does not provide a proper rest. Left: St. Giles Circus Below: Oxford Circus

With a lack of anything better, people sit where they can find an edge, a corner or recess. Left: Euston Road Below: Regent Street

Many things are even being done to stop people from resting some more effective than others. Left: Garden of Tate Modern Below: Haymarket

Public Spaces - page 49


Sitting in the city

Resting places are an important part of a good pedestrian environment. Inviting people to walk in the city involves providing them with good quality resting options along primary pedestrian routes. Long stretches without benches are tiresome and make the journey strenuous for the elderly, children and others.

Number and distribution of public seats 118 seats - British Library

Number of public seats: Streets: Squares: Parks:

72 seats 526 seats 486 seats Total

176 seats - Euston Square

1084 seats

36 seats - Euston Road

Concentration of public seats

The number of public benches in the studied streets and in most of the squares is extremely low. In the study area almost all benches (93%) are placed either in the parks (45%) or in the squares (49%). The few benches found on streets are placed in Oxford Street, Tottenham Court Road and Charing Cross Road. No benches are found in Regent Street, where 60,000 pedestrians pass on a normal summer weekday.

24 seats - Tottenham Court Road

This contrasts sharply with what can be expected in other city centres. Strøget, Copenhagen: 9 seats per 100 metre (main shopping street in Copenhagen) Regent Street: 0 seats per 100 metre Tottenham Court Road: 2,25 seats per 100 metre Charing Cross Road: 2,75 seats per 100 metre New Oxford Street: 0 seats per 100 metre Euston Road: 3 seats per 100 metre

0 seats - New Oxford Street 0 seats - Regent Street North

24 seats - Oxford Street

24 seats - Charing Cross Road

0 seats - Regent Street South 150 seats - Leicester Square

0 seats - Piccadilly Circus Garden of St. Paul´s Church (Covent Garden); Benches donated by citizens show inscriptions of love and comfort for the city and its inhabitants who enjoy resting in the city. Public Spaces - page 50

82 seats -

Trafalgar Square

450 seats -

Victoria Embankment Gardens


Comfort and appeal of public seats

Sitting in the city The quality of benches is just as important as the number and location of seating. Studies show that the most used benches offer a combination of pleasant views, protected climate and good comfort.

Criteria for evaluation of the Bench Quality C V N CO D Scale:

Climate View Noise/pollution Comfort Placement _______ 1 2 3 4 5 _______ Poor Good

People resting at Leicester Square Rating: C= 5, V= 5, N= 5, CO= 4, D= 4 Score: 23 - (highest quality score)

1-5 1-5 1-5 1-5 1-5 Round stone bench at British Library Rating: C= 4, V= 3, N= 3, CO= 1, D= 5 Score: 16

Camping equipment at Euston Square Rating: C= 2, V= 2, N= 5, CO= 2, D= 3 Score: 14

A set of quality criteria has been developed to evaluate individual bench areas. The benches evaluated here are selected because they represent different issues to be considered when planning public seating in the city. St. Martins Place, Oxford Street & British Library A new bench type has been developed to meet requirements to discourage homeless people, skaters and graffiti - all big issues in a large city. The result has been a new stone bench which offers so little comfort to tired pedestrians that it might not have been put up in the first place. Stone benches, as in St. Martins Place and on Oxford Street, are cold, hard and uncomfortable. The benches on Oxford Street are, furthermore, placed so low (40 cm above ground) that the elderly and the disabled are largely prevented from using them. Greater care is needed if comfortable seating is to be achieved. Trafalgar Square & Euston Square Benches with low comfort are a common feature also found in important places such as Trafalgar Square. These benches are few and cold to sit on. They ought to be supplemented by wellplaced, comfortable benches.

Benches at Tottenham Court Road Rating: C= 3, V=4, N= 3, CO= 4, D= 4 Score: 18

New stone benches at St Martins Place Rating: C= 3, V= 3, N= 2, CO= 1, D= 1 Score: 10

Long benches frame Trafalgar Square Rating: C= 4, V= 5, N= 3, CO= 2, D= 4 Score: 18

Stone bench along Oxford Street Rating: C= 2, V= 1, N= 1, CO= 1, D= 2 Score: 7 - (lowest quality score)

Leicester Square & Tottenham Court Road The traditional benches are, when placed in the sun and with good views of city life and other attractions, by far the best in the city for longer or shorter rests. There is a variety of benches and Tottenham Court Road has more modern versions.

Public Spaces - page 51


Sitting in the city Outdoor serving has become a common part of the European streetscape. Even during colder periods of the year, many people like to use outdoor seating. Sitting at a cafe provides an opportunity to relax, get refreshments, enjoy the sunshine, while being able to both observe and be a part of the street´s public life. In spite of the popularity of outdoor cafe seating, it is important to note that cafe seats cannot replace public benches, since one has to pay to be able to enjoy the service. However, outdoor service areas offer a great quality to the streetscape and have - in the case of London - a great potential to be further developed.

Outdoor cafe seats

Location of Outdoor Seats Total 81 cafes Total

1309 outdoor cafe seats 4 cafes - Euston Road 42 cafe seats

Concentration of outoor cafes

1 - 25 seats 26 - 50 seats 51 - 100 seats

Outdoor cafes in London In the research area there is a moderate number of outdoor serving areas, supplemented by the many smaller outdoor cafes in side streets. To the right is illustrated the distribution and number of cafe seats in the study streets and squares. The illustration shows a lack of outdoor cafes in Regent Street (southern part), Euston Road and Tottenham Court Road, while Leicester Square has a high concentration of outdoor serving areas.

12 cafes - Tottenham Court Road 176 cafe seats 9 cafes - New Oxford Street 85 cafe seats

A more even distribution ought to be obtained in order to secure more liveliness and diversity in some areas and lower the concentration in other areas. As such, Leicester Square and adjoining streets are dominated by bars and restaurants, deteriorating the general quality of the public realm. If a good thing is multiplied by 100 it is not necessarily many times better.

10 cafes - Regent Street North 179 cafe seats 0 cafe seats

16 cafes - Charing Cross Road 146 cafe seats

- Oxford Street

0 cafes - Regent Street South 0 cafe seats

Public Spaces - page 52

25 cafes - Leicester Square 583 cafe seats

0 cafes - Piccadilly Circus 0 cafe seats 1 cafe 16 cafe seats Trafalgar Square

4 cafes 82 cafe seats

Victoria Embankment Gardens


Seats and sitting at lunchtime on summer weekdays

Sitting in the city

60 88

37% of all seating is secondary seating

37% Secondary seating

Even in busy streets like Regent Street, people find steps or niches to rest. The diagramme to the right displays the usage of the various seating options by location. For benches and cafe seats, two numbers are given - the actual amount of seats and the seats used.

68 0

Euston Square

1194

118

176

Examing usage patterns on a normal summer weekday reveals strong indications that public benches are greatly missed.

38 21 31 British Library

40 36 17 0 Euston Park 176 108

583

33 24 8 Tottenham Court Road 626

146

179

17% on Public benches

150

Average between noon and 4 pm

Secondary seating

Public benches

41 Regent Street

11 0

125 65

90

46% on CafĂŠ seats

Charing Cross Road 244

82

Outdoor cafe seats

0

24 14

181

Leicester Square

Available seats Used seats Available seats Used seats

84

59

58 Trafalgar Square

68 16 13

49 Covent Garden Public Spaces - page 53


Hearing and talking in the city Noise and fumes are annoying factors in the street environment. Too much noise creates an uneasy and stressful environment, restricting talking, listening and social events. Different noise levels give different opportunities for public life to evolve. London has tremendous noise levels in most streets and squares where the pleasure of promenading, resting and engaging in conversations is deeply affected. Oxford Street, with its more than 70 dbA during the day, gives hardly any possibilities for engaging in conversation. Even resting in this traffic environment appears to be less attractive. Similar noise levels are recorded in the other study streets, with buses and lorries, the main offenders as they halt and accelerate.

British Library

Euston Road

Tottenham Court Road

New Oxford Street

Oxford Street Charing Cross Road Regent Street

Leicester Square Piccadilly Circus Victoria Embankment Gardens

Waterloo Road

70 - 75 dbA: A stressful traffic environment. Talking and listening becomes hard if not impossible. Photo: Oxford Street

Public Spaces - page 54

60 - 65 dbA: More peaceful environment. Good possibilities for communicating with others. Photo: Victoria Embankment Gardens

Lower March

70 - 75 dbA

High background noise makes hearing and talking hard

60 - 65 dbA

Low background noise permits people to talk and hear

Noise level is measured in dbA. Sound levels double for every 8 dbA: 68 dbA is twice as loud as 60 dba, and 76 dbA is four times as loud as 60 dbA etc. The recording was done on a winter weekday where random tests where done to detect notable differences between the various public spaces.


Climate in the city

In northern Europe, the climate plays a very important role for the use of outdoor spaces. Rain, wind and shadows often prevent public life from reaching its full potential. In early spring, northern Europeans tend to linger in the sun whenever a possibility is given. Thus cafe owners provide guests with blankets and gas heaters as means to prolong the outdoor season. Careful planning of squares and streets has enormous effects on the climate offered at street level. Protection from wind and possibilities for sun are important factors when planning outdoor spaces. High buildings and long smooth facades have a tendency to catch the wind and even reinforce it. This is the case on Euston Road, where the many larger and higher units create strong winds that make the street an unpleasant place to walk. (This is further reinforced by the lack of detailing and lack of functions). The wind effect needs to be decreased in order to create pleasant streets for promenading and resting. The possibility of sun in the streets is dependent on the time of year and time of day, as well as the orientation and height of the buildings. Most streets are only filled with sun for shorter parts of the day. The smaller spaces/pockets lining the streets become extra important in this respect, since they increase the possibility for enjoyment of the sun. As such, opportunities to take advantage of available sun and shelter when providing seating need to be explored.

Wind is often a problem near tall buildings, where strong winds will make passage difficult. Centre Point at St. Giles Circus and Euston Road are classic examples. Photo: Vesterbrogade, Copenhagen

Winter time is time for being indoors.

Early spring (February) at Covent Garden

The parks offer large spaces to be used throughout the year

Public Spaces - page 55


Looking at the city

Ground floor frontages

A - Attractive

Small units, many doors (15-20 units per 100 m) Diversity of functions No closed or passive units Interesting relief in facades Quality materials and refined details

B - Pleasant

Relatively small units (10-14 units per 100 m) Some diversity of functions Only a few closed or passive units Some relief in the facades Relatively good detailing

City Quality at Eye Level - The ground floor facade The quality of the building frontages facing the footway is an extremely important factor for the quality of an urban area. Good ground floor facades are rich in detail and exciting to walk by, interesting to look at, to touch and to stand beside. Activities inside the buildings and those occurring on the street enrich each other. In the evening, friendly light shines out through the windows of shops and other ground floor activities and contributes to both a feeling of security as well as genuine safety. Interesting ground floor facades also provide good reasons for walking around in the city in the evenings and on Sundays, engaging in the age-old pastime: window shopping. Blank walls, on the contrary, underline the futility of visiting the city outside working hours. Public Spaces - page 56

C - Somewhere-in-between

Mixture of small and larger units (6-10 units per 100 m) Some diversity of functions Only a few closed or passive units Uninteresting facade design Somewhat poor detailing

D - Dull

Larger units with few doors (2-5 units per 100 m) Little diversity of functions Many closed units Predominantly unattractive facades Few or no details

E - Unattractive

Large units with few or no doors No visible variation of function Closed and passive facades Monotonous facades No details, nothing interesting to look at


Ground floor frontages

Looking at the city

On-street tree planting: Tottenham Court Rd & Charing Cross Rd Euston Road

Euston Road

Charing Cross Rd near St. Giles

Tottenham Court Road Typical London side street - many smaller units, many experiences London is perceived as a green city due primarily to its many large parks. But the central city streets, where people have their daily walks, are mostly characterised by a lack of green elements. Tottenham Court Rd and Charing Cross Rd are exceptions. Here, on-street tree planting has been applied in some parts. If the planting were enhanced and included the entire stretch, a valuable character and sense of unity would emerge.

New Oxford Street Regent Street North

Oxford Street

Regent Street South

Quality of Ground floor frontages Category A Category B Category D Category E

Concentration of poor ground floor frontages

Charing Cross Road

Ground floor frontages in London are generally welcoming and transparent and the units reasonably sized, which contributes to a diverse and lively street environment. Retail streets like Regent Street, Oxford Street, Tottenham Court Road and Charing Cross Road are the most interesting streets, where larger retail stores alternate with longer stretches of smaller units. Euston Road is more uninteresting, with dull facades, no transparency and larger units. New Oxford Street is also dominated by larger units with few doors and does not address the street.

St. Giles Circus

Cambridge Circus

St. Martins Place

Charing Cross Rd near Cambridge Circus

Public Spaces - page 57


Looking at the city

A city of poor aesthetic coordination Waterloo Station Square - 102 elements

Regent Street - 45 elements per 100 metre Streetlight

Waterloo Station

Rubbish bin Traffic sign Large sign

le

Litt

eet Str yll g r A

Traffic box Kiosk Pole Traffic light Bus stop

St. Giles Circus - less important information placed right in the centre of the footway The city is full of information and features that are placed to ease wayfinding, give light at night, secure pedestrians from traffic and make traffic work. These street elements have grown to an extent where they dominate the streetscape in some areas, giving a confused, un-aesthetic and completely cluttered pedestrian landscape. Many unused poles are to be found, where signs have been removed but the poles remain. Unnecessary information is often given and phone booths from various companies take up space. Bus shelters divide the footways, giving only limited room to pass on the most used streets (e.g. Oxford St, Regent St). Examples: Piccadilly Circus Oxford Circus St. Giles Circus Regent Street Oxford Street Tottenham Court Road Charing Cross Road New Oxford Street Euston Road Leicester Square Waterloo Station Square

Public Spaces - page 58

96 elements 85 elements 81 elements 45 elements per 100 m 69 elements per 100 m 67 elements per 100 m 68 elements per 100 m 67 elements per 100 m 62 elements per 100 m 254 elements 102 elements

Yo rk

Commercial sign

Ro

ad

Guard railing

t Stree over Han

Waterloo Station. Apart from the various elements, the station foreground has been divided into minor islands, making pedestrian passage to and from the station more complicated and confusing. This is, aesthetically, a completely unacceptable Welcome to London.

Pedestrian landscape with 43 poles

Frequently crowded footways are due to an unfortunate combination of narrow footways and bulky street elements.

Bus shelters minimize walking space at Regent Street


Poor maintenance and unappealing street elements

London Bridge Station Garbage - so much of it and nowhere to put it. The current refuse disposal system, where plastic bags are left on the footway, creates large problems with smelly, broken bags leaking their contents out into the streets, attracting rats and creating a low-quality street environment. The garbage bags fill already-cluttered footways and add to the discomfort and difficulties of walking.

