On the Boards: Urban Streetscape Planning and Design
In the context of urban environments, thoughtfully designed streetscapes are pivotal to creating safe, inviting, pedestrian-friendly areas that not only bring people together for social interactions, but also offer respite and sanctuary. Urban planning and landscape architecture are key to the creation of these spaces.
“Each site is unique and must be assessed for pedestrian behavior and traffic patterns. Then, we work to envision how we can rethink these spaces to make them support thriving communities where people want to spend their time,” says Landscape Architect Stephanie Donovan.
She says the key is to prioritize both the pedestrian experience and business entries, creating flow, rhythm, and progression from one place to the next. This means a thoughtful melding of aesthetics, wayfinding, and places to pause and rest with dedicated bike routes, carefully designed intersections and crosswalks, and lighting design. Greenery holds a key place in the design, offering shade and traffic buffers, while softening the hardscape and creating cooler microclimates. Strategic parking locations at either end of dense streetscapes is ideal, so people can park and walk a loop, while speed limits, speed limit radar signs, re-routing truck traffic, and traffic calming are all considered when designing safer streetscapes.