car use

Car use and car ownership: are those with cars determined to use them whatever the alternative options?

By Deniz Huseyin

Car ownership at residential developments does not have a significant impact on peak hour car use, according to a new study. Though many residents own cars they do not use them during peak hours and will instead walk, cycle or use public transport, suggests research carried out for urban regeneration developer Berkeley Group. Meanwhile, a separate survey in three West Midlands towns has found no evidence that car ownership is lower in areas close to public transport facilities or town centres. So how do we best support non car modes of travel where possible?

Shared surface street design research project: report of focus groups

By Guide Dogs for the Blind

Shared space street design schemes are being implemented in town centres around the UK. Typically, these involve shared surfaces between pedestrians, bicycles and vehicles. Blind and partially-sighted people are finding it extremely difficult to move around safely and independently within these environments, when the traditional ‘clues’ used by guide dog owners and other blind people – such as footways, kerbs and tactile paving – are removed.

Research has shown that the implementation of shared surface design is putting blind and partially-sighted people at risk. Moving away from established practice requires the courage to develop, explore and refine new solutions. The input of blind and partially-sighted people into this process at this early stage will be vital.

Moving to low carbon living

By Juliana O'Rourke

The government’s eco-towns initiative has highlighted the challenges facingnew communities. Overcoming barriers to low carbon living is more about attitudinal and behavioural change than strategic design solutions

Times are changing: all design professionals are conscious of the need to develop healthy and active places, lively public realms and liveable, inclusive, economically viable communities. There is realisation that issues around economic growth, transport planning and urban development need to be managed at a range of scales, from national to local. Professor David Lock, Chair of the Town and Country Planning Association, advised the government on development criteria for the eco-towns initiative.