Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Bristol's tranquil places

I've now contributed both a general statement and a list of specific suggestions to the new Bristol City Council consultation on traffic noise. There is also an interactive map where people can add notes on their favourite quiet areas and indicate where/how places could be quieter. Photos and video can be added too. I've added some observations about some places I frequent. The more people that contribute to the consultation and map the better.

The idea is to build a map of valued quieter spots eg green spaces, in the city. The noise consultation will feed into the noise action plan for the city and help in developing a noise strategy for Bristol. Its worth noting that actions needed to lower noise pollution will also help create safer streets and will contribute to tackling air pollution and climate impact eg through speed reduction, encouraging walking and cycling and (hopefully) using shared space principles. This is the way to go to achieve better health, wellbeing and quality of life.
Shared Space - a relatively new name for a concept emerging across Europe. It encapsulates a new philosophy and set of principles for the design, management and maintenance of streets and public spaces, based on the integration of traffic with other forms of human activity. The most recognizable characteristic of shared space is the absence of conventional traffic signals, signs, road markings, humps and barriers - all the clutter essential to the highway. The driver in shared space becomes an integral part of the social and cultural context, and behaviour (such as speed) is controlled by everyday norms of behaviour.

1 comment:

  1. Just a note to acknowledge the concerns of organisations like Guide Dogs for the Blind about shared space designs eg kerbs being very useful for the blind. All users of streets should be fully involved in street planning and the needs of all users should be met.


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