Leicester Square

This page: Cluttered pavements and low quality paving are citywide problems.

Looking at the city

Piccadilly Circus Paving in London is generally of a poor standard. Paved areas can be seen in grey, red, yellow, blue and white tones. The pavement is often broken and repairs are equally poorly made. Even new paving is laid in bits and pieces. Apart from the aesthetic problems, this creates further difficulties for the elderly, people with prams and people who carry heavy burdens. The risk of tripping and getting injured is ever-present.

Public Spaces - page 59


The city by night

Evening activities

The number of evening activities and their location are important factors for the vitality of the city and the perception of safety. If there are few activities, or if the evening activities are very concentrated in a few areas, the visitor gets the impression of a deserted city and avoids going there in the evening. To the right is illustrated the number and character of evening activities in the study area. It is quite evident that Regent Street is a deserted area at night, where only few people look at window displays. Only a few cafes or kiosks are open at night, while more activity generally takes place in the side streets. Charing Cross Road is part of London´s Theatre District and located in an area with many bars, cafes and restaurants. As such, Charing Cross Road is a busy street all day. Generally, the amount of activities is a positive supplement to the street environment. However, an overload of bars does not necessarily add to the general feeling of safety.

Euston Road

Tottenham Court Road

To achieve a more citywide location of evening activities and to improve the perception of safety, it is important to spread out night time activities to larger parts of the city centre and incorporate important city streets and squares.

New Oxford Street

Regent Street North

Evening Activities Recorded on a winter weekday, 9pm - 11 pm, 2003

Below: The main evening activity is restaurants and bars

Restaurants and bars

Oxford Street Regent Street South

Charing Cross Road

Shops and kiosks Discos and Casinos Hotels High concentration of evening activities Areas of almost no evening activities

Public Spaces - page 60


The city by night

Lighting

London is characterised by a multitude of lighting colours and types. No coherent lighting strategy seems to have been developed to coordinate lighting in streets and squares to ensure high aesthetic quality at night, or a proper ligthing level to improve safety. In recent years, lighting has been rediscovered as a means to enrich our experience of the city, to enhance certain streets and squares and to strenghten public life after closing time. As such, there are numerous examples of good lighting policies, e.g. Lyon (France), St. Polten (Austria). (The Lyon lighting policy is described in Part 3 - Recommendations).

Lighting at Leicester Square

Leicester Square is an unfortunate mix of lighting types

Un-coordinated street lighting: Charing Cross Road

Leicester Square: Illustration of lighting types and colours Park lamp - warm glow

Medium placed lamps - cold light

Neon light

Tall lamps - warm glow

Bright spots at building facades

Good street lighting: Chinatown at night. Warm light from ground floor restaurants are mixed with street lamps.

Leicester Square has many differents light sources and colours. At night, lighting divides the square into two separate parts: The park area and the surrounding streets. The park area is lit in the early evening by park lamps, but left dark and unappealing later in the evening. The streets are dominated by neon signs on the buildings, spots on facades, light from shop windows or bars and tall masts with bright white light. This adds to unaesthetic mixture of many colours, many lighting fixtures and conflicting lighting strategies. The total image of Leicester Square at night is of low quality, unbecoming for one of London´s finest squares.

Public Spaces - page 61


The city by night

Metal shutters

Metal shutters in Oxford Street and Tottenham Court Road

During the day, Oxford Street is a lively place with lots of shops and pedestrians. When the stores close, many facades are closed by metal shutters, making the street dull to be in and decreases the feeling of safety. Above: Chinatown - Shops are open. People stroll through. Recent years have seen an unfortunate increase in the closingdown of storefronts outside shopping hours. This turns the streets into dark, unattractive tunnels by night, and ruins any ideas of window-shopping and promenading in the evenings and on weekends. The city becomes dark, deserted and frightening. The shutters, are of course, part of an effort to avoid break-ins. The Danish Criminal Board advises shopowners to avoid metal shutters because of their negative impact on the streets. Metal shutters tell passers-by that after closing time the city closes as well, and becomes an unsafe place to be in. It is important to note that a number of other safety measures are available, such as more open-lattice structures or armed glass, which preserve the transparency between street and shop.

St. Giles Circus

Oxford Circus

Above: Oxford Street: 94

metre metal shutters at night

Euston Road

St. Giles Circus Goodge Street

Above: Tottenham Court Road: 118

metre metal shutters at night

Below: Chinatown - Shops are closed. People rush through.

Kalverstraat Amsterdam: Today, the city has removed most metal shutters from this street resulting in a quite different night scene where people pass by to window shop. Public Spaces - page 62

At Strøget, Copenhagen, the majority of shopwindows are lit at night, having a positive effect on the level of pedestrian traffic and the level of crime.


The city by night

Security Lower Marsh no.105 Caruso K3 Security in Lower Marsh

Security is an important factor for the development of public life. People need to feel safe at day and night time to keep visiting the city and to bring their children. Experienced security and real security might not be identical phenomena, so making streets feel safe has much to do with creating a friendly environment that people find inviting.

4000 2670 1956

2000 762 810 624

972

1212

984

1236 570

Residents and activities generally add to the feeling of security. Lights from windows - a symptom of eyes on the street - give visitors the feeling that help is close by if trouble should arise.

372

0 8-9 9-10 10-11 11-12 12-1 1-2 2-3 3-4 4-5 5-6 6-7

AM

PM

Pedestrian count showing the movement through the street during the day. After closing time between 5 and 6 pm the street hastily becomes deserted.

Day

The scale and detail of buildings is also important at night, as well as transparence and light from window displays. Furthermore, sufficient light to find your way and to be able to recognise the faces of passers-by add to a general feeling of security.

During the day, Lower Marsh in the Waterloo area is a nice little friendly market street filled with colourful stands, plenty of goods and many locals conversing in the street. At night the street changes to a deserted, closed street with long stretches of metal shutters, predominantly closed shops and almost no pedestrians. Lower Marsh suffers greatly from its lack of residents and its lack of night time functions other than a few bars. Lower Marsh was the only street where the street life studies were abandoned after 7 pm because of uneasiness by the student surveying in that specific location.

Evening: 96 metres of metal shutters

Evening

Oxford Street at nighttime. Public Spaces - page 63


Cycling in the city

Cycling is a quality alternative transport mode - cheap and an excellent way of exercising. London has excellent natural conditions for developing a good cycle culture since the topography does not provide too many difficulties and the density of dwellings and workplaces is high. This makes journey distances very acceptable and cycling a natural transit mode.

The Cycling environment

In London, various attempts have been made to create cycle routes and better facilities for cyclists. The effort and the intention is good but more needs to be done in order to create a working cycle network. Today there is no such network, but bits and pieces of cycle lanes in the city centre which do not constitute a coherent system. TfL and the boroughs are working towards a network, called LCN+ (London Cycle Network Plus) but today cycling is comparatively scarce and generally quite dangerous. Only a few skilled, agile and devoted cyclists dare to take up the challenge to cycle on the roads. Cycling is not yet an integrated part of the city culture and motorists are not used to looking out for cyclists.

As such the cyclists find themselves in unclear, undefined zones and tend to ride aggressively in order to be noticed by motorists. This behaviour often causes dangerous situations, as well as conflicts with pedestrians.

- Think twice ! Cyclists are lured into a city with no coherent cycle paths, few cycle signals and no greater observance from vehicular traffic.

Intersections are not laid out to accomodate cyclists. Cyclists turn and cross on the same terms as cars. Public Spaces - page 64

The facilities offered for cyclists around the world are varied. In Copenhagen, the cycling policy has been to establish cycle lanes in all major streets in order to offer a city-wide network of comfortable and reasonably safe routes. Bike crossings have been established parallel to the customary pedestrian crossings at intersections. Cycle lanes have frequently been established at the expense of kerb-side parking or traffic lanes, thus promoting cycling and discouraging car traffic. (More regarding other cities´ cycle policies in Part 3 - Recommendations).

Cycle lanes are not part of a larger system but are merely fragmented.

Parking obstructs the small bits of cycle lanes already laid out.


Cycling in the city

Cycling facilities: Tottenham Court Road (TCR) Euston Road

Above: Cycling facilities on TCR are few and scattered. Cyclists tend to behave like vehicles, placing themselves in the middle of the road to be seen by motorists. Below: Cyclists crossing at Cambridge Circus.

Above and below: Extensive cycling facilities are found in some side streets to Tottenham Court Road. Cycling facilities could be made at less expense, giving possibilities to expand the overall network.

Howland Street

Torrington Place

Goodge Street

Below: Mixing buses and cycles exposes cyclists to danger.

Below: Cycle lanes are marked through crossings in some side streets. Percy Street

Stephen Street

Existing cycling facilities

Cycle route St. Giles Circus

Public Spaces - page 65


Summary of Part 1

The following sums up the findings in Part 1 on three different levels of scale: City level

Describes problems at a large-scale level. Problems which are evident for the whole city.

Public Space level

Describes medium-scale problems regarding the design of streets and squares.

Detail level

Describes the small-scale problems of a cluttered streetscape, quality and pavements.

City level Traffic dominates the streetscape

- Traffic conflicts with other city users.

Poor conditions for cyclists

No cycle network. No standards for cycle lanes. No awareness from motorists.

Extensive jay-walking

A city-wide problem, registered in Regent Street, Piccadilly Circus, Cambridge Circus, St. Giles Circus, Oxford Circus, Waterloo Station area.

Crossing at red lights

31% of all crossings at Piccadilly Circus are made at red light. 50% of all pedestrian signals at Piccadilly Circus are red for periods of at least 60 seconds.

High noise levels in most London streets Public Spaces - page 66


Summary of Part 1

Public Space level Narrow footways

Oxford Circus experiences 239% of pedestrian traffic beyond comfortable capacity.

Fine ground floor frontages

Good detailing and fine facades can be found in many central London streets. Euston Road is the only exception in the study area, having generally poor ground floor frontages.

Footway interruptions

74 unnecessary footway interruptions in study area.

Difficult crossings

Concentrated night-time activities

Concentration of night-time activities around Charing Cross Road. Almost no night-time activities on Regent Street. Problems with extensive use of metal shutters - 94 metres in Oxford Street, 118 metres in Tottenham Court Road. Security problems in Lower Marsh.

Pedestrian islands. Pen crossings. (30% avoid pen crossings in Regent Street) Pedestrian subways . 40% of all pedestrians surveyed jaywalk at Waterloo Road to avoid going through the pedestrian subways. 77% of all pedestrians surveyed choose to chance a crossing at street level at St. Giles Circus to avoid going through the pedestrian subway.

Detail level Obstacle course on the footway

Extensive use of guard railing (425 metres at Piccadilly Circus). Poorly-placed street furniture. Cluttered streetscape. Too many street elements, signs, poles etc. Technical cabinets are above ground, not underground. Commercial signs and advertising.

Lack of seats

No public benches on Regent Street. Secondary seating accounts for 37% of all seating in the study area.

Great variety in pedestrian crossings

Lack of proper marking on pavement. 30% of all pedestrian crossings in study area are without pedestrian signals. 74% of all pedestrians at Cambridge Circus cross without pedestrian signals.

Poor access

Lack of drop kerbs. Lack of elevators to the Underground. Difficult access at bus stops and for entering buses.

Low aesthetic quality in the streetscape

On-street tree planting is un-cohesive in Tottenham Court Road and Charing Cross Road. Poor paving quality. Garbage is spread out across all city streets.

Public Spaces - page 67


PART 2 - Public life


Contents of Part 2

Method Walking in the city - pedestrian traffic on a summer weekday - pedestrian traffic on a summer Saturday - summer pedestrian traffic compared with winter pedestrian traffic

Staying in the city

- staying activities on a summer weekday

Who spends time in the city - comparison on selected streets

Public Life - page 69


Method

Euston Road

British Library Euston Square

Tottenham Court Road

New Oxford St

Regent St Oxford St

Charing Cross Road Piccadilly Circus

Covent Garden

Regent St Leicester Square Trafalgar rafa falga Square

Victoria Embankment Gardens Hungerford Footbridge

S

Waterloo Station Lower Marsh

Study areas

1 : 40,000

Public Life - page 70

400

800

1200 m

The counting positions have been chosen to provide the best possible overview of pedestrian traffic in central London. The zones for recordings of staying activities are equally chosen with the intention to achieve knowledge of the whole.

Counting positions for pedestrian traffic Squares and streets where staying activities have been recorded


Method

Method The method for collecting this information has been developed by GEHL Architects and used in previous studies in Perth, Melbourne, Riga, Stockholm, Oslo, Copenhagen and a number of provincial cities in UK and Scandinavia. In order to compare London with the cities mentioned in the opening chapter, the counts and surveys in London have been done using exactly the same methods. The method applied in London includes pedestrian countings carried out in selected streets for 15 minutes every hour between 10 am and 10 pm. (count results have been extrapolated to produce an hourly estimate). Survey period the surveys took place on winter and summer days with nice weather in February and July, inside school terms. the data was collected on weekdays and Saturdays, during the daytime and in the evening. Survey days Tuesday 25 February 2003, 8 am to 8 pm. Weather: Clear and sunny, 14oC Pedestrian countings and observations The purpose of this part of the study is to examine how urban spaces are used. It provides information on where people walk and stay, either as part of their daily activities or for recreational purposes. This can form the basis for future decisions on which streets and routes need to be improved. This part of the study also provides information on how much - and where - people sit, stand or carry out various stationary activities in the city. This is a good indicator of the quality of the urban spaces. A high number of pedestrians walking in the city does not necessarily indicate a high level of quality. However a high number of people choosing to spend time in the city indicates a lively city of high urban quality.

Wednesday 9 July 2003, 8 am to 10 pm. Weather: Sunny and pleasant, 23oC Thursday 10 July 2003, 8 am to 10 pm. Weather: Mild and sunny, 25oC Saturday 5 July 2003, 10 am to 6 pm. Weather: Sunny / partly cloudy, 22oC Pedestrian traffic The findings from the surveys on a weekday and a Saturday in July are presented in the following pages. Comparisons will be made with other cities.

