- Pedestrianization - a great Necessity in urban Designing to create a sustainable City in developing Countries    click here to open paper content89 kb
by    Iranmanesh, Nasim & Etaati, Kouros | niranmanesh@yahoo.com   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
The role of pedestrians in urban design is very important but regretfully it is neglected in many cities especially in developing countries such as Iran.
There are different meanings regarding pedestrianisation. The simplest meaning of it is the removal of vehicular traffic from city streets. For example in Hong Kong, pedestrianisation is defined by the transport department as “to restrict vehicle access to a street or area for exclusive use of pedestrians”.
The importance of pedestrianisation in developing countries is increasing continuously because vehicular access are overcoming in cities more and more, in result the attendance of pedestrian in urban spaces will become less and less.
About one hundred years ago automobiles should be adapted with urban spaces, but this process causes ýto destroy the attendance of pedestrians in city.
The increasing attendance of automobiles causes creating an unsafe, unpleasant and dangerous place for residents of that city. Air pollution and sound pollution and accidents all are the unpleasant results of it. So many countries are thinking about some solutions for it and pedestrianisation is an efficient solution for this problem.
- Objectives of pedestrianisation
There are various reasons for having pedestrianisation schemes. First of all, pedestrianisation aims to improve pedestrian’s safety and mobility. Another important benefit is related to the environment. These schemes can help to reduce both noise and pollution by discouraging or restricting access of non-essential vehicles. Furthermore it helps to promote walking as a transport mode by making the walking experience more enjoyable.
The last one means that pedestrianisation creates a pleasant environment that people can involve in different social, cultural and tourism activities as well. We will also notice that pedestrianisation can improve the economical growing of that district.
Generally we can categorize the advantages of pedestrianisation in three groups:
1-environmental impact 2- economical impact 3- social impact
1-environmental impacts:
In terms of environmental objectives, pedestrianisation can help to alleviate and reduce air and noise pollution, as there would be a reduction in the number of cars and reliance on motor vehicles. Nowadays most of large cities are faced with air and sound pollution that it will make them unpleasant and dangerous for their residents.
Pedestrianisation can promote walking as a transportation mode without any need to oil, so we can save fuel as well.
Studies have shown that with pedestrianisation mode using public transportation such as bus and rail transportation have been increased.
Usually when pedestrianisation is implemented, there can be more space on the streets not only for pedestrianisation but also present opportunities for planning of additional planting areas and improving street furniture and landscaping. All these would help to beautify the local street and create a better environment.
Here is not bad to refer Dr. Salingarous’ idea that protests severely against eliminating pedestrianisation city by cars.
Dr. Salingarous says that it has been begun since the beginning of modern movement in architecture and urbanism that emphasized on eliminating and destroying ornaments. This process first cleaned up elevations from 1 mm to 1 m and then cleaned the urban spaces from 1 meter to 3 meters that include kiosks, benches, arcades, pergolas and short walls and so on. So these spaces couldn’t be suitable for pedestrians anymore.
Meanwhile the inherent laziness of man caused that he prefers his car to public transportation to reach his destinations.
Modernists valued the rich man’s imagine of parking in his home too, and its result was elimination of walkable urban spaces and creating deserts of concrete or asphalt parking instead of pedestrianisation.
2-economical impacts:
About economical impact we should say that there are a number of impacts with pedestrianisation. First of all, for most large cities with heavy motor vehicle traffic, every year both the government and the private sector have to incur large economical losses in term of air pollution rated costs of lost productivity and medical expenses. With less motor vehicle traffic and less pollution after pedestrianisation, there can be a reduction in costs incurred.
Physicians have issued various awareness and manifest about air pollution and its danger and many expenses have been spend to cure the diseases which are related to air pollution. So the less air pollution causes the less related medical expenses.
The other economical impact of pedestrianisation is on the retail income in that district. The statistics say that after closing vehicle access in a district the rate of retail turnover usually have been increased. In addition it has been seen that not only retailers benefit but also property owners as well as with higher rental income and occupancy rates.
The main reason is that pedestrian can shop and watch shop-windows easier and enjoys without any fear from vehicles. In some places where have pedestrianisation scheme people will welcome coffee shops and food retails so much.
The cities where there are pedestrianisation districts often have a pleasure place to attract tourists. Less pollution, pleasant walking environment plus other amenities like sidewalk cafes, fountains or other street furniture help the areas to become popular attractions for locals and tourists.
3- Social impacts:
The implementation of pedestrianisation would have a number of social impacts. First of all it helps to promote walking as a transport mode. People often do not walk when walking itself doesn’t include a good experience with heavy motor vehicle traffic and crowded narrow walkways. Actually with today’s urban city life people are walking less than before and rely instead on private cars or other public transport. In result many people don’t have enough physical exercise.
Health specialists suggest that adults should take part in physical activity for 30 minutes a day for at least 3 times a week. This can be done by walking, as it is a good exercise. Doing so results in a number of physical benefits, some examples are to prevent overweight, reduce the risks of heart diseases and strengthen bones.
Pedestrianized streets in many cities also served as cultural and entertainment plazas where people meet and greet not only during ordinary days but also during holidays and festive seasons as well. Streets free of motor vehicle traffic, in many cases with landscaping, street furniture and sidewalks, help to create a comfortable environment for people to engage in various social activities.
The other social impact of pedestrianisation is that with segregation of people from vehicles, the safety of pedestrian and transportation abilities can be improved.
Of course owners of private vehicle complain that their rights for entering pedestrianized districts have forgotten. Indeed in the pedestrianized district with mix functions, the accessibility of residents, merchants, other people to their homes or works were decreased and actually there is no justice about these groups.
As a conclusion from above we can conclude that pedestrianisation has positive economical and environmental efficiency. However positive social effects are fewer than others. Because while there is some social effects for pedestrians, there are some disadvantages for driver and people who live in that district or near there as well. But totally pedestrianisation can be an efficient way to improve environmental conditions in city.
-Kinds of pedestrianisation:
We can have three kinds of pedestrianisation:
1-Full time pedestrian streets:
In this design arrival of vehicles into street is fully forbidden and usually services are in the back of street. In most cases only emergency service vehicles are allowed to enter.
2- Part-time Pedestrian Streets:
Part-time pedestrian streets are those where vehicular access is allowed only in specific periods. There is no on-street parking spaces allowed but however loading bays are available.
3- Traffic Calming Streets:
The third form of pedestrianisation is traffic calming streets. They serve to reduce the dominance and speed of road vehicles. There are no restrictions to vehicle access, but footpaths are widened and parking spaces are reduced.
Various traffic calming measures are used to slow down the speed of vehicles.
They include speed tables, narrower traffic lanes and use of different road textures and colours to remind drivers that they are within traffic calming zones.
As you considered, this article discusses about pedestrianisation and its benefits. In a city with large growth especially in developing countries, one of the cases that usually is neglected is pedestrianisation and attendance of citizens in urban spaces. As we know, urban growth with sprawl is completely unpleasant and unwanted and the correct solution is “intermediate cities” to integrate all of the suitable aspects in a city.
This article discusses about the advantages of pedestrianisation in some case studies around the world and at the same time we will have a look on Tehran city and its problems as a metropolitan with a speedy growth.
pedestrian, Pedestrainization, urban designing, humanization, urban spaces, intermediate cities, sprawl growth
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