Prioritisation was the key, this was in the 1997 Transportation Plan, which was a catalyst for – I call it the most important Urban Design Plan we’ve ever done as a city, even though it’s a transportation plan – because that prioritisation, walking first, then cycling, then transit, then goods movement, and then the car, priotirized last, has been the key to all our multi-modal city making. To be clear that is not an anti-car message, we don’t ban the car, we very rarely have any places where the cars aren’t allowed, but we prioritise them last, in terms of how we think about our infrastructure, our spatial decisions in the city, and that actually works better for everyone – including drivers.
We offer tools that draw on decades of applied research demonstrating how a walkable human scale is part of what makes cities interesting. The public life tools available on this page will help you measure how people use public spaces and better understand the relationship between those spaces and the public life that takes place in them.
When we think about designing the future city, let’s focus on moving as many people as possible. For a starting point, considering how many people can move through a city using each transportation option:
Transit moves the most people – up to 25,000 people per hour, so make transit the first priority.
Next comes walking, with 9,000 people per hour on new, larger sidewalks.
Dedicated bus lanes carry 8,000 passengers an hour. Two-way bike lanes carry 7,500 per hour. Those come next.
Whether they have drivers or not, cars move the fewest people per hour – about 600 to 1,600.
When we understand that urban transportation is about moving – people not cars – our priorities for space and investment become obvious.
Allison Alrieff, The New York Times, 20 October 2017
“The Arsenal of Exclusion and Inclusion,” a forthcoming book by Tobias Armborst, Daniel D’Oca and Georgeen Theodore, who lead the architecture, planning and research collective Interboro, refers to such things — which include cul-de-sacs, cold water, “No Loitering” signs, the Fair Housing Act — as “weapons.” They are the policies, practices and physical artifacts used by planners, policy makers, developers, real estate brokers, community activists and others to draw, redraw or erase the lines that divide us.
Allison Arieff is the Editorial Director at SPUR and is a columnist for the New York Times.
For Allison Arieff’s twitter feed click here, for her New York Time option piece ‘Automated Vehicles Can’t Save Cities’ click here, and for a New York Times panel discussion on Tactical Urbanism where she was the moderator click here.
For Interboro’s Arsenal of Exclusion and Inclusion click here.
Launched in 2014, Paris implements a successful method of citizen participation. Ideas are developed and submitted on an Internet platform by residents or groups of residents. In 2015, Parisians submitted over 5,000 projects. In 2014, the first year of its operation, over 40,000 Parisians chose 9 winning projects at a cost of 17,7 million €.
To learn more about Participatory Budgeting in the USA click here, and in the UK click here.
Andrew Tuck, The Urbanist, Monocle, 15 December 2016
And really, Jane was the first time where I’d read a critique of cities and it really spoke to me, really resonated, it was incredibly human. It talked about mistakes and failure, it talked about things being imperfect, about things being informal, about the spontaneity, the ballet and dance of life that happens on our city streets.
Jacobs understood when cities really work they’re phenomena that come from the bottom up. So a great neighbourhood is what happens when thousands of different actors – that’s the shop keepers, bar owners, the people walking the streets – they come together in an uncoordinated, but meaningful way to create the flavour and personality of the distinct neighbourhood. That not ‘planned’, that’s much more a question of organised complexity.
First life, then spaces, then buildings – the other way around never works.
Jan Gehl, architect
We must kill the street. We shall truly enter into modern town planning only after we have accepted this preliminary determination.
Le Corbusier, architect
Streets and their sidewalks – the main public places of a city – are its most vital organs.
Jane Jacobs, journalist
What is the city but the people?
William Shakespeare, playwright
The materials of city planning are: sky, space, trees, steel and cement; in that order and that hierarchy.
Le Corbusier, architect
If anybody at any time wanted to pay professionals to make a city planning idea which would kill city life, it could not have done better than what the modernists accomplished.
Jan Gehl, architect
You know, it is life that is right and the architect who is wrong.