Public Life - page 71


Walking in the city

Pedestrian traffic on a summer weekday 0 ,29 17

Weekday 10 am - 6 pm 10

5,8

12

10 5,0

Distribution of pedestrian traffic on individual footways

10 9,3

Tottenham Court Road

0 ,91 29

3,750 0

30,25

0 06

12,

0

19,37

0 28,86

Euston Road

0 ,83

Regent Street North ,20

13 0

0 91,64 80

90

S

New Oxford Street

0 ,55 43

Oxford Street

0 96,11

26,9

9,2

0 12,05

Regent Street South

Recordings: Wednesday 9 July 2003, 6 pm to 10 pm. Weather: Sunny and pleasant, 23oC Thursday 10 July 2003, 6 am to 10 pm. Weather: Mild and sunny, 25oC

0 ,53 35

Weekday 6 pm to 10 pm

Charing Cross Road

Recordings: Wednesday 9 July 2003, 8 am to 6 pm. Weather: Sunny and pleasant, 23oC Thursday 10 July 2003, 8 am to 6 pm. Weather: Mild and sunny, 25oC

18,0 10 Hungerford Footbridge

In order to make comparisons with Saturday recordings the pedestrian traffic between 8 am and 10 am has been left out in the illustration above

S

, 10 Public Life - page 72

Lower Marsh

0 22


Comparison with a summer Saturday

Walking in the city

Saturday 10 am - 6 pm

11,

0

64

Euston Road

Pedestrian traffic separated on individual footways

30

6,8

Saturday On Saturdays, Oxford Circus is even more heavily congested, with a 21 - 38% increase on weekdays. Regent Street experiences an even more dramatic increase of pedestrian traffic: 35 - 42% more than weekdays. Tottenham Court Road and New Oxford Street are unaffected, while Euston Road has half its weekday pedestrian traffic. Charing Cross Road is close to major attractions at Leicester Square, Covent Garden and Trafalgar Square and, partly because of this, experiences a 48% increase in pedestrian traffic compared with weekdays.

Tottenham Court Road

,3 27 10 Regent Street North

Summary The pedestrian counts show high amounts of pedestrian traffic in some areas. But the numbers are not as high as one could expect in a city of the size of London. The pedestrian pattern is quite uneven and some streets seem only sparsely used while others (Oxford Street) carry far too much. This points to the present situation where some major streets are not fully used and where the full potential is yet to be developed. Future developments of urban quality in the studied streets will certainly create a more widespread use of the city centre.

New Oxford Street

39,8

0

,01

50

59

Oxford Street

50 25,8

20

110,6

11,190

10 132,2

Regent Street South

Weekday The pedestrian counts show a concentration of pedestrian traffic around Oxford Circus where three times as many pedestrians walk as in any other place in the city. The same pattern is repeated in the evening, except in Charing Cross Road, which enjoys an active night-time scene.

Charing Cross Road

,36

50 0 Recordings: Saturday 5 July 2003, 10 am to 6 pm. Weather: Sunny / partly cloudy, 22oC

S

10 ,4 12 Lower Marsh

Note: Pedestrian traffic on Hungerford Footbridge was not recorded during a summer Saturday. Public Life - page 73


Oxford Street C1 og C2 sammenlagt

Walking in the city

Pedestrian traffic on a summer weekday Oxford Street West

16000

All day: 127,857 14388 13695

14000

13554 13236

13002

Recordings: Wednesday 9 July 2003, 8 am to 10 pm. Weather: Sunny and pleasant, 23oC Thursday 10 July 2003, 8 am to 10 pm. Weather: Mild and sunny, 25oC

14916 14784

All day: 138,080

14286

Euston Road

13569

14000

12234

12000

Oxford Street East

16000

13014 12852

12009

12000

10812

Tottenham Court Road

8622

7218

7116

5970 6000

Oxford Street

3432

4000

Regent Street

2736

Pedestrians per hour

4000

Charing Cross Road

2000

New Oxford Street no. 56a + Opposite G1 og G2 sammenlagt

0

Time

0 8-9 9-10 10-11 11-12 12-1 1-2 2-3 3-4 4-5 5-6 6-7 7-8 8-9 9-10

AM Timeog C2 PMsammenlagt Oxford Street C1

275

S

240 228 217

225

226

225 200

All day: 17,575 Pedestrians per hour

175 144 150 120 125

200

4000 175 2016 1572 1572 1836 1572 1548 1464 1518

2000 1224

894

792

546

672

100

150 130 125

AM

Time

93

PM

100

50

25

0 8-9 9-10 10-11 11-12 12-1 1-2 2-3 3-4 4-5 5-6 6-7 7-8 8-9 9-10

Public Life - page 74

PM

New Oxford Street 50 34 25

20 9

24 25 26

26

26 26

31 15

13

11

6

0 8-9 9-10 10-11 11-12 12-1 1-2 2-3 3-4 4-5 5-6 6-7 7-8 8-9 9-10

AM

Time

PM

Pedestrians per minute

Pedestrians per minute

57 46

119 96

8-9 9-10 10-11 11-12 12-1 1-2 2-3 3-4 4-5 5-6 6-7 7-8 8-9 9-10

72

Time

162

348

0

100

75

217 214

New Oxford Street

180

246

238

226

200

AM

Oxford Street East 249

250

221

204

77

3930

2000

PM

Oxford Street West 250

5568

2778

8-9 9-10 10-11 11-12 12-1 1-2 2-3 3-4 4-5 5-6 6-7 7-8 8-9 9-10

AM

5730

6000

New Oxford Street 4626 4332

Pedestrians per hour

7800

8000

8000

Pedestrians per minute

9732

10000

10000

66

75 46 50

25

0 8-9 9-10 10-11 11-12 12-1 1-2 2-3 3-4 4-5 5-6 6-7 7-8 8-9 9-10

AM

Time

PM


Regent Street no. 235 A3 og A4 sammenlagt

Pedestrian traffic on a summer weekday 8000

Walking in the city Tottenham Court Road E1 og E2 sammenlagt

7602 6312

All day: 44,640

All day: 60,690

6186

5490

5424

6000

Pedestrians per hour

4890 4000 2526

5082

2766

1740 Regent Street no. 235 A3 og A4 1626 sammenlagt

Tottenham Court Road

0 8-9 9-10 10-11 11-12 12-1 1-2 2-3 3-4 4-5 5-6 6-7 7-8 8-9 9-10

AM

Time

125

PM

103

105

3612 3660

2520 2000

2274

1842

1902

1548

1272

0 8-9 9-10 10-11 11-12 12-1 1-2 2-3 3-4 4-5 5-6 6-7 7-8 8-9 9-10

AM Time PM Tottenham Court Road E1 og E2 sammenlagt

90

82

3801

3576

Regent Street North

92

100

4000

127

117

4614 4590

4347

3276

3276 2550

2000

Euston Road

Pedestrians per hour

6000

Tottenham Court Road

Regent Street North

7026

Tottenham Court Road

New Oxford Street

85

75

43

42

Regent Street

46

25

Regent Street no. 123 A1 og A2 sammenlagt 0

AM

8000

Time

PM Regent Street South

6582 6000

5316 4968

Pedestrians per hour

Charing Cross Road

27 29

8-9 9-10 10-11 11-12 12-1 1-2 2-3 3-4 4-5 5-6 6-7 7-8 8-9 9-10

All day: 5604 5112 5220

5304

50,700

4000

2148 2000

1386

1554

1524 1344

582 0

8-9 9-10 10-11 11-12 12-1 1-2 2-3 3-4 4-5 5-6 6-7 7-8 8-9 9-10

AM

Time

PM

125

Regent Street South

110 100 83

93

89 88

85 87

Regent Street Regent Street has half the pedestrian traffic of Oxford Street. Pedestrian traffic peaks in Regent Street at 5 pm.

50

36 25

23 26

22

10

0 8-9 9-10 10-11 11-12 12-1 1-2 2-3 3-4 4-5 5-6 6-7 7-8 8-9 9-10

AM

Time

PM

Charing Cross Road Charing Cross Road slowly picks up through the day peaking at 5.30 pm. Unlike the other streets countings continued in Charing Cross Road until midnight where an increase in pedestrian traffic appeared. (With people going home from the now-closed pubs).

75

50

77

72

63

60

77

60 61

42 38

31

32 26

25

21

0 8-9 9-10 10-11 11-12 12-1 1-2 2-3 3-4 4-5 5-6 6-7 7-8 8-9 9-10

AM

Time

PM Charing Cross Road

Charing Cross Road no. 101 F1 og F2 sammenlagt All day: 48,540

S

6000 5160 3738 3681

4000

4872

4080 3624

3456

3015

3162

2292 2000

1440 738

2514

2994 2370

1404

Charing Cross Road no. 101 F1 og F2 sammenlagt

0 8-9 9-10 10-11 11-12 12-1 1-2 2-3 3-4 4-5 5-6 6-7 7-8 8-9 9-10 10-11 11-12

AM

Tottenham Court Road A typical pattern of morning, lunch time and evening rush hours.

68

75

25

Oxford Street As a main shopping street, Oxford Street attracts tourists and visitors from all over the city. Pedestrian traffic peaks between 11.30 am (lunch) and 6.30 pm (shops close). New Oxford Street A different story: under utilised with few shops or cafes. In New Oxford Street, a quite constant pedestrian flow is evident of people walking to and from other destinations.

4056

Regent Street no. 123 A1 og A2 sammenlagt

Pedestrians per minute

Pedestrians per minute

50

Oxford Street

55

Pedestrians per hour

55

Time

PM Charing Cross Road

100 86

Pedestrians per minute

Pedestrians per minute

100

81

68

75 62

61

60

58

50

50 24

25

53

50 42 40

38 23

12 0 8-9 9-10 10-11 11-12 12-1 1-2 2-3 3-4 4-5 5-6 6-7 7-8 8-9 9-10 10-11 11-12

AM

Time

PM

Public Life - page 75


Pedestrian traffic on a summer weekday

Walking in the city

Euston Road / British Library J1 og J2 sammenlagt

Hungerford Footbridge North and South K1 og K2 sam m enlagt Hungerford Footbridge

All day: 27,460 Euston Road

4290

4000

2000

Euston Road / British Library

All day: 30,550

1614 1650

1794

2526 2352 2550 2646 2430 2154

2538

4000

Pedestrians per hour

Pedestrians per hour

6000

2448

1554

0

Tottenham Court Road

3162 2000

696

30

41

42

44

43

Oxford Street

42 41

Regent Street

Charing Cross Road

26

0

Euston Road / British Library

75 53 50

38

34

26

37

32

40

40 23 23

22

12

0 8-9 9-10 10-11 11-12 12-1 1-2 2-3 3-4 4-5 5-6 6-7 7-8 8-9 9-10

PM

Time

AM

PM

Time

42

37

25

8-9 9-10 10-11 11-12 12-1 1-2 2-3 3-4 4-5 5-6 6-7 7-8 8-9

AM

PM

Time

New Oxford Street

Pedestrians per minute

Pedestrians per minute

25

27 28

39

1368 1374

Euston Road / British Library J1 og J2 sammenlagt

72

36

2406 2376 2196

1290

AM

Hungerford Footbridge 75

1902

8-9 9-10 10-11 11-12 12-1 1-2 2-3 3-4 4-5 5-6 6-7 7-8 8-9 9-10

Hungerford Footbridge North and South K1 og K2 sammenlagt

50

1578

PM

Time

2532

2226

0

8-9 9-10 10-11 11-12 12-1 1-2 2-3 3-4 4-5 5-6 6-7 7-8 8-9

AM

2292 2064

Euston Road no.194 H1 og H2 sammenlagt

S

Lower Marsh no.105 Caruso K3

1956

2000 762 810 624

1212

972

984

1236 570

372

0

PM

Time

AM

Lower Marsh mo.105 Caruso K3 Lower Marsh 45

50

33 25

13

14

16

20

10

16

21 10

6

0 8-9 9-10 10-11 11-12 12-1 1-2 2-3 3-4 4-5 5-6 6-7

AM

Public Life - page 76

Time

PM

Hungerford Footbridge Pedestrian traffic moves constantly across the Thames, peaking at evening rush hour. Lower Marsh Around lunch time, many come to do their shopping in the market. In the evening people come through here on their way home. Euston Road / Euston Station Euston Station is a key location for many commuters and, as such, pedestrian traffic is affected by morning and evening rush hour. Euston Road / British Library Pedestrian traffic shows a mixed pattern throughout the day. Kings Cross is close by, having some effect in the morning and evening hours, while lunchtime is also busy, possibly because of the concentration of offices in the area.

Pedestrians per hour

2670

8-9 9-10 10-11 11-12 12-1 1-2 2-3 3-4 4-5 5-6 6-7

Pedestrians per minute

Euston Road / Euston Station

All day: 12,170

All day: 22,840

4000 2928 2000

2826 2322

2076 1452

1284

1428

1572 1521

1470

1272

1170 930

588

0 8-9 9-10 10-11 11-12 12-1 1-2 2-3 3-4 4-5 5-6 6-7 7-8 8-9 9-10

AM

Time

PM

Euston Road no.194 H1 og H2 sammenlagt Pedestrians per minute

Pedestrians per hour

Lower Marsh 4000

Euston Road 50

49

47 39

35 24

25

21 24

26

25

25 21

20

16

10

0 8-9 9-10 10-11 11-12 12-1 1-2 2-3 3-4 4-5 5-6 6-7 7-8 8-9 9-10

AM

Time

PM


Walking in the city

118,455

Comparison: Winter weekday / Summer weekday

101,520

110,370

129,738

Pedestrian traffic - summer and winter

21,321

25,392

22,490 Euston Road west

Euston Road east

Charing Cross Road

21,470

37,500

33,930

41,820

41,370 Tottenham Court Road

Regent Street south

Regent Street north

Oxford Street west

Oxford Street east

Summer Streets

Winter Streets

In other cities, larger differences are to be found. Copenhagen experiences a 50% increase in pedestrian summer traffic compared with pedestrian winter traffic. Part of the explanation is that more tourists come to Copenhagen during summer, but a much more important factor is the recreational dimension. Copenhagen has, during the last 40 years, developed a city with many good quality spaces (100,000 m2 of pedestrianised areas in the city centre.) In summer, people no longer come exclusively to shop or work, but also come to enjoy the city, to meet friends and relatives, to sit at a square and sip a cappuccino or to enjoy the city scene from a public bench. As such, Copenhagen is a much more lively city during summer today than it was 40 years ago. Public life has been expanded to include more activities than the most necessary ones (as going to work, going to lunch, shopping etc.) because of improvements in the public space.

38,230

In London, the differences between summer and winter pedestrian traffic are very low - in Oxford Street , summer levels are only 15% higher. This suggests a city that can be further developed for public life to evolve and include activities other than the most necessary.

47,832

50,780

Winter and summer pedestrian traffic

57,324

Oxford Street on a summer day.

