One of the most important aspects of Streets Without Cars is the heavy dependency on the community who are to become stakeholders of the project, as well as the suitability of the area in question. To that end, primary research and first hand documentation becomes an invaluable tool in the process of selecting an area which has the potential to benefit from an urban design intervention.
To that end, a large region must be broadly documented, so that an informed decision can be made on where to focus further research. The City of Yarra was the starting point for this research, being separated into fifteen smaller sections (one for each studio participant). The area allocated to me was the southwest region of Melba Ward.
Every single street within this area was visited and documented in an effort to gain a greater understanding of the area. Each street had a variety of qualities documented: street length, number of lanes, street width, asphalt width, road usage, building types, parking type availability, presence of bike lanes, presence of footpaths, presence of nature strips and presence of trees. From this data, further information could be generated about what is characteristic of the area, in addition to assist in both quantitative and qualitative analysis of suitability for further development.
The findings are as follows:
A collection of individual street data can be downloaded here in .pdf format (31Mb). A spreadsheet documenting this information, as well as the results of initial analysis, can be downloaded here (26Kb).
In moving forwards, a number of streets were considered before ultimately choosing one to focus on. Key selection criteria considered the character of each street, as well as what is immediately adjacent, in order to ensure a well-integrated proposal, as well as basic considerations of a rough housing typology which would be catered to and physical restrictions of the site. Rather than deciding on a single street, the intersection of Gipps Street and Stanley Street in Richmond was settled on as it provided an interesting possibility for further development. The majority of the properties in the area have car access via the rear, in addition to exceptionally wide streets where the space is simply not required for the level of traffic they facilitate. Being situated in a primarily residential area, within close proximity to main roads, is also a favourable quality of the area.
A much more rigorous analysis of the site is next to come.
1. Gipps Street Documentation, copyright the author.
2. Stanley Street Documentation, copyright the author.
3. Melba Zone 2, copyright the author.
4. Building types, copyright the author.
5. Street types, copyright the author.
6. Prevalence of footpaths, copyright the author.
7. Prevalence of nature strips, copyright the author.
8. Street orientations, copyright the author.
9. Prevalence of bike paths, copyright the author.
10. Parking types, copyright the author.
11. Prevalence of trees, copyright the author.
12. Basic statistics of documented streets, copyright the author.