Prize for putting people, not cars first
9 February 2009
Town planners awarded Manual for Streets the planning process prize at the RTPI Planning Awards 2008 in London.
An era of car-dominated street design has finally come to an end, as government guidance that puts pedestrians at the heart of street design has won a prestigious planning award.
Town planners awarded Manual for Streets the planning process prize at the RTPI Planning Awards 2008 in London. The design guide was produced by a team including CABE and published in March 2007. Since then CABE Space has been running street design and placemaking training sessions and providing direct support to local authorities developing their streets and public spaces in line with it. With a focus on new residential (and lightly trafficked) streets, developers are realising the opportunities that it offers to improve the quality of new residential developments. The Planning Inspectorate is using it to rule against poorly designed schemes. It can also be used for residential streets that are being redesigned.
It replaces outdated guidance which put the needs of the car driver first and which has been applied pretty well everywhere ever since 1977, resulting in inhospitable streets which discourage walking and cycling.
Richard Simmons, chief executive, said CABE was delighted that at last the prizes are going to planners who are putting pedestrians first. “The fact that Manual for Streets has won this award shows that there has been a fundamental, and long overdue, shift in thinking in how we design streets.”
The guidance was produced by a team led by consultants WSP, with Tribal Urban Studio, Phil Jones Associates and TRL Limited on behalf of the Department for Transport and Communities and Local Government. CABE was part of the steering group.
Plymouth City Council’s campaign Your Place, Your Future also won an award for planning process. It aims to create plans that capture the public’s imagination and has been used to prepare a development plan document on sustainable neighbourhoods.