Public Life - page 77


Walking in the city

Pedestrian traffic on a summer Saturday Recordings: Saturday 5 July 2003, 10 am to 6 pm. Weather: Sunny / partly cloudy, 22oC

Euston Road

Tottenham Court Road

New Oxford Street

Oxford Street no.270 B1 og B2 sammenlagt

Oxford Street Regent Street

Charing Cross Road

Oxford Street West 20000

19344

Oxford Street West

All day: 110,622 322

325 294

17658

18000

300

275

15960 16000

273

266

S

16386

257

15396 250

14000

225 202 12120

12000

200

175 10000 8844

147 150

8000 125

100

6000

82

Pedestrians per minute

Pedestrians per hour

4914

4000

2000

0 10-11 11-12 12-1

AM

Public Life - page 78

1-2

Time

2-3

3-4

PM

4-5

75

50

25

0 10-11 11-12 12-1

5-6

Oxford Street at Oxford Circus.

AM

1-2

Time

2-3

3-4

PM

4-5

5-6


Pedestrian traffic on a summer Saturday

New Oxford Street

All day: 11,190

2000 528

1194

846

Pedestrians per minute

New Oxford Street

4000

Pedestrians per hour

Walking in the city Euston Road

1722 1812 1902 1644

1542

0 10-11 11-12 12-1

AM

1-2

3-4

2-3

Time

4-5

50

25 9

14

10-11 11-12 12-1

AM

Tottenham Court Road

29

1-2

2-3

30

32

3-4

4-5

27

Time

5-6

PM

Oxford Street C1 og C2 sammenlagt

Oxford Street C1 og C2 sammenlagt

New Oxford Street

Oxford Street East All day:

23268

26 20

0

5-6

PM

24000

New Oxford Street no.56A + Opposite G1 og G2 sammenlagt

132,210

Oxford Street East

Oxford Street Regent Street

400

Charing Cross Road

388

375

22000

352

21144 20508

342

350

20000 325

309

18516

296

17766

18000

300 S

275

16000 250 14000

212

225 12708

12000

6792 6000

New Oxford Street New Oxford Street, has a very different level of activity. Although it is a direct extension of Oxford Street it carries only 8% of the pedestrian traffic.

4000

2000

0

AM

1-2

Time

2-3

3-4

PM

4-5

5-6

150 113 125

100

Pedestrinas per minute

8000

Pedestrians per hour

175

Oxford Street The Saturday recordings show a dramatic increase in pedestrian traffic and a different pattern. Oxford Street becomes a destination for pleasure walks, shopping, window shopping and general amusement. The pedestrian traffic starts picking up at 11 am and peaks at 4 pm, stretching Oxford Street to its limits.

10000

10-11 11-12 12-1

192

200

11508

75

50

25

0 10-11 11-12 12-1

AM

1-2

Time

2-3

3-4

4-5

5-6

PM

Public Life - page 79


Pedestrian traffic on a summer Saturday

Walking in the city Tottenham Court Road

Euston Road - British Library

All day: 27,310

6000

All day: 11,640

4164 4152 4176

4000

2334

4368 3702

Pedestrians per hour

Pedestrians per hour

Euston Road

2664

2000 1746 Court Road E1 og E2 sammenlagt Tottenham Tottenham Court Road

0 10-11 11-12 12-1

1-2

4-5

2000

1482 1410 1560 1512

1800 1116

1410 1350

Euston Road / British Library J1 og J2 sammenlagt 0

5-6

10-11 11-12 12-1

PM

Time

AM

3-4

2-3

4000

1-2

2-3

3-4

4-5

5-6

PM

Time

AM

70

69

New Oxford Street 62

Oxford Street

Charing Cross Road

44

50

39

Regent Street

29 25

0 10-11 11-12 12-1

1-2

3-4

2-3

4-5

6576 5832 5904

25

26

24

25

30 19

24

23

4-5

5-6

0 10-11 11-12 12-1

5-6

1-2

2-3

3-4

PM

Time

AM

6276

6600 S

3684 2928 2046

Low er Marsh no.1 05 c aruso K3

AM

1-2

2-3

3-4

4-5

5-6

PM

Time

Charing Cross Road 125

110 97

98

105

110

100

Lower Marsh

4000

2000

1 446 1 620

1 872

1 1 34

Pedestrians per minute

61 49 31

25

0 10-11 11-12 12-1

AM

Public Life - page 80

1-2

Time

2-3

3-4

PM

4-5

5-6

2000 942

822

588

888

864 1008 834 882

0 10-11 11-12 12-1

1-2

2-3

Euston Road no.194 H1 og H2 sammenlagt 4-5 5-6 3-4

PM

Time

AM

1 500 1 482

0 Marsh no.105 caruso K3 Lower 10-11 11-12 12-1

75

1 692 1 668

All day: 6,830

4000

All day: 12,410

1-2

2-3

3-4

5-6

Lower Marsh

50

25

4-5

PM

Time

AM

24

27

31

28

28

19

25

25

0 10-11 11-12 12-1

AM

1-2

Time

2-3

3-4

PM

4-5

5-6

Pedestrians per minute

0

Pedestrians per hour

Euston Road / Euston Station

4000

10-11 11-12 12-1

Pedestrians per minute

25

All day: 39,850

6000

50

50

Charing Cross Road

8000

2000

Euston Road - British Library

PM

Time

AM

Pedestrians per hour

73

Pedestrians per minute

69

75

Pedestrians per hour

Pedestrians per minute

Tottenaham Court Road

Euston Road

50

25

16

14

10

15

14

1-2

2-3

17

14

15

4-5

5-6

0 10-11 11-12 12-1

AM

Time

3-4

PM


Regent Street N1 +N2 sammenlagt

Walking in the city

Pedestrian traffic on a summer Saturday

Regent Street N1 og N2 sammenlagt

Regent Street far North

Regent Street far North All day: 25,850

100 Euston Road

4000

381 6 3957

351 0

3342

31 38

2000

1 572

21 06

100

Pedestrians per minute

Pedestrians per hour

6000

2340

Regent Street no. 235 A 3 og A 4 sammenlagt

Tottenham Court Road

0 10-

12-1

11-

AM

1-2

3-4

2-3

Time

4-5

50

39

35 26

25

0 1-2

2-3

3-4

4-5

New Oxford Street

59,010

175 154 Regent Street

851 4

Charing Cross Road

157

160

142

150

132

7908

8000

5-6

Regent Street North

Oxford Street

9444 9576

9252

56

59

Regent StreetAMno. Time 235 A3 PM og A4 sammenlagt

PM Regent Street North

10000

52

10-11 11-12 12-1

5-6

All day:

64

75

125

101

6072 6000

100

82

Tottenham Court Road The total amount of pedestrian traffic is similar to weekdays.

3306

S

2000

0

12-1 og 3-4 4-5 5-6 Regent Street no 11-12 A1 1-2 A2 2-3 sammenlagt 10-11123

AM

Time

PM

Regent Street South All day: 50,360 10000

9294 8238

8484

8094

8000 6546

Pedestrians per hour

4524

2000

3474

1704

0 10-11 11-12 12-1

AM

1-2

Time

2-3

3-4

PM

4-5

5-6

Regent Street The busiest part of Regent Street is just south of Oxford Street where the number of pedestrians is 17% higher than in the southern part. Overall, pedestrian traffic is 45% of Oxford Street levels and more constant throughout the day.

75

55

50

25

0 10-11 11-12 12-1

AM

3-4

4-5

5-6

1-2

2-3

Time

Regent Street no 123 A1 og A2 sa

PM

Regent Street South

Lower Marsh The little market street has a steady flow of pedestrian traffic throughout the day. The total amount of 12,000 pedestrians is quite considerable given the location, and equals the pedestrian traffic in New Oxford Street, which is far more centrally located. Euston Road Euston Road is fairly quiet on Saturdays with only minimal activity. This is unsurprising as the main reason for going to Euston Road is to access public transport or work in one of the office blocks.

6000

4000

Charing Cross Road During Saturdays, Charing Cross Road´s location, near important public places and near a district with restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars, increases pedestrian traffic by about 50% from a normal weekday.

Pedestrians per minute

4000

175 155 150

137

125

141 135

109

100 75

Pedestrians per minute

Pedestrians per hour

4938

75 58 50 28 25

0 10-11 11-12 12-1

AM

1-2

Time

2-3

3-4

4-5

5-6

PM

Public Life - page 81


Walking in the city

Summer weekday

Crowding

Summer Saturday

Winter weekday

Note: In December severe crowding dominate the commercial streets.

Footway without any registered crowding Footway with some crowding Footway with severe crowding

Crowding at different times

The illustrations above show that Oxford Street and the northern part of Regent Street are experiencing severe overcrowding year-round.

Public Life - page 82

Street capacity

Oxford Street and Regent Street are under enormous pressure during weekdays, and even more during Saturdays when Londoners as well as tourists go to the city to shop. As a major shopping street with a large variety of goods to offer various age groups, Oxford Street attracts visitors beyond the actual footway capacity. The graphs opposite show the extent to which the limit for comfortable carrying capacity described in part 1 - 13 people per metre footway - is exceeded. The results are a stressful environment where the movement options of the individuals are limited. This extensive use will cause a gradual deterioration of the streetscape.


Oxfo r d Str e e t n o . 216 C1

Street capacity at Oxford Circus Regent Street North Western footway (Effective width at counting position: 4 m)

Oxford Street West Northern footway (Effective width at counting position: 8 m)

125

109

104 ped. /min.

Pedestrians per minute

100

Limit for comfortable carrying capacity

82

105

104

93

89

75 49

50

55

53

49

43

33 25

26 15

Western footway

All day: 19,360

0 10-11 11-12 12-1

AM

75

1-2

3-4

2-3

Time

4-5

175

69

75 57 50

40

10-11 11-12 12-1

PM

AM

1-2

2-3

Time

3-4

4-5

50

0

Northern footway

All day: 58,240 B1 10-11 11-12 12-1

AM

1-2

2-3

Time

3-4

4-5

5-6

PM

132,210

110,620

Oxford Street west

39

Oxford S tre e t Oppos ite no. 223-235 C2 Northern footway All day: 54,940

0 10-11 11-12 12-1

AM

Oxford Street east

1-2

3-4

2-3

Time

4-5

5-6

PM

59,01

Oxford Street East Southern footway

0

Regent Street north

Oxford Street West Southern footway

25

Limit for comfortable carrying capacity

69

75

50

91 ped. /min.

87

100

5-6

PM

139

120

125

All day: 39,650

0

142

150

Eastern footway

47

25

152

Limit for comfortable carrying capacity

25

5-6

167

65 ped. /min.

Pedestrians per minute

125

135

Limit for comfortable carrying capacity

Pedestrians per minute

150

145

Pedestrians per minute

137

100

52 ped. /min.

166 151

Oxford Street East Northern footway (Effective width at counting position: 7 m)

Regent Street North Eastern footway (Effective width at counting position: 5 m) 105

Re ge nt Stre e t no.235-241 A3 175

Walking in the city

Re ge nt Stre e t Oppos ite A4

(Effective width at counting position: 5 m)

(Effective width at counting position: 6 m)

6 50,3

221

225

Recordings: Saturday 5 July 2003, 10 am to 6 pm. Weather: Sunny / partly cloudy, 22oC

0

Regent Street south

200

200

175

200

189

175

157

157 144

120 93

50

78 ped. /min.

66

75

Limit for comfortable carrying capacity

35

25

Southern footway All day: 52,380

0 10-11 11-12 12-1

AM

Limit for comfortable carrying capacity

1-2

Time

2-3

3-4

PM

4-5

5-6

75 47

50

54 46

46

33 25

19

26

Western footway

9

All day: 16,700

0 10-11 11-12 12-1

AM

1-2

Time

2-3

3-4

PM

4-5

5-6

90

95

50

39

39 ped. /min.

Limit for comfortable carrying capacity

20

Eastern footway

All day: 33,660

0 10-11 11-12 12-1

AM

1-2

Time

2-3

3-4

PM

100

89

50

4-5

5-6

123

125

101

76

75

25

150

Eastern footway (Effective width at counting position: 3 m)

100

78 ped. /min.

Pedestrians per minute

Pedestrians per minute

100

125

Re ge nt S tre e t no.123 A1

Pedestrians per minute

125

Re ge nt S tre e t Oppos no.120 Regent ite Street South A2

Regent Street South Western footway (Effective width at counting position: 6 m)

128

131

Pedestrians per minute

150

124

74

75

65 ped. /min.

Limit for comfortable carrying capacity

50

25

Southern footway All day: 77,270

0 10-11 11-12 12-1

AM

1-2

Time

2-3

3-4

4-5

5-6

PM

Public Life - page 83


Staying in the city

Staying activities on a summer weekday 1258

Recordings: Wednesday 9 July 2003, 10 am to 8 pm. Weather: Sunny and pleasant, 23oC Thursday 10 July 2003, 10 am to 8 pm. Weather: Mild and sunny, 25oC Spending time in the city.

Cultural activities Commercial activities Children playing

Eus ton S qua re

Lying down Secondary seating

Average in the period between noon and 4 pm:

114

197

Seated on outdoor cafĂŠs

4373 Activities

Seated on benches Standing British Library

Tottenham Court Road

Victoria Embankment Garden

Euston Square

339

Charing Cross Road

Le ice s te r S qua re 380 684

Tottenham Court Road

Comparison Copenhagen city centre experiences a midday average of 5900 staying activities on a summer weekday. The main part of these activities are people in cafes (33%). The inner city has, in general, been developed to accommodate visitors and provides good quality public space.

431

254

The number and character of outdoor staying activities in London illustrate a city with few public spaces of good quality. In a city the size of London, one could expect a far higher use rate in the public spaces. However, the generally low quality of the public spaces has a strong effect on the amount of people who choose to stay in the city. As such, some places are extensively over-used, such as Covent Garden, while others such as Piccadilly Circus are only sparsely used. As stated earlier, the high rate of secondary seating points to a lack of benches. People find other resting options - standing against a pillar, sitting on stairs or guard railings etc. It is also rare to find children playing in the city centre.

501

215 Charing Cross Road Regent Street Covent Garden

Cultural activities Leicester Square

Commercial activities

Picadilly Circus Trafalgar Square

Public Life - page 84

Victoria Embankment Garden

Children playing Cultural activities Lying down Commercial activities Secondary Children playing seating


Staying activities on a summer weekday

Staying in the city

Number of persons

Leicester Square 1198

1200

Tottenham Court Road

Piccadilly Circus

400

Euston Road

1100

291

300

293

256 200

100

173

88

New Oxford Street

1000

Charing Cross Road

Oxford Street

0 11.00 am

Regent Street

1.00 pm

3.00 pm

5.00 pm

7.00 pm

Time

900

Leicester Square Piccadilly Circus

795

800

Trafalgar Square

Leicester Square Leicester Square is busiest in the evenings, when many people come to visit the restaurants, cafes or cinemas. The benches in the park are extensively used, while people also enjoy sitting on the grass. Leicester Square can appear overcrowded at certain times, especially in the late afternoon and early evening.

