People Friendly Design in London

Streetfilms voyaged across the pond to visit some of London’s
innovative transportation and public realm projects. We interviewed
Paul Harper, a head urban designer at Design for London, who was in charge of the 100 Public Spaces Programme.

The 100 Public Spaces Programme improved the public realm of London
through streetscaping, transportation and public space planning. In
this interview, we take a special look at—and a visionary zoom
around—Aldgate, a neighborhood in East London undergoing considerable
change, including an inclusive transformation from car-dominated
streets to a large public park.

Design for London is now part of the London Development Agency’s
Design, Development and Environment Directorate. The 100 Public Spaces
Programme has transformed into new public space initiatives
under the current mayor, Boris Johnson, with a focus on the legacy of
the Olympics site in East London. The Aldgate neighborhood’s public
realm continues to become more people friendly with transportation
planning and parks.

  • London just rocks.

    It’s a walking city. It has a every kind of transit available — Heavy Rail (“The Tube”), Light Rail, Trams (streetcars), Ferries, a world class bus system with an extensive night-owl system, bus-only lanes, and a congestion charge in the center of the City. There are several “Union Stations” with comprehensive Commuter Rail going in every direction.

    It’s one of the greatest privileges of my life that I got to live there.

    Like Los Angeles, London is also a sprawl, and living proof that the misguided BRU and another anti-rail advocates are full of caca when they state that Los Angeles too big for anything but buses.

  • Spider-man

  • L.A. is certainly not too big a sprawl for rail to work well here. It worked great in 1920:

    But, unlike London, our rail got ripped out by a misguided adoption of the freeway system, the economics of the times, and the desire by GM to make money using buses and selling cars. Just imagine if we had incremental expansion and improvement of our old rail system over the past 90 years. We’d probably have as great a system as London today.

    Ah well, never too late to start over, I suppose.

    I am optimistic that the next couple of years will really raise Angelenos’ awareness about public transit options in the city. Still smarting from the high gas prices, we will see the Gold east open this year, and Expo open next year. Then Expo2 just a few years after that. Things are looking up.

  • Driver 2


A Look at Parklets from the L.A. Forum: L.A. Interrupted

(The following article appeared in the Los Angeles Forum for Architecture and Urban Design Fall 2013 Newsletter, available here. For information on how to join the forum, click here. In addition to other benefits, members receive a paper copy of the newsletter in the mail. – DN) Last February, urban designers, architects, landscape architects, politicians, and […]

Metro and Project for Public Spaces Present an Urban Design Workshop

As part of Metro’s 2009 Call for Project, we will be hosting a Transportation Enhancements Activity workshop on Transportation and Urban Design Workshop, to help applicants develop innovative projects for Los Angeles County. Project for Public Spaces is a non-profit organization that has a long history helping communities towards transformation –by redeveloping the built environment. […]

This Week in Livable Streets

This week, catch some great insightful panels on the future of transportation, tour Watts and Boyle Heights, and learn about the future plans for transportation in and around Griffith Park. Monday 3/7 Tonight – The American Planning Association Los Angeles chapter is hosting its Transportation Futures Panel – featuring Ashley Hand (LADOT), Jeremy Klop (Fehr & Peers), Peter Marx […]

Place Making Session: How to Turn a Place Around

“How to Turn a Place Around” introduces new ways of thinking about public spaces and how Placemaking can be used to bring communities together and revitalize underperforming spaces. Participants will explore the principles of making places through presentations, case studies of public space innovations, on- site evaluation and interactive discussions of critical issues and challenges. Discussion sessions will focus on the particular issues of participants. […]