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Equality, freedom and respect in Ljubljana

Author: CIVITAS Support
Posted on: Thursday, April 22, 2010 - 10:47
Ljubljana , ELAN

Ljubljana CIVITAS ELAN team and local initiative Za mesto po dveh invited Mr. Pieter de Haan from the Shared Space Institute, Drachten, Netherlands, to present a special concept of public space design. Mr de Haan presented Shared Space to the Slovenian public, as part of the CIVITAS ELAN Open Academy programme.

On 24 November a lecture, entitled “Shared Space: experiences, principles, examples and possibilities” and a workshop, called “A walk to observe now a day’s public space and orientation on promising public places” attracted many experts on mobility, traffic, environment and urban spatial planning. Many members of the public were also in attendance.Shared Space is a way of thinking and a way of working, which helps to improve the quality of public space. It includes a new philosophy and set of principles for the design, management and maintenance of public spaces, based on the integration of various forms of human activities.The most recognisable characteristic of Shared Space is the absence of conventional traffic signals, signs, road markings, humps and barriers - all the usual clutter essential to the highway. “The users of Shared Space may feel endangered, but they act more safely. The users of ‘conventional’ traffic area, as we know it, feel safe, but behave dangerously - because they feel superior to other users when they are on ‘their’ field (e.g., car drivers behave dominantly on the road, cyclists on cycle paths),” explained De Haan, a psychology and sociology expert.Results of implementing the idea of Shared Space in several cities in Netherlands, Scandinavia, Great Britain and USA showed improvement of traffic flow, which leads to better air quality. Furthermore, people spend more time there, which fosters social contacts, which is also one of its main goals: to make Shared Space like a “living room”, where people spend time, meet, shop, walk … - with great pleasure.For further information at Shared Space

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