Inclusive and accessible street guides

Which street guide is the best? Well, that depends on which perspective you are coming from. Urban designers, transport planners, pedestrians and drivers all have a stake in streets. Here are four inclusive and accessible street guides from previous posts for reference.

If you plan cities for cars and traffic, you get cars and traffic. If you plan for people and places, you get people and places.

Attributed to Fred Kent
five lane city highway full of cars.. We need car free zones.

Global Designing Cities website has the Global Street Design Guide available for download. The guide has sections for designing streets for kids, and implementing street transformations. Launched in 2014, the Global Designing Cities initiative takes an international view. The website has a series of short films, and a guide for designing streets for children.

Front cover of the guide. It is blue with white text. It has outlines of pedestrians trees, buildings and transport

A Citizen’s Guide to Better Streets takes a holistic look at street design from land planning and zoning to streets as public spaces. The main concerns of traffic engineers, such as safety and function are also covered. The guide was published in 2008 but the issues are current today. It is on the website.

logo of 880 cities initiative.

The Guide to the Healthy Streets Indicators from the UK has information and checklists in an easy to use format. It focuses on walkability without the express inclusion of people using wheeled mobility, but alludes to them. The guide covers feelings of safety, places to stop and rest, not too noisy, shade and shelter, easy to cross roads, and pedestrians from all walks of life.

Front cover of the guide to healthy streets indicators

The American Society of Landscape Architects promotes green, universally designed streets. These safely separate pedestrians, cyclists, vehicles, and public transport and use strategies to reduce reckless driving behaviour. The video below indicates the sensory overload that busy streets can create for some.

Prototype of a universally design street with separate pathways for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists.

Designing cities with AI: Should we?

A long view down a street with houses and cars on each side. Designing cities with AI - should we? Facelift is a new AI system that allows urban planers to redesign the look of city streets. 

A FastCompany article explains how volunteers from 162 countries rated Google street images. Then the data was put through the AI process. The results were obvious – plazas are beautiful and construction sites aren’t. The next step was to create an interactive tool to generate before and after images – Facelift. Urban planners can use this tool to improve the design of existing places. But there is a question about this: is it beautification or gentrification? 

The title of the FastCompany article is, AI can now design cities. Should we let it?  

Autism and sensory overload


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