CAREFULLY SELECTED LINKS
Repurposed roads, traffic-calming via intrigue and enchantment
The David Engwicht suite of sites: creative-communities.com
David Engwicht has been 'Road Witching' years in Australia before I made similar discoveries. He invented the concept of the 'Walking School Bus'. He writes elegantly on the whole subject of civil vibrancy in streets as well as creative forms of traffic calming and why they work. His most powerful idea is "mental speedbumps" which uses enchantment and narrative as a way of slowing down motorists. The main gateway to his sites is creative-communities.com, or visit one of these specific sites:
mentalspeedbumps.com
civilityoutbreak.com
Engwicht discovered that building the social life of the street can be more effective in slowing traffic than physical traffic calming devices. Understanding how mental speed bumps work leads to a whole new strategy for taming traffic. This is the site of the book of the same name Civility Outbreak is Engwicht's program to make his ideas go viral. He challenges us to imagine how different cities could be if they had an outbreak of civility. Tools to help you start this positive social virus in your city. He reports on the first play day held in Brisbane and his plans for the future...a work in progress.

Inspired Road Repurposing Across the World

waterfire.org

cityrepair.org

livingstreets.org.uk

The Pedestrian's Association

Providence, RI, USA, was once a crummy New England city with a dead centre. But in 1994, the Providence River was uncovered (it had been a parking lot for container trucks). To celebrate, a large-scale installation called Waterfire was commissioned. Years later, Waterfire is part of the regular pattern of urban life, where the central streets are shut down every two weeks and 30,000 people chill out to 200 floating spruce fires along the river. Magical. Portland, Oregon, USA, is known throughout the world as a cool city. It's so cool, that since the year 2000, it's been official city policy to allow the public to transform intersections into public squares themselves. See examples of what they call 'Intersection Repair'
Creators of the belisha beacon or zebra crossing in the 1920's, Living Streets are the champions of streets and public spaces for people on foot. They work on practical projects to create safe, vibrant and healthy streets.

Their beef is that local streets are a service that we all use. But for decades, traffic priorities have been allowed to overwhelm them, and they have been left dirty and unsafe. Vibrant streets help to revitalise neighbourhoods and reconnect people.


carfree.com
This web site goes with the book Carfree Cities, and proposes a delightful solution to the vexing problem of urban automobiles. It features car-free cities around the world. There's not a car-free example of a city that isn't economically vibrant. Try telling that to the petro-dunces that equate motor traffic with prosperity.

Urban Planners, Architects, Visionaries
gehlarchitects.dk
Hans Monderman

hamilton-baillie.co.uk
This site is currently going through a revision, but on it, you will find an inspiring 120 page report titled: Towards a fine City for People - Public Spaces and Public Life, by Danish Architecure firm Jan Gehl Associates. Jan Gehl has played a key role in transforming the environment of Copenhagen.

The work was commissioned in 2004 by Transport for London and the Central London Partnership, as part of bringing about a transformation of London into one of the world's most walking-friendly cities by 2015.

Hans Monderman, a pioneering traffic engineer in Holland, accidentally discovered that removing traffic control devices (including speed bumps) was more effective at slowing traffic and making streets safer than traditional traffic calming. Hans has since taken all the traffic control devices, including traffic lights, out of 30 villages and cities. This link goes to an introductory article about him from Wired Magazine.
cyclox.org
"Working for People Who Cycle in Oxford', this campaign organisation is still small but influential. It is made up of an impressive array of cyclists, urban planners, writers, artists, academics, museum directors, and even the Lord Mayor! Ben Hamilton-Baillie is Britain's pre-eminent urban design and transport architect/philosopher. We're lucky to have him here in the UK where he's done work in London and even for the Oxford Westgate Plan

His firm offers specialist knowledge and experience of innovative solutions for reconciling traffic movement with quality public spaces in cities, towns and villages. They have unique expertise in the development of shared space principles for street design to improve safety, congestion and access.