According to traffic analysis data, Little Charles Street is a quiet street with a higher number of pedestrians than cars and bicycles. The street is narrow and offers only one way traffic, creating a low speed environment with an average car speed of 30km / hour. Some local residents complained that cars drive too fast in this narrow laneway.
Traffic frequencies, this and following image copyright of author.
I decided to investigate Abbotsford laneways because I believe they are dark spaces just left around the city. I have always been curious about how people use these streets. I have chosen the section of Little Charles Street between Victoria and Langridge Streets. I am interested in this street because part of it is lined with a tall, blank wall that disrupts the human scale of the street, while the other part is mostly filled with residences with very limited outdoor space.
Little Charles Street is 5m wide. The section I am working on in this studio is 190m long. I believe this part has the potential to develop into an interesting lane way. Even though it is narrow and experiences very low traffic volume, it has a rich and unusual mix of building uses.
The following data has been collected in late August across 6x 1 hour sessions. In these sessions, I counted the numbers of cars, bicycles and pedestrians observed using the street.
Weekday morning peak, this and subsequent images copyright of author.
I conducted analysis of a section of the Langridge Ward containing 54 streets. Most of my subject area was industrial in character. I visited each street and analysed it according to questions of shape, building typologies, planting, parking etc.
The street I have chosen for my Streets Without Cars intervention is Little Charles Street in Richmond, located near the intersection of Victoria and Nicholson Streets.
Maps of all streets visited and analysed can be accessed here.
City of Yarra boundary, this and subsequent images copyright of author.
The Turia River garden is located in Valencia, Spain, and runs through the central axis of the city. It is not a masterpiece of landscape design, but it does provide a sense of the spirit of Valencia.
Since the city’s foundation by the Romans, Valencia grew around the Turia River. Over the centuries, the river caused many floods. In 1957, a particularly damaging flood encouraged the government of the time to divert the river around the city. The initial plan was to use the urban space vacated by the river as a highway, a plan that was approved in 1973. However, substantial protests by the local populace were successful in altering this decision to use the space as a large, elongated park.
In 1979, a national competition was held for the design of the proposed park. This was won by Ricardo Bofill, who presented his final masterplan to the city in 1982. The 8.5km long, sunken park is designed as a sequence of eighteen independent gardens, punctuated by a series of existing and new bridges.
The first segment of park connects it to the city, and also the Valencia Wildlife Park. It is primarily used for strolling, jogging, cycling, resting and enjoying the lake.
There are numerous activities that take place along the length of Turia park, facilitated by sporting facilities, bicycle lanes, running tracks, soccer fields, rollerskating areas, a giant chessboard, a skateboarding zone and a rugby field. In addition to ample green landscaping, there are ponds, fountains, cafes and towards the southern end, the Arts and Sciences Precinct designed by Santiago Calatrava and Félix Candela.
Maintenance costs of the park are half those of other parks in Valencia thanks to the use of native plants and efficient systems for watering and cleaning.