Around 50% of all developed land in Melbourne is consumed by space for vehicles, most of which is streets. The characteristics of a street, its dimensions, footpaths and traffic volume, all contribute to the wellbeing and happiness of the people who live along it. Imagine if there were no cars: no need for car parking or wide moats of asphalt reserved for car traffic. What could we do with the space and how might we foster new ways of living together as a community?
Streets Without Cars is a series of projects that aima to investigate some possible answers to these questions. It began in late 2013 as a not-for-profit initiative of Mihaly Slocombe, an emerging architecture practice located in the inner north of Melbourne. It started with a question and an idea:
Why are so much of our streets covered with asphalt and dedicated to the car?
What could we do with our streets if the asphalt were no longer there?
What followed was a research and design project that engaged with the local community to reimagine a portion of Drummond Street in Carlton North. The project was picked up by local media and gained the attention of City of Yarra councillors. The project has now been expanded into a Design Thesis studio for the Melbourne School of Design.
Please feel free to contact Warwick Mihaly, principal architect of Mihaly Slocombe, via email with any questions or suggestions.
- At least a third of all developed land in cities is consumed by space for vehicles. In the especially car-focussed cities of the United States and Australia, the average rises to around half. In Los Angeles, an estimated two-thirds of urban land is primarily for vehicles. Michael Southworth and Eran Ben-Joseph; Streets and the Shaping of Towns and Cities; Island Press; Washington; 2003.