Activity: Talk or presentation types › Public lecture/debate/seminar
Streets are not just corridors to go from A to B. They are complex entities that connect diverse areas of the city. They have evolved slowly through history but can be radically transformed by development. Scholars value their plurality and authenticity; while urban designers and planners value their physical aspects, often overlooking the people who use them. To understand how to manage and design streets we need to define what makes good streets. So, how can we study streets beyond the usual tools of built environment professionals? StreetSpace seeks to understand the significance of mixed use urban streets, by analysing their physical, historical and experiential aspects. It will explore streets that risk losing their distinctive identities. This multidisciplinary and international project aims to provide and alternative way of planning and developing mixed use streets in the UK. The project began in 2011 with the graphic analysis of streets in plan and section. Now it has evolved to include different types of analysis coming from disciplines as diverse as sociology, history, geography, sound, art, as well as architecture and urban design. The project went through a process of experimentation, in Belfast, Buenos Aires, Edinburgh and Kilkenny. This exercise has enhanced local student’s understanding of the role of streets in the urban landscape while building a critical mass of examples to inform the analysis. The wider StreetSpace project is underway through an interdisciplinary reading group and taught modules in the Masters in Architecture.