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SAFE ACTIVE STREETS INNOVATION WORKSHOP Toward Prototyping Techniques for Street Design and Delivery 21 March 2019


Summary On 21 March 2019, the RobertsDay Perth Studio coordinated a half day Complete Streets ‘Innovation’ Workshop, including participation from representatives of the Town of Victoria Park and Department of Transport. Using a local street within Victoria Park, the purpose of the Innovation Workshop was to test a methodology and process that could be emulated with other stakeholders and community on future Safe Active Street projects. The workshop involved an overview of delivered projects within the Perth Metro area, a visioning session, an ideas and problem solving exercise, concluding with a prototyping design session using a physical model. This Report is a snapshot of the activities that occurred on the day, with supporting information on some of the key technical issues covered in the workshop. The focus is on the innovative processes and methods trialled during the workshop, and it is not intended to be read as a proper design report presenting resolved concepts or technical justification.

Click here to access the summary video (1min:24sec)

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Safe Active Streets Innovation Workshop


Prototyping is an integral part of Design Thinking and User Experience design in general because it...

...allows

us to test our ideas quickly and improve on them in an equally timely fashion.

The Institute of Design at Stanford encourages a “bias towards action”, where building and testing is valued over thinking and meeting.

- Tom Kelley and Dave Kelley, Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All, 2013

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Safe Active Streets Innovation Workshop


Safe Active Streets Innovation Workshop

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The Town of Victoria Park advised that Gloucester Street is a ‘Priority Project 4’ in their joint 5-Year Implementation Bicycle Plan with the City of South Perth. This project was deemed high in terms of strategic importance, but can still be informed by any workshop outcomes given concept planning has not begun. Legend The street is predominantly residential, Prioritised Proposed Projects and is representative of a typical Rail Stop Á local " Separate d Path (B ikes Only) street in a middle ring Perth suburb. The Railway High Quality Share d Path (B ikes and DoT advises that Gloucester StreetFreeway could Pedestrians) Highway serve as an important strategic bicycle Bicycle Lanes or Sealed Shoulders Main link for commuters to the Perth CBD, Bicycle Boulevard Safe Active Street Minor while the Town’s Place team is interested LGA Boundary (Town of Victoria Park/City of South Perth) in design outcomes that increase the quality of public realm for its residents.

Safe Active Streets Innovation Workshop

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RobertsDay set out to contribute toward this initiative, by arranging an Innovation Workshop to focus on trialling several possibilities for a more effective community engagement and design process. There is an opportunity to reimagine local streets as a whole, taking the focus away from cycling alone, to perceiving the street as an extension of living and recreational space for residents and visitors.

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The Town of Victoria Park has an innovation team and is highly aligned with RobertsDay’s values, with the added bonus of an established working relationship with the DoT on delivering more Safe Active Streets. There is an opportunity to better explore the links between changes in the urban fabric for both public and private realms, as an incentive for communities to view density positively when coupled with street improvements.

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The Department of Transport (DoT) has implemented a number of pilot Safe Active Street projects, which seek to convert local streets to lower speed environments (30km/h) and create a ‘shared space’ for vehicles and cyclists. Originally done under the banner of ‘Bicycle Boulevards’, DoT now refers to them as ‘Safe Active Streets’, to better market the benefits of a lower speed environment to adjoining residents (not just cyclists). Many of the delivered streets’ original design intent has been compromised / watered down by requests from agencies (eg. wider roads and turns for refuse trucks etc.) and community resistance (eg. rejection of new verge landscaping over concern of loss of parking).

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GLOUCESTER STREET " Á PRIORITY PROJECT 4 Safe Active Streets Innovation Workshop

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Gloucester Street, Victoria Park UNDERPASS TO FORESHORE TO CBD (3 km)

N BOTTOM OF HILL

SKATE PARK + BASKETBALL

RAPHAEL PARK

CANNIN

SWAN RIVER

STEEP INCLINE

389 vpd

HWAY G HIG

McCALLUM PARK

HIGH DENSITY

645 vpd

LOW DENSITY

2 KM 8

Safe Active Streets Innovation Workshop


FOCUS AREA

KENT STREET

TUAM STREET

STATE STREET

RATHAY STREET

TOP OF HILL

MANCHESTER STREET

ACTIVITY CORRIDOR

ALB ANY LAWN BOWLS

HIG

HWA Y

9,234 vpd PARK CENTRE LIBRARY

399 vpd

RECREATION CENTRE

1,479 vpd

1,936 vpd

LOW DENSITY 11,048 vpd

BERWISK STREET

460 M

Safe Active Streets Innovation Workshop

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Workshop Methodology

10

Afternoon Prior 1620 - 1645

Afternoon Prior 1645 - 1700

THE STREET TODAY

INSIGHTS AND CONTEXT

PRESENTATIONS & LEARNINGS

SITE ANALYSIS

OBSERVATIONS

DOWNLOAD

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Cycle and walk the site as a project team