700

600

Number of persons

Trafalgar Square Just reopened, Trafalgar Square still lacks enough benches to offer visitors. The two fountains and the new stairs serve as alternative sitting options. It is notable that although Trafalgar Square is app. 4000 m2 larger than Leicester Square, the activity level is about 80% lower. This is partly due to the fact that Leicester Square is more conveniently located, in close relation to areas where many people walk, and due to the fact that Trafalgar Square is still dominated by traffic, not closely connected (except The National Portrait Gallery), has a more monumental layout as well as function and lacks good quality sitting options.

333 300

200

100

0 11.00 am

1.00 pm

3.00 pm Time

5.00 pm

7.00 pm

594

600

545 500

456

400

Number of persons

382

400

646

Piccadilly Circus Piccadilly Circus is presently under-utilized. It has no public benches, high traffic noise and a low-quality urban realm. People tend to stand here talking or, alternatively, sit down on the fountain steps.

479

500

Trafalgar Square 700

300

210 200

100

0 11.00 am

1.00 pm

3.00 pm

5.00 pm

7.00 pm

Time

Public Life - page 85


1600

Staying in the city

1582

Covent Garden

1500

Cultural activities Euston Road

Commercial activities

1386

1400

Children playing Lying down

1300

Secondary seating Seated on outdoor cafĂŠs

Tottenham Court Road

Seated on benches

1200

Standing Victoria Embankment Garden

1130

New Oxford Street

1100

1100 Charing Cross Road

Oxford Street

1039

Regent Street

Covent Garden

1000

1000

Victoria Embankment Garden

900

800

700

700

600

600

328

332

300

247 200

Victoria Embankment Gardens This is mainly used as a lunchtime park by office employees in the area. As such, the use rate after 2 pm falls to 1/3 of the activity during lunch hours.

500

400

Number of persons

Covent Garden Covent Garden was included in the recordings for comparison. There is a high use rate from lunchtime onwards, with cafe seating and people watching performers, talking and enjoying the street-scene. Again, there are few benches. These are used extensively while quite a lot of people find other options on pillars, steps, in niches etc.

400 Number of persons

900

800

500

972

300

254

200

125 100

100

0

0 11.00 am

1.00 pm

3.00 pm Time

5.00 pm

7.00 pm

11.00 am

1.00 pm

3.00 pm Time

5.00 pm

7.00 pm


Staying in the city

Staying activities on a summer weekday Euston Road

British Library

British Library

Number of persons

200 Euston Square

128 99

100

64

Tottenham Court Road

35 6

Tottenham Court Road

Tottenham Court Road

0 11.00 am

1.00 pm

3.00 pm

5.00 pm

7.00 pm

Time

Euston Square

Oxford Street

300

Charing Cross Road Regent Street

Number of persons

240 209 200

100

153

400

New Oxford Street

Number of persons

Regent Street

164

307 300

224

152

102

100

0 3.00 pm

1.00 pm

5.00 pm

7.00 pm

Time

Regent Street Regent Street offers few staying activities. Even so people find secondary places to sit or stand, while looking at window displays or having conversations. It is notable that Regent Street experiences the same amount of staying activities as Piccadilly Circus.

Regent Street 300

276

270 237

217

155

100

11.00 am

British Library and Euston Square Pedestrian traffic is generally low on Euston Road and this affects the amount of staying activities. At the British Library people pass by to rest for a short while. Euston Square serves as a waiting room for people waiting for buses or trains.

Tottenham Court Road and Charing Cross Road Charing Cross Road is used slightly more than Tottenham Court Road. If the adjoined public spaces on Tottenham Court Road were developed, the amount of staying activities would most likely increase.

1.00 pm

3.00 pm

5.00 pm

7.00 pm

Time

Charing Cross Road 500

406 400

369

354 Number of persons

11.00 am

Number of persons

207

200

0

200

370

312 300

243 200

100

0

0 11.00 am

1.00 pm

3.00 pm Time

5.00 pm

7.00 pm

11.00 am

1.00 pm

3.00 pm Time

5.00 pm

7.00 pm


Who spends time in the city Average of Oxford Street Between 10 am and 8 pm Average

The recordings indicated a high level of similarity in the distribution of the various age groups in Regent Street, Charing Cross Road and Tottenham Court Road. The average figures show an almost total lack of children, but the elderly are also seldom to be found. Approximately 94-96% of all pedestrians are 15-64 year olds.

70

70

60

35

30

2

3

0-6

7-14

70

60

37,5

30

15-30 Age

31-64

>65

10

0 7-14

15-30

31-64

>65

Age

(Rundle Mall: A pedestrian street with good facilities for children) Public Life - page 88

1

0-6

7-14

15-30

31-64

>65

Average of Tottenham Court Road BetweenAverage 10 am and 8 pm 70 60

50

53

50

44

40 30

43

40 30 20

10 0

3

0

Age

20

0-6

10

Percent

50

5

30

0

50 Percent

% Percent

60

10

40

Average of Charing Cross Road Between 10 am and 8 pm Average 70

10

6

0

80

20

43

20

11Comparison am Rundle Mall, Adelaide 11 am

37,5

Percent

40

10

53

50

20

Below is displayed an age study from the main pedestrian street in Adelaide, Rundle Mall, which has achieved a good mix of age groups - 25% children and elderly. In London this group comes up to 18% in Regent Street at 10 am - the maximum in the study areas. London is, at present, not laid out to accommodate families with children - few areas are pedestrianised and walking conditions need to be improved greatly, especially to allow prams to move around more easily.

40

60

54

50 Percent

Oxford Street stands out from the others by having more children and elderly, even though the street at certain times feels immensely crowded and unfit for these age groups.

Average of Regent Street Between 10 am and 8 pm Average

0

4

2

10 0

0-6

7-14

15-30 Age

31-64

>65

0

1

0-6

7-14

3 15-30 Age

31-64

>65


Who spends time in the city 10.00

30

8

10

35

30

0

0-6

7-14

3

7

4 7-14

16.00

20.00 58

60 47

50

Percent

41 40 30 20

40

32

30 20

3

10

0

2

5

3

0 0-6

7-14

15-30

31-64

>65

0-6

7-14

Age

Percent

Percent

50 34

30

10

10

3

0-6

7-14

0 15-30

31-64

>65

0-6

7-14

16.00

15-30

31-64

>65

20.00 70

60

58

60 47

45

50

Percent

50 40 30 20

40

36

30 20

7 1

0 0-6

0 7-14

10 0

15-30

Age

31-64

>65

0 0-6

3 7-14

7-14

60

3

30 20

52 40

40 30 20

1

4

10

4

3

4

0-6

7-14

15-30

Age

1

0

0 7-14

15-30

31-64

>65

15-30

31-64

>65

>65

14.00 70

64

60

50

50

40

31-64

Age

60

33

30 20

51 43

40 30 20

10

10

3

0

0

0-6

7-14

0 15-30

31-64

>65

5

0

1

0-6

7-14

Age

15-30

31-64

>65

Age

16.00

20.00

70

70

60

60 48

50

48

30 20

50

48

50

40

40 30 20

10 0

>65

50

40

0

31-64

20.00

41

10

15-30

Age

10.00

Age

70

0-6

Age

2

2

>65

50

0-6

39

0

3

70

50

>65

30 20

31-64

60

56

40

20 0

15-30

70

Age

Percent

Charing Cross Road

60

50

5

2

16.00

14.00

60

0

31-64

7-14

70

70

64

40

10

3

Age

10.00 70

15-30

30

Age

Percent

3

6

45

0 0-6

Percent

50

10

>65

70

60

0

31-64

Age

70

10

15-30

Percent

0-6

>65

Regent Street

31-64

2

45

40

20

13

0

Tottenham Court Road

15-30

30

10

0

50

35

Percent

0

10

40

20

Age

Percent

Oxford Street

0

40

20

20

60 47

50

Percent

40

60

51

Percent

50

70

Percent

60

50

14.00

70

Percent

60

30

10.00

14.00 70

62

Percent

Percent

70

0

3

1

10 0

0-6

7-14

15-30

Age

31-64

>65

0

0

0-6

7-14

2 15-30

31-64

>65

Age

Public Life - page 89


Summary of Part 2

The following sums up the findings in Part 2 in three different categories Walking in the city

Describes walking patterns and amount of pedestrian traffic

Staying in the city

Describes amount and type of stationary activities

Who walks in the city

Describes age variations on pedestrians

Walking in the city Severe crowding in commercial streets. Reasonably low amounts of pedestrian traffic in other streets. App. 30 % increase in pedestrian traffic on summer Saturdays compared to summer weekdays. Summer traffic and winter traffic are very alike. Points to a low recreational activity rate in the public spaces.

Public Life - page 90


Summary of Part 2

Staying in the city Overload of activities and cafes in Leicester Square and Covent Garden. Few activities in other areas . Public life in London is, at present, mostly about walking - the city still awaits to be developed regarding recreational activities. Points towards low urban quality.

Who walks in the city 95 % of all pedestrians are 15 - 64 years old. Points to a city not laid out for recreational activities and to a city where little is done to accommodate age groups with special needs.

Public Life - page 91


PART 3 - Recommendations Conclusions and Best practice Public Life - page 92


Contents of Part 3

Introduction to Part 3

Key recommendations 1. Capitalise on the unique qualities 2. Create a better balance between traffic and other city users 3. Improve conditions for walking in the city 4. Ensure access for all 5. Improve conditions for staying in the city 6. Improve the visual quality of the streetscape 7. Improve conditions for cycling

Turning a city around

Process Reflections


Introduction to Part 3

The Public Space and Public Life study area has not been London’s inner city as a whole, but selected streets, squares, station areas and parks. The idea has been to achieve general knowledge about the overall situation by studying selected places and the recommendations reflect this strategy. The project primarily focuses on problems at the detailed and at medium levels of scale, but the recommendations aim primarily towards the whole, the common features, as opposed to detailed comments on the chosen study areas. A number of recommendations aimed at pointing out some general suggestions for future quality improvements for all parts of central London are presented under 7 different sub themes. These recommendations should be read as a series of measures that can deliver a good-quality urban environment over time, rather than as a strict set of rules to be carried out to the letter. A gradual change of culture is crucial. The Mayor´s transport strategy aims to make London a superb city for walking by 2015. This will require a drastic change in both policy and mindset. Cities that have successfully improved the environment for people have, as part of the process, developed a different culture and a new way of thinking about the balance between people and traffic. The recommendation chapter sets out what a good city should look like. The recommendations are not - given the present culture of priorities and approaches - seen as practical in the short term. Instead, it will depend on an incremental approach to the suggested »quick-win« actions, as well as generating the shifts in attitude and policy suggested through the rest of the report. As a result, large-scale achievements can become possible.

Given the same opportunities Londoners will make the same choices as people in other cities.

Recommendations - page 95


Key recommendations

1. Celebrate London as a green city a) b) c) d)

Establish more entrances to the city´s parks and squares. Establish better access. Give high priority to pedestrians and cyclists in parks and reduce or remove vehicular traffic. Establish new squares and parks for recreation.

1. Capitalize on the unique qualities

London examples Much has happened in London during the past years, especially along the River Thames on the South Bank.

2. Improve the City Squares a)

Improve the number and the quality of people-oriented public squares.

3. Celebrate the River Thames a) b) c)

Create walkways from the city to the river as well as along it to achieve an improved connection between the city and the river. Improve access and relation between the city and the river by improving the waterfront, creating soft edges and relocating vehicular traffic now running along the water. Increase activities on the water, such as sailing and rowing.

Recommendations - page 96

The South Bank promenade offers splendid views and various uses.

Walkway between St. Paul’s and the Thames offers direct and unimpeded access.


1. Best Practice

Key recommendations

Celebrate the parks

Celebrate the squares

Celebrate the river

Above: Bryant Park, New York, was gloomy and dominated by drug dealers. Recently the park has been thoroughly renovated. The fence has been removed and the park made more open and inviting.

Above: The historical square. Welcome Park, Pennsylvania

Above: An outdoor cafe culture has spread out along Copenhagen’s waterfront, introducing beach sand on the pavement and beach furniture.

Above: Bryant Park after renovation. Below: Renting out boats in the parks, Paris

Below: The modern square. Schouwburgplein, Rotterdam.

Below: The traditional square. Cordoba, South America.

Above: Ice rink, Melbourne. Below: Riverfront promenade, Bilbao.

Recommendations - page 97


Key recommendations 1. Create a better balance between traffic and other city users a)

b) c) d)

e) f)

g)

Make the most of the Congestion Charge to use freed-up space for quality improvements. Reduce through traffic. Create new patterns for goods deliveries. Improve the visibility and accessibility of surface public transport to encourage more bus use and walking. This will take pressure off the road system and the congested tube and rail networks. Dedicated bus- and pedestrian streets can improve the bus system. Improve conditions for walking and encourage people to walk. Create pedestrian streets and pedestrian priority streets where many people already walk to improve conditions for walking and city life, as well as to reduce traffic. Reduce the amount of parking to control traffic coming into the city centre. Copenhagen has successfully used this policy, gradually bringing the amount of parking spaces down and thus achieving less traffic while encouraging use of public transport, walking and cycling.

2. Improve traffic safety a)

b)

Improve traffic safety by introducing precise standards for crossings, stoplights etc. Improve traffic safety to allow disabled, the elderly and families with younger children to move more freely.

3. Reduce the impact of traffic on the city environment a)

b) c) d)

Encourage the replacement of old cars, lorries and buses in order to lower noise, reduce fumes and improve safety. Introduce green waves at stoplights to avoid engines idling. Reduce the provision for cars. Make medians in streets to curb traffic and facilitate safe pedestrian crossings.

Recommendations - page 98

2. Create a better balance between traffic and other city users

A combined strategy ; Strasbourg A survey of travel habits from 1989 showed that 73% drove cars, 11% took the bus, while 15 % cycled or walked on their trips to and from central Strasbourg. Attempts had been made for several years, but Mayor Catherine Traumbert was, in 1989 the first to adopt plans for long-term urban renewal in which city life, cyclists and public transport were given high priority. Car traffic in the centre reduced dramatically. With the introduction of the new north-south tram line, a comprehensive, linear public space policy was well on its way. Pedestrians and cyclists were to have much better conditions, the deteriorating spaces of the city were to be renovated and the new tram line to have first priority in city traffic. These objectives were combined into a strategy in which laying the tram tracks inspired the rethinking of the squares, streets and roads touched by the tram route. Thus both suburban and inner-city spaces were renovated gradually as work on laying the new tram tracks progressed. In the city centre itself, several streets were completely closed to car traffic and reserved for line A and pedestrians. At the same time, streets were renovated from facade to facade. In other streets, a modest stream of car traffic was allowed alongside pedestrians, cyclists and the trams. A modern tram was selected as the new means of transportation in competition with bus systems and underground rail systems. The new trams have an elegant, transparent design. Large, low windows provide a good view inside and out, making passengers part of the street scene at stops and riding through town. An unusually low floor ensures good access for everyone. Strasbourg´s tram system has become a great success and exceeded all expectations. Only a few years after their introduction, the city’s new trams carried 70,000 passengers every day, compared to a forecast of 50,000. Since 1990, the use of public transport has increased by 43% and the number of trams serving the city centre has been doubled by introducing an extra line on part of the line A route. More lines, with a total track length of 35 km, are on the drawing board.

