Zijian explores some interesting methods on how to design the pedestrian landscape with a key focus upon pavement design. I would like to add to this post by considering what other design elements can have a positive impact upon pedestrianised spaces.
Pedestrianised streets and spaces should be located on key routes to encourage people to use them. The more people that use them the safer the public will feel within these places through increasing natural surveillance.
Provision of seating or multi-purpose seating within pedestrian spaces can play the role of ‘punctuation of architecture’. Seating offers people the opportunity to spend more time within a place offering a comfortable resting place to watch life pass by and social activities to occur.
The routes should be interesting and designed for the pedestrian. Multiple windows and doors should face onto the pedestrian space offering a sensory experience.
Greening pedestrian spaces can be both aesthetically attractive and ecologically beneficial. Trees and planting can create interest, as well as offer dual uses such as seating and ‘soft’ vehicle barriers. Ecologically greening of urban areas can offer sustainable drainage options, improve air quality and support climate change targets.
A broad mix of functions facing into pedestrian areas can encourage a mixed population to occupy the spaces, encouraging social inclusiveness and offer exciting opportunities. A diverse range of uses also offers a level of resilience to the place because if one function happen to become obsolete this will have limited impact upon the space.
Gehl, Jan, Three types of outdoor activities, in The City Reader, pp.530- 539.
Jacobs, Jane, The uses of sidewalk: safety, in The City Reader, pp.105- 109.
Jacobs, A. & D. Appleyard, Toward an urban design manifesto, in The CityReader, pp.518-529.
Whyte, William, The design of spaces, in The City Reader, pp.510-517.