Designing sustainable streets: Our next #CityTalk

by Joe Peach at This Big City

I’m very pleased to be partnering with London-based charity 3Space on their fantastic upcoming event Re:THINK. From May 1st-3rd, 3Space’s Blackfriars HQ will be transformed into an “interactive playground” with exhibitions, talks and workshops all on the subject of rethinking cities. On May 3rd at 6PM BST I’ll be hosting a free workshop on sustainable street design for beginners (there may be some spaces left – I hear it’s booking up fast!), and after a request from @ResilienceCSafety we’ve decided to host our next #citytalk tweetchat on the same topic at the same time as my workshop.

For those of you who haven’t got involved before, #citytalk is the monthly tweetchat I host with Future Cape Town where we share six questions over the course of an hour. We typically get participants from across the globe and I hope this event will be the same!

A few days ago I sent this tweet:

It was widely retweeted, which I was quite pleased about as this is exactly the approach I’ll be taking at my workshop, as well as the focus of some of our #citytalk questions. When talking about street design, it really is sensible to ask: “who benefits from this?” It’s also pretty sensible to ask: “Who doesn’t benefit?”

Take this common piece of urban infrastructure, for example:


It might seem pretty obvious who benefits from this, but what about the drawbacks? Is anyone inconvenienced by zebra crossings? And if so, should anything be done about it?


What about this London road that was closed to automobiles and turned into a road for bicycles? This benefits people on bikes, but does it positively impact anyone else?


And then there’s Exhibition Road in London which was recently converted into shared space, where cars, pedestrians and people on bikes now co-exist. Is any particular road user benefitting here? And is anyone inconvenienced by it?

Join myself and Future Cape Town on May 3rd for our next #citytalk tweetchat where we’ll be talking about sustainable street design. The discussion will kick off at 6PM London time, 7PM in Cape Town and 1PM in New York. Simply log on to Twitter and follow the #citytalk hashtag. And if you’re in London, come along to Blackfriars to take part in the workshop at the same time.

Images via zoetnet, butterbotmann and stusmith_uk