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Note: This blog is no longer active - please visit my new site at HAT Projects where you will find our new blog!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006
New guidance on the public realm
Two new things out this week that area of interest:

The ODPM/DfT-sponsored Manual for Streets is out in draft form, placing its foot firmly in the camp of neo-traditional street design for both better and worse. Fundamentally nothing to disagree with too strongly (although some of the criticism of 60s and 70s layouts is needlessly vitriolic and generalised) and certainly a useful tool for anyone confronted with a particularly obtuse highways officer. Its all about the 'streets for people', advocating homes zones and a more subtle hierarchy of streets than the old distributor-major-minor distinctions. However, I don't think it gets to the bottom of what it wistfully refers to as a 'sense of place' or the 'place function', and how to analyse and build this into local street design at all. No real understanding of the distinctive fingerprint of contemporary places and how they can be strengthened in character...

Also, the DCLG has released a review of all existing green space and public space research that's out there. Its comprehensive and very useful, also identifying the gaps in the research that need to be filled - such as health and green spaces, and intergenerational play.

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