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Experience the site as an everyday user

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Arrange to cycle, walk and meet on the site with representatives from key Agencies

0830 - 1000

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Reflections on delivered projects

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Establish context + opportunities

Key Takeaways

Key Takeaways

Key Takeaways

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Wide carriageway (7m - 8m) and straight alignment encourages vehicles to travel at speed

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About 15 vehicles passed the group in the space of the 15 minute meeting (not a huge amount of through traffic)

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On-street parking a little more apparent in northern section

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Traditional design maintains pedestrian desire lines with straight footpaths

DoT projects built have been delivered in tight time frames, creating challenges for community consultation and design implementation

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Cyclists from CBD and River already using the route to commute

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Vehicle speed and noise creates perception of safety issues and discomfort

Delivery costs p/km too high - drainage alterations biggest impediment

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Pavement aged and worn

Vehicle speeds reduced, but could come down more; cycling and pedestrian activity increased

Safe Active Streets Innovation Workshop


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1000 - 1030

1030 - 1130

POSITIONING FOR THE FUTURE

DIVERGENT + CONVERGENT THINKING

TESTING IDEAS + DESIGN OPTIONS

VISIONING

IDEATION

PROTOTYPING

Before designing, it is important that all stakeholders first agree on a vision

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Understanding divergent thinking techniques, as a tool for unlocking new ideas

1130 - 0100

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Using a scaled model to test ideas

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Involve all stakeholders + maximise inputs

Key Takeaways

Key Takeaways

Key Takeaways

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Role-playing was used to imagine the street from the perspective of different users and resident types

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Technicians and regulators are typically quick to ‘converge’ on ideas too early, which can hinder creative solutions

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1:100 scale is easy to interpret and relate to

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Using adjectives, the project team described and debated the look and feel of the street for the future

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Divergent thinking allows an idea to float and percolate, before the scope is narrowed and the idea critiqued

Easy to test, debate, dismiss and agree on solutions quickly

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Important for facilitators to act as ‘enablers’ in the event momentum slows

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Words are then grouped into themes, that become guiding principles for the design brief

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Arranging focused sessions that ask participants to consciously switch between the two modes of thinking can discover new solutions to key project challenges

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Having representation from multiple disciplines (place planners, engineers, landscape architects, urban design) contributes to success of exercise and likelihood of converting ideas into a tangible and implementable design output


Knowledge Exchange Key Findings ƒƒ Project costs currently borne by Department of Transport. ƒƒ Local Governments that have identified local streets requiring resurfacing can consider Safe Active Street funding from the Department to pay the proportion of costs up and beyond ordinary capital works. ƒƒ High drainage costs, including modifications to existing systems, have pushed project budgets higher than desired. ƒƒ Traffic Management costs generally represent 40-50% of total project cost. ƒƒ The notion of slower vehicle speeds to improve liveability qualities can be counter to Main Roads WA objective of improving overall ‘network efficiencies’. ƒƒ Local Authorities can attract grants from Main Roads WA where ‘efficiency improvements’ can be proved. However, interventions and intersection upgrades for local streets (such as roundabouts) can be to the determent of human comfort, liveability and quality of place.

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Safe Active Streets Innovation Workshop

ƒƒ Local streets require better technical guidance in place of Austroads standards that are geared toward vehicle safety for higher speed environments. ƒƒ Local Authorities need to balance any perceived liability risks for introducing community focused infrastructure with the net-benefit and improvement to liveability and productivity of land (eg. swings, pseudo cricket pitches, communal verge gardens etc.). ƒƒ A Safe Active Street could influence the behaviour of motorists within a locality’s broader street network, encouraging vehicles to use distributors rather than local streets for through movements. ƒƒ Quantify the benefits and evidence coming out of built projects, to better communicate the project advantages to decision-makers and community.

Project Challenges i.

How can Gloucester Street become a key strategic cycling link and encourage more local trips to be made on foot and by bicycle.

ii.