Above: In the central city areas the tram runs quietly through pedestrian areas.

Tram stops have been carefully designed to reflect the good quality public transport system. Above: Place de l´Homme de Fer.


2. Best Practice

Key recommendations Types of people friendly streets

Bus terminal ; Copenhagen

Copenhagen has improved existing bus facilities and space-demanding bus terminals have gradually moved out of the city centre. Modern buses driving on gas have been introduced to lower noise and fumes.

Pedestrian street The City Goods Ordinance; Copenhagen In 2002 the obligatory trial-scheme “City Goods Ordinance” was introduced in Medieval Copenhagen. Vans and lorries heavier than 2,500 kg are not allowed to stop in the designated area unless they have a City Goods certificate. Lorries heavier than 18,000 kg need a special certificate. The purpose with the trial-scheme is to reduce the number, size and age of the cars driving into the area. A report from 1997 states that every day about 3,500 vans and lorries over 2,500 kg total weight made 6,000 trips to the 1 x 1 km central area. www.citygods.kk.dk/english.html

Strøget, the main street of Copenhagen, was pedestrianized in 1962. The new street was immediately popular allowing Copenhageners to walk peacefully down the length of the inner city. On ordinary winter days, main sections of Strøget carry some 25,000 pedestrians between the hours of 10 am and 6 pm. On summer days, pedestrian traffic reaches some 55,000 people a day. These figures have stayed remarkably stable. With a width of 10 - 12 metres, Strøget can handle some 145 pedestrians per minute, and on summer days, it reaches this capacity for a good part of the day. This has been the situation for some 30 years now.

Pedestrian priority street

Strædet, Copenhagen, marked the introduction of a new type of city street to the city centre. Only 8 - 11 metres wide, this street used to carry heavy traffic, including several bus lines. In 1989, it was experimentally reclassified as a pedestrian priority street, meaning a street where pedestrians and bicycles have priority, but where cars may enter at slow speeds. The street is divided into short one-way sections to prevent through-traffic. Bus routes were relocated to streets on the edge of the old city area. This mixture of pedestrians, bicycles and cars now shares the street space.

Boulevard

Champs-Elysees, Paris. With a combined pedestrian area of 47,300 m2, the renovation of ChampsElysees is one of the most comprehensive public space projects in Europe. Doing away with parking lanes made it possible to expand the footways on both sides of the street from 12 to 24 metres. A simple, carefully detailed pavement of grey granite runs the entire length of the promenade, bringing calm and unity to the space. Widening the footways has dramatically expanded city life.

Recommendations - page 99


Key recommendations

2. Create a better balance between traffic and other city users

Public transport

Main station Entrance Footway Bus terminal

Vehicular traffic - 30.000 vehicles per day

Taxi bays

Pedestrian crossing 35.000 pedestrians per day Footway

Above: Euston Station, buses are hidden behind Euston Park and access is limited.

Above: Copenhagen main station Pedestrians have high priority and good access to public transport as well as taxis.

Access to major transport hubs Good pedestrian access to train stations, bus terminals and the Underground is vital to ensure as many people use public transport as possible. Improving accessibility to, and visibility, of public transport facilities enables better interchange and encourages use of sustainable modes. It is also key to addressing social exclusion issues. Below: Waterloo Road, poor access to bus stops and the station encourage people to jaywalk.

Below: Strasbourg, tram stop High quality design has been introduced for main tram stop linking the pedestrian network to the public transport system.

Above: Lyon has made good connections for pedestrians at interchange facilities, where bus systems and tram systems join up.

An extensive network of bus routes The recent increases in bus usage highlights the benefits that can arise from use of this mode. Buses are able to penetrate the city core and offer direct access to many destinations for a wide range of users, particularly those who might have physical difficulty in using rail networks or do not have access to private transport. Bus speeds and reliability are improving due to bus priority measures and the effects of Congestion Charging. Buses offer a viable alternative to many journeys made on rail networks. All bus journeys include a walking element and both modes complement each other well. An accessible and visible bus operating environment encourages activity at the surface level. It can also highlight the ease and directness of journeys made on the surface (by bus and/or foot) and this can help alleviate pressure on other public transport modes. This stimulates demand for a better pedestrian environment. More surface activity can also generate more social interaction and economic opportunities, bringing life to city streets. It is therefore very important to have a high-quality, effective, accessible and uncomplicated bus network.

Recommendations - page 100


2. Best Practice

Key recommendations

21

23 GS AC 19

22 Riviera Motor Inn

20

24

Grosvenor

25

10

26

27

B O TA

Stamford Plaza

The Mansions

29

Y2

FRANKLIN ST

B

3

WEST

GROTE ST

B

Australian Tax Office

RM

18

B

Central Bus Station

17

B

16

2

Hilton International Hotel

12 Tandanya

14

FLINDERS ST

CITY LOOP anti-clockwise GROTE ST BEELINE CITY LOOP clockwise Adelaide Central Market

PIRIE ST

VICTORIA PO SQUARE

B

to the hills

GRENFELL ST

HINDMARSH SQUARE 13

TH

B B

RUNDLE RD

30

31 O-BAHN

FRANKLIN ST

11

HUTT ST

B

B TERRACE

MORPHETT ST

WAY M O U T H S T

Ambassador Hotel

RUNDLE ST

CITY LOOP anti-clockwise PULTENEY ST CITY LOOP clockwise

SQUARE

X1

KING WILLIAM ST

CURRIE ST

CITY LOOP bus route

to the beach

B HS

i

LIGHT

Roma Mitchell Arts Education Centre

RUNDLE MALL

BEE LINE bus route

B 4

5

HINDLEY ST

Townhouse on Hindley

32

34

33

i

B

WA K E F I E L D S T

1 GLENELG TRAM

CITY LOOP bus route

15

National Archives of Australia

Chinatown

D NIC R

28

CITY LOOP bus route

CITY LOOP anti-clockwise Princes Arcade Holiday Inn

Wine Centre

Botanic Gardens

Royal Adelaide Hospital

NORTH TERRACE CITY LOOP anti-clockwise

V1

EDS Building Registration & Licensing

State Uni of Uni of SA Library Adelaide City-East Campus Museum, 9 Art Gallery

EAST TCE

6

Adelaide Zoo- 800 metres from stop 10

RD

MORPHETT ST

Parliament

House RAILWAY Adelaide Convention STATION 8 7 Centre CITY LOOP clockwise BEELINE BEELINE

Copenhagen - buses as tram lines

ME

Casino

FRO

City SK8 Skate Park

Uni of SA City-West Campus

Adelaide Festival Centre

K I N T O R E AV E

N

KING WILLIAM RD

Adelaide - free central city buses

PASSENGER TRANSPORT INFOCENTRE Open Monday to Saturday from 8am - 6pm and Sunday 10.30am - 5.30pm B

LEGEND MAP A N G SERVICES AS ST G O U G E R FOR S T ADELAIDE FREE BUS City Loop Bus Route runs every 15 minutes in both directions Mon-Thurs 8.00am - 6.00pm Friday 8.00am - 9.15pm Saturday: Runs every 30mins 8.15am - 5.15pm Sunday: Runs every 30mins 10.00am - 5.15pm

Bee Line Bus Route runs every 5 minutes Mon-Thurs 7.40am - 6.00pm Friday 7.40am - 9.20pm Saturday: Runs every 17mins 8.27am approx 10.30am then every 15 mins 10.30am - 5.35pm Sunday: Runs every 15mins 10.00am - 5.30pm

X1

Skylink Airport Shuttle Bus Stop

21

Adelaide Free Bus Stop

Central Bus Station

B

Backpacker/Hostels All Adelaide FREE buses are fully accessible and feature low floors and ramps Airport / City Bus stops here (Bookings Essential) Phone: 8332 0528

The Beeline and the City Loop Café/Restaurant Precinct Glenelg Tramway Route Railway Adelaide, Australia, introduced free bus services in Adelaide the O-Bahn cityBuscentre to avoid vehicular traffic moving from one central another. CITY LOOP 99C destination toBEELINE 99BThis has been quite successful. Mostly tourists, but also the elderly, students and families with children are enjoying improved access to city locations. Further suburban buses are kept outside the central city ring, leaving more room for the dedicated, central free bus service to run more frequently. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34

Victoria Square (Trams) Central Market (China Town) Morphett Street (Family and Community Services) Hindley Street (Light Square) Hindley Street West (Holiday Inn, Motels, Cafes, Marcellina’s) The Terraces West Arts Centre (Morphett Bridge) Railway Station (Casino, Hyatt, Festival Centre, Adelaide Convention Centre) State Library / Museum (Art Gallery) Botanic Gardens (Royal Adelaide Hospital, Wine Centre) Parklands (Rundle Street) Tandanya (Grenfell Street) Hindmarsh Square (Pulteney Street) St Pauls (Cathedral) Fire Station (Wakefield Street) Victoria Square (Trams) Her Majesty’s Theatre (Grote Street) Central Bus Station (Backpackers Hostel) Hindley Street (Townhouse on Hindley) Hindley Street West (Holiday Inn, Motels, Cafes, Marcellina’s) The Terraces (Newmarket Hotel, Day Surgery) University West (George Street) University (Morphett Bridge) EDS Building (Registration and Licensing) Roma Mitchell House (Bank Street) Government House (Myer) Central Shopping (David Jones) Frome Street (Royal Adelaide Hospital) Rundle Street (East End, Cafe’s, Pubs) East End Hindmarsh Square (Academy Cinemas) Pulteney Street (Corner Flinders and Pulteney Streets) Fire Station (Wakefield Street) Gawler Place

1 PO HS 25 24 23 GS 19 AC 8 RM TH

O-Bahn bus stops

Victoria Square (Trams) Post Office (Franklin Street) Hindley Street Roma Mitchell House (Bank Street) EDS Building (Registration and Licensing) University (Morphett Street Bridge) George Street Hindley Street (Townhouse on Hindley) Arts Centre, JamFactory (Morphett Bridge) Railway Station (Casino, Hyatt, Festival Centre) Rundle Mall (Bee Hive Corner) Town Hall (Treasury Building, Flinders Street)

Central focus points for the free bus service have been: - easy access for everyone: buses can lower to kerb height and extend access ramps, while the flat bus floor allows people to move around more easily once inside. - environmentally friendly buses powered by gas. - display of local events, by letting bus design display e.g. cultural events. - good information: all stops are announced by drivers, who are trained in customer service and who can tell passengers what connecting transport mode to catch. - connecting with major transport hubs, such as the train and tram systems. - connecting with pedestrian desire links, such as museums, the central shopping areas, cultural institutions etc.

The A-bus network A-buses have recently been introduced in Copenhagen to improve linkages to the new metro and existing train lines. The new bus system uses the A-buses as a spine for public transport to and from the city. In addition other, less frequent buses, take care of suburban bus routes. The A-buses are scheduled to run at least six times every hour and consist of six lines connecting the most important public transport hubs in the city, encouraging more efficent use of the public transport system. To make the A-buses clearly distinguishable they are supplied with red corners (buses in Copenhagen are yellow), with the most important stops written on the side. Electronic devices are being installed at every bus stop or bus terminal to show when the next bus will arrive. This technology will also help control the buses in the streets, so they can run as “pearls on a string”. The A-buses are supplied by two ring lines, which with equally frequent running times will make it easy to get across the city without having to go to the centre.

Recommendations - page 101


Key recommendations

3. Improve conditions for walking in the city

1. Create a coherent pedestrian policy

5. Create interesting walking routes

a)

a)

b) c)

d)

Introduce a new balanced traffic culture including walking and cycling. Step up pedestrian priority. Introduce pedestrian streets, pedestrian priority streets or widen footways. Introduce more walking routes with pedestrian priority, good crossings, good quality material; same pavement and same lighting throughout the route, clear marking of “gateways�, where one street succeeds another.

b) c) d)

6. Improve pedestrian crossings

2. Expand the room for walking

a)

a)

b)

b)

Widen overcrowded footways to make adequate room for pedestrians to be able to walk comfortably. Minimise the amount of street furniture and street elements in busy streets.

3. Remove obstacles on the footway a) b) c) d) e)

Create one zone for walking - one for street furniture. Carefully plan bus stops not to be obstacles . Remove guard railings as part of introducing a new traffic culture based on people (as described in introduction to Part 3). Reduce goods and signboards on busy streets. Curb the amount of people sticking out flyers, wearing billboards or using loud-hailers.

4. Avoid unnecessary footway interruptions a) b)

Close off under-used side streets and delivery lanes in main streets. Take footways across minor side streets, delivery lanes etc.

Recommendations - page 102

Regulate for good, attractive ground floor frontages and soft edges. Supply good quality surfaces on footways. Ensure free vistas, interesting views and reasonable seeing distances. Develop a distinct coherent design for walking routes passing across major streets, e.g. Covent Garden - Leicester Square connection.

c) d) e) f) g) h) j) k) l)

Create one standard for pedestrian crossings in central city areas. Avoid pedestrian crossings without pedestrian signals or markings in pavement. Make pedestrian crossings in a straight line at ground floor level. Create direct routes, avoid detours. Avoid /remove pen crossings. Close pedestrian subways. Remove push buttons where possible. Improve pedestrian priority at stoplights. Supply pedestrian crossings with pedestrian signals in signal regulated crossings. Supply pedestrian crossings at all traffic signalled intersections. Ensure conveniently placed crossings.


3. Best Practice

Pedestrian crossings ; Bilbao

Key recommendations

Taking footways across side streets ; Copenhagen Gammel Kongevej, a major Danish boulevard, was renovated in 2001, improving conditions for pedestrians and setting new standards for city streets in Copenhagen. It was decided to give pedestrians high priority throughout the street, which is a main local shopping street. As such the main use - promenade walks - was enhanced. Footways have been taken across all side streets, which were quite underused compared to the pedestrian flows on the main street. The result has been a dignified city walk where vehicular traffic gives way to pedestrians at every crossing. Further turns to the side streets across the opposite traffic lane are no longer possible, which ensures an even flow of vehicular traffic along the street.

