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Urban Design Compendium

Streets and Traffic

Streets are multi-functional – providing both circulation routes and public spaces. Design for all users in mind to minimise conflict.

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Pedestrian-friendly street, Hove

Street Types:

Streets are classified in terms of ‘capacity’ and ‘character’.

  • Capacity: how movement of every kind can be accommodated safely
  • Character: the role of the street in the urban realm and the types of building and landscape that line it

Main Routes:

  • Through routes bring life to schemes. Consider how they relate to the centre and links into the grid
  • Maximise potential for through routes to create lively, viable mixed-use areas

Streets as Social Places:

  • Consider desired street activities when designing street
  • To integrate traffic create a network of spaces based on the movement framework. This should be guided by local context


A street designed on the principle of tracking will normally be traffic calmed because of its layout without the need for add on measures.


Buildings, footways and local context should define the design of a junction.

Traffic Calming and Pedestrian Crossings:

  • The higher the volume of traffic, the more difficult it is to mix activities
  • Provide wide, well lit and well landscaped crossings where major traffic routes cross major pedestrian routes
  • Calm traffic through street design, buildings, spaces and activities etc
  • New measures for existing street layouts should consider the local context

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See case studies for 'Making the Connections'