How can Gloucester Street act as an extension of private living environments for local residents, and encourage people to linger and enjoy the public realm.


Key Themes

1

3

Equitable Access

Ecological Enhancement

Prioritise pedestrian connectivity in addition to cyclist access and ensure that their needs are given priority over cars where required. Commit to completely filtering, rather than simply slowing, traffic in order to restrict vehicle movements to local traffic and establish active transport as the predominant use.

Deliver access improvements in tandem with landscaping improvements targeted at enhancing the natural environment, including infill tree planting, replacement of turf with native landscaping, replacement of hard drainage infrastructure with infiltration basins and localised detention.

2

4

Community Development

Design Excellence

Ensure streets are developed as places to linger in where public life can thrive, not just corridors to move through. Design streets to provide suitable verge space for community infrastructure such as benches, barbeques, seating, playgrounds, cubbies and vegetable gardens.

Focus on creating cohesive and considered urban design outcomes that move beyond generic road engineering interventions and speak to the character and history of the place. Employ a simple but refined palette of materials, generous landscaping and a minimal approach to linemarking and signage to create an immersive and enjoyable public space.


100%

90%

90%

80%

80%

70%

70%

30% 20%

40% 30% 20% 10%

0%

0% 20km/h

Reduced field of vision

40km/h

60km/h

60

80km/h

ed

50%

10%

5%

Sp e

Fatality Risk

icle

40%

60%

Fatality Risk

icle

Sp e

50%

Ve h

80%

ed

60%

Probability of Fatal Injury

100%

Ve h

Probability of Fatal Injury

The Benefits of Safe Vehicle Speeds

20km/h

40km/h

60km/h

80km/h

30

45m

13m

Stopping Distance 14

Safe Active Streets Innovation Workshop

Stopping Distance Data Source: T. Judd, GTA: Designing for 30km/h Streets, Can we do it in WA? Images by RobertsDay


TECHNICAL ANALYSIS

The Benefits of Tight Intersections

CONVENTIONAL Typical suburban intersection with ‘bulb out’ corners adding to expense 8m ‘actual’ kerb radius 9m ‘effective’ kerb radius Ability for vehicles to accelerate around corners Compromised pedestrian safety Designed for occasional larger turning vehicle, not the 99% of other users

VEHICLE MOVEMENT

Stopping vehicles forced back from intersection to accommodate kerb radii Consequently, lot truncations are typically provided to maintain sight lines Truncations significantly limit built form, often resulting in monotony Truncations unnecessarily consume valuable land and create maintenance Wasted land often results from building setbacks required by truncations More expensive construction techniques are required for truncations

VISIBILITY & SAFETY The natural ‘desire-line’ is to take the shortest distance between 2 points Pedestrian desire-line is interrupted, almost quadrupling crossing distance Repeating this pattern, a ten minute walk could become a 13 minute walk Double garages and blank walls fail to stimulate pedestrian interest Shade trees are reduced by wider intersections and driveways Reduced walking results from physical discomfort and lack of stimulation Safety is compromised by pedestrians electing to cross at desire-lines All difficulties are exacerbated for the visually impaired and less mobile

PEDESTRIAN MOVEMENT

BETTER Turning ‘clear-zone’ created by removal of bulb-out and on street parking 3m ‘actual’ kerb radius 9m ‘effective’ kerb radius (as shown) Vehicles forced to slow down around corners Improved pedestrian safety Occasional larger turning vehicles encroach only slightly into opposing lane

VEHICLE MOVEMENT

Stopping vehicles can move closer to the intersection Consequently, intersection visibility and hence safety is maintained Square corner lot frontages maximise built form possibilities and diversity Regular frontages represent an overall more efficient use of valuable land More affordable construction techniques are available for regular lots

VISIBILITY & SAFETY Pedestrian desire-line is maintained, making walking easier Most daily needs are within a comfortable 5-10 minute walk Verandahs replace garages and truncations, enabling social exchange Shade trees are increased, adding to the overall pedestrian experience Walking increases as a result ease of movement, comfort and stimulation Safety is improved by pedestrians crossing at predictable locations Walking is more appealing to the visually impaired and less mobile

PEDESTRIAN MOVEMENT

PEOPLE FRIENDLY INTERSECTIONS

Safe Active Streets Innovation Workshop

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4


Role-play

GRANDPARENTS ƒƒ Inconsistent and messy verge treatments – I’d rather the grandkids enjoy my garden instead