Above: Bilbao BEFORE For many years Bilbao had a traffic culture predominantly laid out for vehicular traffic. However, the Guggenheim Museum kicked off greater development of the city. Public spaces have been renovated, a new metro system has been introduced, the riverfront is now open to the public and a rather large improvement scheme has been carried out at street level where guard railings have been removed and pedestrian subways have been replaced by pedestrian crossings. Below: Bilbao AFTER

Where footways are taken across side streets, the pavement has been widened and small oases have been created where a tree and a bench offer good possibilities for resting.

Below: Footways are taken across all side streets giving pedestrians high priority. Photo: Gammel Kongevej

Rue de la Republique, Lyon

Footways are taken across all side streets on Rue de la Republique, Lyon

Below: Benches offering by-passers a rest have been placed in connection to the narrowed side street entries . Photo: Gammel Kongevej

Recommendations - page 103


Key recommendations 1. Ensure access for all a) b) c) d) e) f)

g) h) j)

Avoid pedestrian subways. Avoid overhead walkways. Avoid stairs or steps without any ramps. Supply lifts or escalators to underground stations. Supply drop kerbs at all pedestrian crossings. Improve access to buses by introducing modern buses with lower floors, hydraulics to align kerb side and bus floor and portable ramp for wheelchair access. Make bus stops accessible by avoiding clutter around bus stops, clearing kerb space and securing alignment between kerbside and bus floor. Ensure good accessibility to key points. Relieve crowding on footways by expanding footways and establishing pedestrian streets in order not to exclude children, elderly and disabled people and to improve walking quality.

Recommendations - page 104

4. Ensure access for all

Access to public transport Accessibility to public transport and a good quality pedestrian landscape is vital to achieve a higher rate of public transport. Routes to and from stations and terminals need to be clearly signed and provide comfortable walking paths to invite people to use the underground, the trains or the buses. Below are examples of the obstacles people meet when commuting, and which keep some people from being able to use public transport at all.

London: Entering tube stations frequently happens by several sets of stairs, excluding disabled people.

Copenhagen: Elevators are placed at every metro station.

London: Old buses are inaccessible to wheelchair users.

Strasbourg: Platforms are at the same level as tram floors.


4. Best Practice

Key recommendations

Ensure good accessibility Greater emphasis is being planned worldwide on improving city access for people with special needs, such as wheelchair users, families with children and the elderly. One special challenge is access to public transport, which is vital for a number of visitors. Even smaller steps, such as continuing footways and drop kerbs, are making huge differences for a number of people.

Copenhagen: One city-wide type of clearly-marked pedestrian crossings.

ZĂźrich BEFORE: A set of lifts, escalators and stairs provide access via the pedestrian subway to the main station.

Bilbao: Taking footways across side streets at same level has eased access considerably for wheelchair users and prams.

Copenhagen: 65,000 vehicles and 50,000 pedestrians cross at ground level in Copenhagen´s most busy crossing at a daily basis.

ZĂźrich AFTER: Closing the subway and making a pedestrian crossing has created a straight forward route to the main station.

Barcelona: Barcelona has developed a citywide policy to ensure better access for people with special needs.

Recommendations - page 105


Key recommendations

1. Invite people to stop, stand, sit and enjoy in the city a) b) c) d) e) f) g) h) j) k) l)

m)

Create more public space /more squares /pedestrian areas. Improve public spaces in general. Supply many more public benches, especially at frequently used routes. Improve sitting comfort, views and placement. Create “talkscapes�, such as benches facing each other, to create good possibilities for social interaction. Invite outdoor cafes to more locations in the inner city, including major walking routes. Good possibilities for various uses and activities. Provide space for physical activities, play and unorganised activity in the streetscape. Possibilities for organised activities day & night, taking account of residents. Improve the night-time activity level, taking account of residents. Spread night time activities to larger parts of the city centre. In other cities, night time activities are controlled through licenses. Licenses are reduced in some areas and increased in other areas. Possibilities for outdoor entertainment, summer & winter.

2. More squares, better squares a)

One of the major shortcomings of central London is the lack of good squares for public life. Only two urban squares, Covent Garden and Leicester Square, are presently serving this need and both are heavily overcrowded on good days. Ideally, central London needs another ten squares providing high quality public space.

3. More oases along walking routes a)

Improve existing public spaces to serve as oases for resting.

Recommendations - page 106

5. Improve conditions for staying in the city

b) c) f)

Make secondary, hidden squares in courtyards more visible by making entrances clear and inviting, such as Somerset House. Develop small squares and widened footways along main streets into good quality public space offering activities and possibilities to rest. Create pockets of local squares or parks along walking routes by refraining from building on empty sites.

4. More resting options /benches along walking routes a) b) c) d)

Ensure soft edges and inviting facades for resting. Introduce points of support for leaning. Redevelop widened footways to encourage resting. Create sitting opportunities at closed side streets along the major streets.

5. Create a good environment a) b) c)

Reduce noise to facilitate conversation. Ensure good views and possibilities for seeing. Protect against traffic.

6. Make the best of the climatic conditions a) b) c) d) e)

Plan public spaces carefully according to the English climate to make the most of the natural conditions. Create good sitting possibilities in the sun. Supply protection against wind and drafts. Avoid footbridges. Avoid long stretches of slick facades and tall buildings.

Bench inscriptions, Edinburgh

Dedicated citizens donate benches in Edinburgh with wonderful inscriptions expressing their love for the city and for the joys of sitting in the city.


Above: Moveable chairs give multiple use possibilities, Townhall Square, Melbourne. Below: Public Reading Room in Bryant Park, New York.

Below: Outdoor free public cinema in the city, University Square, Copenhagen.

Key recommendations

Active recreation

Passive recreation

5. Best Practice

Above: Karate display, Copenhagen. Below: Playgrounds can work as recreational oases for children and adults, New York.

Above: Playing at Battery Park City, New York. Below: Rollerskating, Battery Park City, New York.

Below: Chess tournament, New York.

Below: Basketball, Battery Park City, New York.

Recommendations - page 107


Key recommendations

5. Best Practice

More Squares, better Squares

Below: Sankt Hans Torv, Copenhagen In converting Sankt Hans Torv from its old function as a busy intersection to its new function as a square for recreational activity, the surface traffic was diverted to the edge of the square. This created a new city space with its back against the buildings on the northeastern sunlit side of the square.

It is an interesting example of how a well designed public space can act as a catalyst to the renovation of a whole district. The redesign of the square and its lively atmosphere marks a change in the status of the neighbourhood and symbolises the rebirth of the quarter. Recommendations - page 108

Pioneer Courthouse Square, Portland (before and after) Pioneer Courthouse Square was designed with an emphasis on urban activity and providing a meeting place. The square is a fine example of a public space created on the initiative and energy of citizens of the town, who also raised a great deal of funding through personal sponsorship. The names of the thousands of donors are stamped on the red brick pavement that covers the square.

Placa del Sol, Barcelona A local urban square showing that a minimal but precise design can result in high use for residents.

Rathausplatz, St. Pรถlten, Austria (before and after) The primary reason for renovating the Town Hall Square in St. Pรถlten was to establish a lage unifying stone surface for fixed or free-standing furniture. Variations in patterns and materials of surface articulate the floor of the square and describe zones for various functions. The varied and expressive staging of the lighting provides an important theme in the architectural treatment of the space. Underground parking was built beneath the square.

Place de Centre Pompidou, Paris The square in front of the Centre Pompidou is blessed by a central location and a great deal of visitors to the cultural centre. Throughout the year the square accomodates numerous popular events attracting passers-by.


5. Best Practice

Key recommendations

More resting options along walking routes

More Oases along walking routes

Below: Somerset House, London. A nice urban retreat, today quite hidden.

Below: Amagertorv, Copenhagen. Redesign financed by surrounding shops.

Below: Karl Johan, Oslo. Outdoor serving along the main street.

Below: Strøget, Copenhagen. People enjoy watching people.

Above: Somerset House, London. Children and adults are amused by the playful water jets.

Above: Paley Park, New York. A combination of water, trees and a change in paving create a peaceful oasis in the bustling city.

Above: Rundle Street, Adelaide. Resting options along the street.

Above: Bilbao. Carefully designed paving and benches create a unique atmosphere at the main street in Bilbao.

Recommendations - page 109


Key recommendations

6. Improve the visual quality of the streetscape

1. Develop a Design policy a) b) c) d) e) f)

Introduce a coherent design profile, which could be different from borough to borough but needs to be coordinated across the city. Create a footway standard. Create a signage policy to coordinate efforts. Create a design policy to coordinate street furniture. Create a standard for kiosks, newspaper stands and bus shelters. Continue the tradition of the special London street furniture.

m) n) o) p)

a) b)

a)

c)

b)

3. Clean up the streetscape a)

b) c) d) e) f) g) h) j) k) l)

Start a general clean up of the streetscape, supported by campaigns informing the public about what is going on, appealing to citizens and shopkeepers to support the clean up. Introduce permissions for putting up street signs and furniture. Reducing the overall number. Minimize the number of poles. Remove unnecessary signage. Scale road signs in the city to a streetscene, not a freeway. Remove guard railings. Revise and check up on messages to the blind, much of which is outdated. Avoid piles of signs, boxes, bags etc. Avoid “graffiti� on the pavement and roads made by traffic engineers. It devalues the quality of the streetscape. Create a better garbage-collecting system. Remove garbage from the streets.

Recommendations - page 110

London examples

4. Building facades

2. Strengthen London´s green character Supplement street planting to achieve coherence, improve the streetscape and reduce speed. Remove park fences and rails where they are not needed to establish a strong connection between city and park.

Immediate removal of unused items. Introduce sustainable materials and better quality in paving etc. Think of the footway, cycle lanes and the street as a whole in a design process, not as individual elements. Enhance important views and vistas.

Make a general policy for active ground floor frontages in important streets. Avoid long stretches of larger units, where possible using the formula: narrow units, many doors. Ensure that the building scale carefully observes the human scale.

5. Develop a Lighting and Safety policy a) b) c) d) e) f) g)

Develop a lighting policy to coordinate colours and lamp types in streets and squares. Develop individual projects for good quality lighting in important squares and streets. Establish a policy for lighting facades. Improve lighting to make the streetscape more appealing at night. Provide good lighting for orientation - being able to see faces of passers-by, signs etc. Ensure transparence and light from shop windows at night. Avoid metal shutters at day and night time in all areas.

6. Improve maintenance a) b) c) d)

Ensure clean streets and squares. Exchange broken paving and mend holes immediately based on standard, quality guidelines. Repair broken or worn down elements immediately. Remove graffiti immediately.

Above: London has a unique traditional street furniture tradition. Below: Kensington High Street (3d simulation) has recently been renovated developing new standards for lighting, street furniture, paving and on-street planting.


6. Best Practice

City furnishings ; Melbourne Melbourne has been renovated to promote it as a city of fine streets. The linear character of the spaces is underlined by rows of trees and street lamps, and the regular wide footway in particular communicates the message that this is a city street welcoming pedestrians. The Urban Design Office drew up a programme of street furniture for new public spaces with bluestone pavements. The programme includes a wide assortment of public space furnishings with perforated steel plates as the unifying material. A dark green colour that harmonizes well with the colour of the pavement was chosen for the new benches, tables, screens, planters and rubbish bins. The new city furnishings have been introduced throughout the city wherever new pavements have been laid. At the same time, older public furnishings as well as the jumble of private furnishings have been removed. Private cafÊ chairs in plastic and so on are not accepted on the stylish new pavements. Instead, outdoor serving establishments are required to use the city´s official furnishings - green tables, chairs and planters - that can either be leased or purchased from the municipality.

Key recommendations

Glass disposal ; Frederiksberg, (Copenhagen)

Recycling glass containers at street level have been replaced with this new system of underground collecting stations. Restaurants at the water front in Copenhagen, now have a vacuum based system where all garbage is sucked out from individual stands to an underground collecting station.

Turning mono-functional areas around ; Stockholm

New ideas are adopted to regain lost public space. In Stockholm, Sweden, new housing has been built outside existing multi-storey car parks. Empty streets dominated by cars and concrete are changed to narrow streets lined by housing and shops.

Recommendations - page 111


Key recommendations

6. Best Practice

Lighting Policy ; Lyon

Above: Special illumination of city bridges and important sights along the river. Below: Along Rue de la République the idea is to highlight the streetscape with overall facade lighting.

Paving ; Copenhagen

Lyon has developed a »yellow lighting plan« which has set out guidelines for overall artistic and functional lighting of streets, squares, buildings and special urban elements such as the bridges and banks of the rivers, as well as selected historical monuments. Work is ongoing to light the main street of the city, Rue de la Republique, with a course of facade lighting that emphasises the central importance of public space while giving pedestrians soft, functional lighting reflected by the facades. The plan is being carried out gradually as building owners pay to have the lighting fixtures installed, after which they are run and maintained by municipality. Above: Copenhagen has one standard for footway paving used throughout the city.

Main street “Manski”, Kuovola, Finland

Below: Place des Terreaux is distinctive for its surprising use of water and lighting.

In winter the lights and reflections from the snow cast their spell on the streetscape. Light fixtures, like the rest of the street furniture, were specially designed for this project.

Recommendations - page 112

Below: Town Hall Square and Amagertorv, Copenhagen. During recent years most squares in the inner city have been redeveloped with new paving. Most pavings are now in granite in either more simplistic, classical patterns or in a more colourful artistic mix. In Town Hall Square a bronze line leads the blind across the square to reach Strøget, the main pedestrian street.


7. Improve conditions for cycling

Key recommendations

1. Improve conditions for cycling

Cycling in Copenhagen

a) b) c) d) e) Cycle paths, whether painted or with proper kerbstones, are placed between footways and parking.

f) g) h)

Create a cycle policy for London, setting out goals to be achieved. Create a strategy for a gradual development of cycle facilities. Create a coherent cycle network of good, connected routes. Create safe, raised cycle lanes, separated from traffic lanes by kerbs. Run campaigns to encourage cycling and to create greater awareness about cyclists in traffic. Provide clear markings at intersections. Provide cycle signals at intersections. Establish good and convenient bicycle parking facilities.

Modal split to workplaces in the City of Copenhagen (1999) Bicycle traffic accounts for 1/3 of all commuting traffic. Copenhagen has, through a number of years, worked systematically on improving of the facilities offered to cyclists. Today a good connected system has been achieved, resulting in fewer accidents and many more cyclists. A major problem today is crowding on cycle paths (measures have been taken to widen cycle paths from 2,2 m to 3,0 m to ease cycle traffic). Facts: Increase in cycle traffic 1980-1996: 66% Increase in cycle traffic 1996-2002: 31% Percentage of work force who cycle to work: 32% Percentage of cyclists who continue cycling during winter: 60% Length of proper cycle paths with kerbside: 323 km Length of green cycle paths: 32 km Number of signal intersections with cyclist priority: 36% Cycle traffic per day: 1,02 million km Number of serious cyclist casualties: 0,46 /1 million km Amount spent annually on cycle path maintenance: 618,000 ÂŁ

Cycle paths are marked blue at major intersections.

