The National Design Guide (NDG) suggests looking beyond the 'redline’ of planning applications: design teams need to look at the space between buildings and establish that the life of the street is dependent on movement between destinations.
The NDG suggests good places should offer a choice of transport. Planning for peak traffic and commuting - are streets currently over-designed? How do we promote healthier and more sustainable modes of transport?
COVID 19, human behaviour has changed so quickly – in future there will be demand for more walking and cycling; willingness to experiment e.g. pop-up one-way systems; an agile mindset to accept that approaches might not work, review and try something else.
Tools are available to consider movement, particularly the interrelationship of social movement, health and play. Urban modelling systems and digital platforms are emerging: STRAVA, Streetmap, Open Space Syntax Model, 'citizen-led' appropriation of spaces e.g. Playing Out.
The social dimension of movement is fundamental, Red Infrastructure (the lifeblood of the place). COVID 19 will prompt the need for community infrastructure planning in placemaking.
The NDG mentions doorstep play, the ability for play is a measure of place quality. Traffic speed reductions from 30 to 20mph will also emerge.
Highway authorities need to adapt to consider functional movement not only of people but of nature, to address the bigger issues of biodiversity and the climate emergency. 'Building for a Healthy Life' considers these points.
Shaping Streets Design Review will broaden discussions around movement. Using the 'Seven Ls' as a prompt to establish permeability:
Location (where are the schools, facilities etc);
Linkage points (exist and create);
Layout (designed around location and linkage);
Land use (dispersal of uses across the site);
Landscape (character and quality);
Lining (how buildings reach/meet the streets); and,
Longevity (high quality materials to last and management of a place)
Language is essential - think streets not roads, mobility not transport, and consider the qualitative experience of a good journey.