ƒƒ Footpaths and pram ramps are in poor nick – hard to get a pram across

ƒƒ Vehicle speeds and aggressive driving behaviour make me feel unsafe

ƒƒ Different grades are difficult to navigate

ƒƒ The grandkids are a handful – the street doesn’t have any rest stops or points of interest to keep them occupied

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PARENTS

Safe Active Streets Innovation Workshop

ƒƒ Shade could be improved – I don’t want my kids getting sunburnt ƒƒ I don’t want my kids playing on the street with fast through-traffic and strangers going past

YOUTH ƒƒ There’s nowhere to hang out – especially after dark with no lighting ƒƒ We don’t feel welcome – residents might not want us here ƒƒ The street is close to the shops and there are great views from the park


CHILDREN ƒƒ Intersections are wide – drivers might not see me crossing ƒƒ There’s nowhere to play, climb or explore – it’s boring! ƒƒ There are no kids playing or cycling – I don’t feel comfortable

YOUNG PROFESSIONALS ƒƒ Nice easy strong long link to the river ƒƒ The hill is easy to ride down on the way to work and a great workout on the way home ƒƒ There’s not much to do after work – it would be great to see the old corner shops open agan ƒƒ Rat runners and speeders are a detriment to the area

ROLE-PLAY To inform any design process, role-playing can be a valuable exercise for audiences that are primarily technical in nature. By allowing practitioners and public officers to view the site through the lens of the end users, it allows issues to be both identified and balanced in pursuit of formulating an equitable design outcome.


Ideation What would Gloucester Look Like as a living Environment?

What are the likely challenges and barriers to realising these ideas, specifically children’s play spaces ?

ƒƒ Dense Tree Canopies

ƒƒ Risk averse local government

ƒƒ Tree Species with wow factor

ƒƒ Noise disturbance to residents

ƒƒ Green Spaces

ƒƒ Australian standards and engineering requirements

ƒƒ Informal property boundaries ƒƒ No fencing ƒƒ Parking development ƒƒ Gated street with no cars ƒƒ One-way traffic with more space for people ƒƒ Urban agriculture: bee hives, olive trees, veggie gardens, chicken coops

ƒƒ Public liability ƒƒ Maintenance and management costs ƒƒ Funding sources and responsibilities ƒƒ Political controversy – is focusing on a single street acceptable? ƒƒ Not aligned to existing policy

ƒƒ Organic feel

ƒƒ Too innovative – no precedent

ƒƒ Self-sufficient and closed system, greywater irrigation and rooftop solar power

ƒƒ Perceived threat to property values ƒƒ Community support not assured

ƒƒ Biodiversity ecosystem restoration

ƒƒ Impact of traffic on through roads may raise Main Roads objectives

ƒƒ Water Sensitive Urban Design ƒƒ No street signs or pavement markings

ƒƒ Removal of on street parking may not be feasible

How can we evolve and the idea to address and respond to these challenges?

ƒƒ Resolve ownership grey area between council and homeowners

How can we deliver Testing and Tactical Urbanism?

ƒƒ Address approval timeframes

ƒƒ Engage with local community

ƒƒ Policy for temporary events to enable testing and tactical urbanism

ƒƒ Community reference group – involving schools and business community

ƒƒ Temporary is cheaper and can be delivered without full financing to provide case

ƒƒ Technical peer review to establish support for design

ƒƒ Keep it short and sharp – limit engagement to a few days

ƒƒ Ease of engagement – keep it simple and fun

ƒƒ Strike the right balance to provide enough time to measure and assess without causing major interruptions

ƒƒ Stay out of council chambers – engage in the community

ƒƒ Tactical urbanism to trial over the ƒƒ Use testing to alleviate objections and create support, short term conscious of risk that it may fuel ƒƒ Avoid consultation fatigue and mobilise objectors


Project Vision Participants were asked to describe the street, as though they were a resident or a visitor 10 years from now. Only verbs or adjectives were allowed.

Safe Active Streets Innovation Workshop

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Tactical Urbanism Tactical Urbanism is a form of prototyping design solutions in the ‘real world’, and should be seriously considered as a tool for: 1. Testing and measuring the effectiveness of design interventions, before committing significant funds for permanent change. 2. Demonstrating impact of design changes to community and stakeholders, before agreeing to any final plan. A ‘Public Experience Period’ could be as short as one day to test a road closure or up to one month to assess impact on practicalities such as rubbish collection, pedestrian and cycling usage rates, and vehicle speeds.

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Safe Active Streets Innovation Workshop


Why Prototype?

