Context-Sensitive Streets

Streets are platforms for capturing value while roads efficiently move traffic between points. The street is an incredible multidimensional invention. A well-designed street provides non-traffic social functions related to gathering, assembly, recreation, and aesthetics. The social life of cities follows from the urbanism of streetscapes formed by landscape architecture, ecological engineering, public space configurations, building frontage systems, and townscaping. The best streets are their cities’ most vital places.

Context-sensitive streets aim to recover the pedestrian life eliminated by modern traffic engineering. The real problem is the universal application of highway design standards to all road types including local streets. Cities once again understand that multiple modes of movement and public activity within the street are force multipliers for economic and social prosperity. New street types are re-emerging, including the shared street, the green street, transit plazas, and multiway boulevards where streets are rooms for motorists as well as pedestrians.

Related Work