Thursday, 17 April 2014

Occupying Streets - abstract

Occupying Streets: Street Design in Station Areas in London and Frankfurt (2014)

This research investigated street design in inner city station areas, comparing Frankfurt’s station quarter with that of King’s Cross in London. Both are vibrant mixed use areas, with residential, office, commercial and evening entertainment uses in internationally well connected and culturally diverse station hub areas. Based on a gap in knowledge of street design beyond engineering and urban design, a diverse set of hard-to-reach users and some intermediary agents were interviewed in each case study. The research questions were; ‘how is street design orchestrated?’, ‘how are night and day significant?’, ‘how is quality of place reconciled with movement in streets?, and ‘how can we learn from streets?’ 

The research design analysed both the Niddastraβe in Frankfurt and the Caledonian Road in King’s Cross Street as physical environments and to understand how they worked or could be improved from the perspective of users and change agents on each street, and from interviews to discover the criteria stakeholders considered significant for making the street more liveable. Semi-structured interviews were developed as a participant observation tool as extant and future street design in each case were investigated using a mixed methodology. Analysis of the two sets of interviews found six themes of importance to users and agencies; distinctiveness, transport, conflict, recognition, accessibility and transition. 

The contributions to knowledge can be seen in four ways. The formerly under-recognised part that street design plays - making station hubs vital and liveable places - has been identified. A factor described as noir urbanism is shown to add distinctiveness and attractiveness to station areas. The need is outlined to work hard for genuine collaboration between end-users and professionals in co-production of streets, and especially by working live and in situ, which is rarely done. The urban soundscape, usually under-recognised in street design, is also presented as an integral part of the experience of the station area and the city.

Interviews Niddastrasse

Als wichtiger Teil meiner Forschung über die Gestaltung von Strassen im Bahnhofsviertel suche ich diverse TeilnehmerInnen für spazierende / gehende Interviews. Ich habe vor, per Klangaufnahmen die 15-20 minutige spaziergaengchen in Niddastrasse zu analysieren, um Gestaltung von Strassenraueme bzw Shared Space zu erforschen. In Dezember zu verschiedenen Tageszeiten u Wochentagen möchte ich mit TeilnehmerInnen in der Niddastrasse sprechen und ihre Erfahrungen und Meinungen hoeren.

Die Forschung laueft in Zusammenhang mit einem Projekt an der University of Westminster, die Aussagen werden ohne ausdrueckliche zusage nicht Veroeffentlicht, und mit zugabe werden lediglich die anonymisierte Klangaufnahmen oeffentlich benutzt.

Forschungsfragen / Fragethemen

Positive Eigenschaften v Strassenraum
Negative Eigenschaften v Strassenraum
Moegliche Verbesserungen
Nuztung d Gehsteiges / Fahrbahn
Ueberquerung des Fahrbahns
Visuelle Chaos / Stoerung
Betriebsgelände auf Gehsteig

Interviews Caledonian Road

A critically important part of a current research project on Street Design at the University of Westminster involves walking interviews with users and managers of Caledonian Road. It is intended to walk for 15-20 minutes and to sound record a semi-structured interview.
At various times of day ad night on various weekdays in November these interviews are intended to reveal experiences and opinions of interviewees about the street design and potential improvements.
The research is part of a project at the University of Westminster, and interviewees comments will not be published without their express permission. Interviewees will be asked if the anonymous sound files of their voices may be published.


Positive Qualities
Negative Attributes
Potential Improvements
Using the footway / Roadway
Crossing (traversing) the carriageway
Visual Clutter

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

There, take a picture 

Cherry Blossoms Regent's Park 

then walk back to work 

(haiku composed white sitting and relaxing under a tree in Regents Park on Tuesday afternoon 1 April, just after submitting my thesis)


Bikes Alive