Political Essay

738 Words Feb 22nd, 2015 3 Pages
CHAPTER 17

CREATING AN ACCESSIBLE PUBLIC REALM
Sandra Manley

17.1 INTRODUCTION
A young woman with a baby stroller wall.::~ along slowly. The small child accompany ing her makes some of his first exploratory journeys away frum his mOlher in a gamc of hide Ilnd seek. An clderly wom!lll, after admiring the baby, walks slowly with the aid of a stick toward her garden to tend to her plants. Two boys whiz past on their bikes whi le two people chatting look on benignly. Is the scene described taking place in a safe public park or in a privlile space? 1bc answer is that it is a public highway in a cilY in the southwest of England, in D. street that is also used by vehicles. This is nnly possible because people take precedence over vehicles
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Inaccessible streets are perceived 10 be a mino ri ty issue, so the poli tica l will to mHke c hanges is nonnal1y in shon s upply a nd eve n more constrained by the current economic situntion and global recession. It is s urely time to abando n the idea that issues associated with good accessibili ty lin: only II. minority interest. Everyone i~ affected.

17.2 DISABLING STREET5-0ISABLING SOCIETY
The automobile is the main reason for the disabling nature of the public realm. The car brought freedom to tmvel for many people, but at the tremendous cost of restri cting other freedoms. It has been allowed to dominate public space to §uch an extent that ~afety measures channel the pedestrian into

17.5

17.6

PUBLIC SPACI'S. rRIV"1'E SPACES, PRODocrs .... ND TECHNOLOOIES

CREAn NG AN "'CCESSIBIJi PUBLIC REALM

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FIGURE 17.t Tho momy oolllnls and Wl:et furniture in this secondary J1r'Ce! an: ~$Ihtlkally di~plC3Silli. butlhey nlso reslrict movemenlllnd create irril.:lling or e""n dnngerous :11 rWucing traffic spo:!Xb and making more hnble Slree!S would be I"mcfldal ror everyone by reducing ao;:idcms and e,'cn deaths.

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musl be at the hear1 of the design process. The interest in retrofitting to creatc livable strects is 10 be we lcomed, but tile pursuit of shared surfaces, where pedcstrians. motorists. D cyclists ma ke eye od contacl to establish who has priori I)". must be viewed with caution.

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