Cycle signals. Cycles start two seconds before cars.

Bicycle traffic trends show that bicycle traffic to and from the city centre has increased by 81% from 1980 to 2000. Recommendations - page 113


Turning a city around Poetic, Coordinated and Social Public Space Policy - Lyon, France - 1.3 million inhabitants (Greater Lyon) Public Spaces and Traffic In order to create a human face to the city, the traffic policy is aiming at putting car parking underground. Many of the renovated spaces in the centre of the city have 4 to 6 stories of parking garages under the carfree surface of the public space. A partly public and private firm has been established to build and run the new parking structures. New tramlines and a metro are giving alternative forms of transportation.

Policy Profile The public space planning is coordinated with social policy with the aim of creating “a city with a human face” and a city for all its inhabitants. Equality and balance between projects in the Inner City and in suburban districts are underlined, for instance by giving the same architect the commission to design public spaces in both the centre and the suburbs. Three different types of plans have been developed: A green plan, which focuses on the city’s public spaces, a blue plan that deals with the way the city meets the rivers, and a “yellow” plan, a lighting plan. The latter addresses the character and quality of lighting of monuments and other buildings as well as the streets, squares and parks. It is also a tool for collaboration between the public and the private sector in relation to the quality of lighting in different locations. Lyon is actively supporting smaller shops in the inner city by stopping all further development of outof-town shopping centres. Distribution of Public Spaces Projects are spread over the city, with a balance between the Inner City and suburban districts.

Recommendations - page 114

Types of Public Spaces Most of the renovated public spaces in the Inner City were existing “classical rooms” in the historic city fabric, whereas the spaces in the suburban districts were “free floating” spaces between highrise housing blocks. These suburban spaces had to be redefined and redesigned for new uses, thus creating new types of public spaces. A fixed set of materials and furniture A “Lyon vocabulary” of materials to be used in the spaces has been developed, particularly to underline the identity of the city but also to limit the number of materials to be maintained. To stress the equality between different districts, the same street furniture can be found in suburban housing projects as well as in central city spaces. Organising the task The city created two new organisations to cope with the coordination of public space policy. On the political level an organisation called “Group de Pilotage Espaces public” was formed, headed by the mayor. This group, with representatives from all departments involved in the process, meets once or twice a month. A parallel interdisciplinary organisation called “Group Technique de Suivi”, with experts from all departments, is meeting every week to prepare and coordinate the technical and practical sides of the implementation of the plans.

Process As a response to the deteriorating quality of the public realm under the pressure of a growing number of cars entering the city centre, combined with social tension between suburbia and down town, one of the mayors, Henry Chabert, formulated the policy to create a city with “a human face” (or surface) in 1989. Poets and other artists have been asked to generate the spirit of the place, the genius loci, before the brief is given to the architects or landscape architects who were designing the spaces. A large number of public meetings and interaction with the local people are other characteristic elements of the process, which has also aimed to create a good interaction between the private and public sectors. Results Lyon suffered an industrial decline in the 1970’s, but has reformulated its role and become a very dynamic city. The policy has changed the appearance and image of the city, with a large number of high quality public spaces.


Turning a city around Democratic and Pioneering Public Space Policy - Barcelona, Spain - 3.5 million inhabitants

Two different occasions and policies 1. The new democratic society and public spaces The policy to create new public spaces for free meeting and talking was formulated in Barcelona after the fall of the dictatorship of general Franco. The new democratic government that came to power in the first free elections in 1979 promoted new public spaces to give inhabitants immediate improvements in living conditions and open up democratic discussion. 2. The Olympic Games and the city plan The Olympic Games in 1992 was used as a great opportunity to make large-scale improvements to the city. Investment was used to drive development of the city plan, where unfinished parts were completed and derelict industrial sites were transformed into new city districts. In this way, Barcelona got new sports arenas but also a new district of housing with a leisure harbour connecting new city districts to the beach along the coast. Public Space Policy Profile Barcelona has been pioneering public space policies, where a great number of imaginative new designs have been applied across the city. New public spaces in each neighbourhood for people meeting, talking, discussing, playing and unwinding.

The public space policy has been called “projects versus planning” as it turned the traditional planning methods upside down by focusing on what independent small projects can do for a city district and for a whole city. Instead of waiting for the grand coordinated master plan to be developed, the city has been implementing public spaces - even where no spaces existed - by tearing down derelict buildings, using old railroad yards, or renovating existing spaces. Without any great need of coordination, these projects improved the city for inhabitants. No standard designs but “tailor-made” solutions place-by-place, involving a great number of local architects. With the slogan “the gallery in the street”, contemporary sculptures have been an integrated part of the public space programme with the dual intention of giving each place its unique character and to create discussions between local people. Distribution of Public Spaces Hundreds of projects in many different scales, from major parks to local piazzas, or just a little corner with a couple of trees and a bench standing on a fine new urban floor, are spread over the whole surface of the city. It functions like a kind of urban acupuncture, where the whole body of the city becomes better without a great need for coordination of projects. Public Spaces and Traffic Initially the public space policy was not an integrated part of any major traffic plan and in most cases projects were made without taking space from driving and only a few of the many spaces have underground parking garages as part of the new designs. Later projects with more traffic and parking emphasis have been emerging, such as parks on top of freeways. Types of Public Spaces Barcelona has developed a wide range of public space types from small hard scapes in the form of piazzas, to large parks that function like “green

oases”, often established on derelict land or former industrial sites. Promenades and other types of new interpretation of the rambla motif are frequent as well as a series of spaces dominated by gravel and soft shapes, mostly for playing. In this city with high density in both building mass and in traffic volumes, all the different types of open spaces are highly appreciated. Organising the task The city created a new office called Servei de Projectes Urbans to work with new projects in the 10 city districts. Meetings are held with local people in each district as part of the process, and architects at the office coordinate the technical and administrative aspects of the project. There are a large number of local architects from private practice working in collaboration with - and doing projects for - the office. Process The new democratic city council selected Oriol Bohigas as a city councillor for urban design. Bohigas was both the director of the School of Architecture and partner of a major private practice, and he formulated the general approach. The results show an interesting relation between the public and private sectors, as the public investments in new city spaces were followed up by property owners renewing surrounding buildings. The early projects were designed after architects’ competitions and later the office for public space design was put into place to work continuously with the projects. Results The idea of reconquering public spaces was formulated in Barcelona as a political idea of providing democratic space as well as a vision for re-creating the art of making public spaces. Nowhere in the world can the viewer see so many different examples of new and experimental designs of parks, squares and promenades in a single city as in Barcelona.

Recommendations - page 115


Turning a city around A Better City - Step by Step - Copenhagen, Denmark - 1.3 million inhabitants (Greater Copenhagen) No new parking structures have been established in the Inner City for some years and kerb side parking has been reduced by an average of 2-3% annually. Surfaces have been converted to accommodate other people-oriented activities. New metro lines have been built recently to give better access to the Inner City from some of the new development areas of the Oerestad, a new town being built close to the city centre.

Policy Profile Copenhagen´s step-by-step policy covers a zone where a series of policies are applied to create better conditions for soft traffic and people on foot. Public spaces are seen as a network of streets that link with public transit and a series of piazzas or squares that open up for different activities and urban recreation. Distribution of Public Space Projects Early projects were all in the historic core of the Inner City. Later, local spaces in the outer districts of the city were developed and, more recently, new spaces have been established along the waterfront. Public Spaces and Traffic Bicycle lanes and bicycle priorities in different forms have been applied throughout. Access to the Inner City is possible by car but driving through is restricted, so walking or cycling is easier. In the Inner City most of the public spaces are part of traffic calming measures and a series of different types of street designs have been applied from pedestrian-only, to pedestrian-priority streets and to streets with other limitations for driving.

Recommendations - page 116

Types of Public Spaces The new public spaces in the Inner City consist of renovated existing “rooms” in the historic city, all with a modest and fine human scale. The spaces are mainly streets and squares, which through time have got different functions as “living rooms”, “dining rooms” for staying activities or “corridors” for strolling along as part of urban recreation. Organising the task For many years the design of public spaces has been taken care of by the City Architect´s office, while the City Engineer´s office, paved and maintained them. In recent years the organisational structures at Copenhagen City Hall have been reorganised and an office established especially for public space design and policy. Process The policies have been emerging gradually from early experiments with the first pedestrian streets in the 1960s to the 1980s, where consistent and coordinated policies were formulated. Copenhagen has changed gradually through the last 30 to 40 years, from a city dominated by cars to a city centre for daily life for people on foot.

Results Copenhagen Inner City has gained the reputation of being a fine place for urban recreation, where each new step has increased the quality for people on bicycles and on foot. These qualities of life are part of the reason that a growing number of people want to live in the centre of the city, where new housing has been built along the harbour fronts. Copenhagen has also experienced a general development from the first pedestrianisation years, where public life revolved around walking and shopping, to a more developed city culture where the number of mixed activities increase and where people spend four times as much time as before the redevelopment schemes started. The public money invested in renovating public spaces has been paid back through an increased number of tax payers in the city - more residents - and an increased turnover for city-based businesses. The general image of Copenhagen has changed towards a much more attractive city as a base for larger corporations and businesses in general.


Turning a city around How to turn a city around? As can be seen from the enclosed “City Approaches� each one of the Reconquered cities that have undergone remarkable quality improvements in recent years, has its own story to tell. Though the resulting qualities are quite comparable, each city has developed its own strategies and processes, which over a period of time have accomplished these results.

Change will come with time Changing a city culture does not happen overnight. It is a development that will happen for years to come. In most cities, it has taken several decades in a gradual process. In London the poor quality offered to pedestrians, combined with the admirable political goal of creating one of the finest Cities for People by 2015, underlines the need to work pointedly with the all-important change of mindset. This report should hopefully be one building stone in this process. How to turn cities around? Cities are ever changing, and it is impossible to know how London, in all its complexity, will and can develop. The Public Spaces and Public Life study points to many different problems and potentials at all levels of scale, but rather than presenting a fixed future plan for the city it sets out some measures of success and some quality criteria that can last, as they are based on understanding how people use and experience cities.

Based on this wide range of different routes towards the goal, it is a special challenge for London - being a particularly vast and complex city - to develop its own course of action. It must co-ordinate the efforts of the many boroughs, institutions, land owners and administrative units towards a unified strategy - aimed at ideological changes as well as practical improvements. What can be learnt - and what can be done: Leadership One thing which can be learnt by looking at other cities (and at cities where no major improvements have been accomplished) is the important role of good, visionary and inspiring leadership. Each of the cities has had visionary torch bearers and leaders in the process: A Mayor, a little group of devoted council members, an inspired City Architect or other civil servants, NGOs and grassroots organizations. Copenhagen had extraordinary cooperation between three devoted individuals - the Mayor, the City Architect and the City Traffic Engineer. But it is interesting to note that the city turnrounds have, in nearly all cases, been driven by visionary leaders, individuals, people.

What can be learnt and what can be done: Based on the strategies adopted in other cities upon the publishing of a Public Space-Public Life Survey of this type, a typical process might look like this. Stage 1 Discussion of the recommendations Debate and identification of the relevant areas of action. Including discarding of non-relevant suggestions. Discussions on how to change the mind set / change the culture and how to keep the process running. Stage 2 A strategy on three levels The problems raised at different levels of scale need to be dealt with in a planning process and in an implementation process, resulting in a differentiation between the following: 1) What recommendations can and should be implemented immediately 2) What could reasonably be accomplished inside a short span of years 3) What should be transformed into long-term strategies and used whenever projects in the city are to be made. Annual progress reports follow up on these levels of strategies. Stage 3 Evaluation Evaluations of the general progress and the improvements of the public realm should be part of the overall strategy.

Recommendations - page 117


Process

How to go on - developing strategy plans Problems raised

Planning process

Detail level

Design

Short term

Public Space level

Space programme

Medium term

City level

Strategy

Long term

Recommendations - page 118

Implementation


Reflections

Walking and life in public spaces The surveys and recommendations of the study have focused on a selected area of the city, and the findings reveal a very low level of quality for walking as well as a lack of urban recreational life in the streets and squares of London. Foremost among the problems are the unusually poor conditions offered for walking city-wide. Given the political goals of creating a superb city for walking by 2015, the existing poor conditions are a challenge to be given very high priority. London is dependent on people walking given the present traffic system and the overall function of the city. Improving the conditions for urban recreational life in public spaces is another important area urgently awaiting improvements. Traditionally, the recreational life of London is found in the parks which act as breathing zones in the dense city fabric and invite people to promenade, linger and play. The life of the parks can spread to the rest of the city, and there are great potentials for a more urban recreational life to develop, where the city´s streets and the squares can be used for strolling, staying and for children playing. Reasons for why public life has retreated to parks are both historical and a growing impact of vehicular traffic, which has filled squares and streets with noise and fumes. Improvements to public spaces therefore need to happen through a gradual holistic approach to traffic improvements and improvements of the streetscape, squares and the city culture.

A continuous process The study raises series of problems on different levels of scale as illustrated in the diagram. These problems are described in parts 1 & 2. Changing a city is a continuous process, and a further planning process and a process of implementations is yet ahead. It is therefore necessary to see the recommendations as part of a larger process of changing the culture of the city where tackling each issue in isolation will not be effective at changing the overall streetscape. Projects at detail level and public space level dominate the problems raised in the report, and as illustrated these can be dealt with at different levels in the planning process. Small projects like continuing footways across side streets can be acted upon immediately. Larger projects, like developing a cycle network, can only be dealt with as a strategy at city level, and be implemented over a longer period. A network of places The recommendations put forward are based on a changed traffic culture resulting in a change in city culture. New spaces for urban recreation can be developed but not only as single projects. Future developments should result in the establishment of an extensive network of good quality public spaces for people, creating an overall balance between city users. The potential of people The vibrant life of London is a great potential in this regard - the large numbers of people in the city, the colourfulness, the multi ethnic society, the different user groups and age groups. London is full of people waiting for the opportunity to spend more quality time walking and staying in the city.

“Conditions for walking need to be improved” “Conditions for recreational activities in the city need to be developed”

Recommendations - page 119


Recommendations - page 120

Towards a fine City for People  

'Public Space Public Life' study in London 2004, conducted by Gehl Architects for 'Central London Partnership' and 'Transport for London'.