�

A prototype is a draft version of a product that allows you to explore your ideas and show the intention behind a feature or the overall design concept to users before investing time and money into development. - Usability.agov | Improving the User Experience


Workshop Outcome

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Safe Active Streets Innovation Workshop

STATE STREET

for the project. The model provided a basis for the RobertsDay designers to draw quick design sketches to articulate the concepts tested by the workshop participants. The sketches are not resolved designs and were undertaken in the hour immediately following completion of the workshop prototyping exercise. Concepts are shown in the pages following.

TUAM STREET

KENT STREET

A physical model effectively and immediately demonstrates design interventions to stakeholders; but even better, creates a tool for prototyping and testing ideas in an expedited manner. In 45 minutes, the RobertsDay designers and planners, the Town’s engineers, community development and place team, along with the Department of Transport representatives, had tested, dismissed, and then agreed on a range of design interventions


STREET

MANCHESTER STREET

RATHAY STREET

GLOUCESTER

Safe Active Streets Innovation Workshop

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PLAY STREET CONCEPT KENT

ƒƒ Separated 2.5m carriageways ƒƒ ‘Green’ median, more trees ƒƒ Playground / swings / cricket

TUAM

STATE

RATHAY

MANCHESTER 24

Safe Active Streets Innovation Workshop


SHARED SPACE CONCEPT ƒƒ Painted intersection / raised plateau

ƒƒ 90 Degree angled parking

ƒƒ Alternative surface treatments

ƒƒ Options to convert from conventional into separated carriageway (play street)

ƒƒ Tight turning radii

KENT

TUAM

STATE

RATHAY

MANCHESTER Safe Active Streets Innovation Workshop

25


YIELD STREET CONCEPT KENT

TUAM

STATE

RATHAY

MANCHESTER 26

Safe Active Streets Innovation Workshop

ƒƒ 4.2m carriageway

ƒƒ Street furniture in verge

ƒƒ ‘bulb-out’ green spaces for vehicles to yield

ƒƒ productive gardens / fruit trees


SHARED SPACE CONCEPT ƒƒ Staggered intersection to slow vehicles

ƒƒ Tighter kerb radii

ƒƒ 90 degree angled parking

ƒƒ Small playground

ƒƒ Raised intersection treatment

ƒƒ Increased density responding to improved public realm

KENT

TUAM

STATE

RATHAY

MANCHESTER Safe Active Streets Innovation Workshop

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THRU-ROAD CLOSURE CONCEPT KENT

ƒƒ Maintain strong cycling and pedestrian connections

ƒƒ Additional green space created for residents

ƒƒ Consider removing roundabout and placing crosswalk for pedestrians

ƒƒ Significantly reduces traffic volumes to Safe Active Street

ƒƒ Refuge island allows vehicles to turn right without roundabout TUAM

STATE

RATHAY

MANCHESTER 28

Safe Active Streets Innovation Workshop


Safe Active Streets Innovation Workshop

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KENT

Existing Conditions

TUAM

STATE

RATHAY

MANCHESTER 30

Safe Active Streets Innovation Workshop


KENT

Concept Design

TUAM

STATE

RATHAY

MANCHESTER Safe Active Streets Innovation Workshop

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Safe Active Streets Innovation Workshop


Summary The Report and workshop was produced and funded by the RobertsDay Innovation Portfolio. If you would like to know more about concept design prototyping, tools and techniques for community engagement, or street design more broadly, get in contact with the team at the RobertsDay Perth Studio. Dan Pearce RD Partner Innovation Portfolio Leader Click here to access the summary video (1min:24sec) Twitter T: 08 9213 7300

Andrew Brodie RD Senior Associate Urban Design

Website

dan.pearce@robertsday.com.au andrew.brodie@robertsday.com.au eric.denholm@robertsday.com.au Level 2, 442 Murray Street Perth WA 6000

Eric Denholm RD Senior Urban Planner Cycling Walking Australia New Zealand Design Innovation Working Group Safe Active Streets Innovation Workshop

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Profile for RobertsDay

Safe Active Street Innovation Workshop  

A link to the summary video; 1min24sec - <https://youtu.be/XVTTpE7o1UM> On 21 March 2019, the RobertsDay Perth Studio coordinated a half da...

Safe Active Street Innovation Workshop  

A link to the summary video; 1min24sec - <https://youtu.be/XVTTpE7o1UM> On 21 March 2019, the RobertsDay Perth Studio coordinated a half da...