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A comparative typology of street experiments

EX-TRA colleague Katherine VanHoose, a PhD researcher at the University of Amsterdam, recently produced Deliverable 4.2 as part of her research for EX-TRA. This deliverable presents a comparative typology of street experiments across the cities in which we are working.

"Experimentation with city streets has emerged as a way to ‘try-out’ possible solutions to acute liveability challenges including air pollution, noise, traffic-related accidents, and road congestion. 'City street experiments' are intentional and temporary changes to the street use, regulation and form aimed at exploring system change in urban mobility (VanHoose et al., 2022). In doing so, street experiments aim to improve urban mobility by shifting from "streets for traffic towards streets for people" (Bertolini, 2020). We define five types of city street experiments: (1) re-marking streets, (2) re-purposing parking, (3) partial re-purposing of streets, (4) entire re-purposing of streets and (5) the flexible closure of streets. Amidst their wide diversity in form, aim and initiators, one feature binds city street experiments: their potential transitional capacity, or ‘ability to address fundamental social and environmental problems and achieve system change’ (VanHoose et al., 2022). In this report, we employ a framework for assessing the transitional capacity of street experiments to compare the different typologies in order to understand the dynamics of each type."

The report showcases a range of different types of street experiment - from re-marking streets to re-purposing parking. Via five categories relating to the characteristics of transition experiments (radical, feasible, communicative, strategic, and challenge driver), 12 case studies of varying typologies are assessed to understand their 'transitional capacity'. The findings demonstrate, amongst other things that:

  • The entire street re-purposing typology and re-purposing parking featured the highest Transition Scores of all of the typologies

  • Feasible is one of the highest scoring characteristics, even for the more complex typologies re-making entire streets.

  • Similar typologies are found in the same city. This is most likely explained by the existence of a larger policy goals (e.g. Munich's new parking policy under the Mobility Strategy 2035)

The full report is available to download via the link below.

D4.2 Comparative typology of street experiments
Download PDF • 2.49MB

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