Why Shared Space?:: An Exploration of the Motivations for Shared Space Development in Nine European Cities
Hoek, H.R. van der
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Many cities in the developed world are suffering from the plight of the automobile and its effect on urban planning and design. Roads break up neighbourhoods and people have become more individualistic with the increased reliance on private transport options. One of the emerging methods to reclaim cities back for the people is the concept of shared space. The idea seeks to redesign urban areas in a way that allows pedestrians, cyclists and drivers to have equal priority when traversing in an area. As the shared space concept is gaining ground in some places, it is still apparent that there are some knowledge gaps about how and where it will work. This study has been conducted with nine European cities that are interested in shared space and have varying levels of experience with it. The research seeks to understand the reasons for this interest by looking at the current circumstances in the cities. By understanding which types of situations motivate a desire for shared space, the knowledge of the topic is expanded and preliminary conceptions of the effects in these locations is made. Generally, every location studied was unique in its requirements and goals for improvement, but there were also some trends and similarities found among the different locations. The findings are informative for how shared space is seen to have an effect in these specific locations, and also possibly how the concept could be expanded further within the city, or even within the similar cultural context at a wider scale. The study creates openings for further research with regards to the actual implementation of shared space in these locations, but also for expanding these findings through the study of more cities in a similar way.