How can Urban Design Save Lives?

 

How can Urban Design save lives?

 

Traffic fatalities are currently estimated to be the eighth leading cause of death worldwide, causing over 1.24million deaths annually - a ranking that is expected to rise to the fifth leading cause of death by 2030.[1] So how can we stop this number from rising and start decreasing it? Urban design is the art of creating and shaping cities and towns. It is the arrangement, function and appearance of buildings, public spaces, services – and of course, transport systems. Urban design involves many different disciplines including architecture, landscape architecture, and city planning together to make urban areas functional attractive and most importantly, safe. 

So, what are the benefits of Urban Design and how can it make our cities safer?

 

Encourage more walking and cycling!

If you live in a walkable neighbourhood, you might have the option of driving to work however you can also ride a bike, walk or take public transport. A walkable neighbourhood is often a much safer place to be. Urban Designers are frequently challenged with designing areas that encourage both our healthy lifestyles while reducing our need to use cars. One way they achieve this is by creating more cycle lanes and more communal green spaces.

 

Reducing traffic deaths in urban areas

Historically, cities were designed for separation, which resulted in wider roads leading to faster moving traffic today. Therefore, people driving faster increases the risk for everyone on the roads, including those who have no choice and must walk in difficult conditions. Urban Designers today make the roads in our urban communities winding and narrower encouraging slow driving.

 

Reduce the cost of living

A cheap new car costs £20,000, plus insurance, petrol & parking. When you live in a walkable or cyclable city you may drive significantly less or even live without a car. ‘47 % of people don’t plan to own a car because they can use public transit or a car sharing service’. Do you think this percentage will rise or drop in the coming years?

 

 Protecting the environment

Further to reducing the cost of living, places that bring us together benefit the environment in several ways: Every trip on foot or on a bike burns fat instead of gas, keeping us healthier and the air cleaner. Another way they are protecting the environment is through solar energy. Urban Designers today are slowly paving the way to a solar urban landscape that defies traditional energy methods. ‘Increasing independence from the electrical grid has also helped protect communities from volatile energy prices and power outages.’ This is explained in more detail here.

Encourage a healthier lifestyle

I live and work in London and despite excellent public transport I struggle to walk 10,000 steps per day because I’m either in the office or on the train. People that live in smaller neighbourhoods (and therefore a walkable place) often walk 10,000 steps per day as part of their daily activities have been proven to be healthier than those where people walk less. How many steps do you do a day?

Not only does Urban Design make out cities safer but it also brings communities together. How does Urban Design benefit you?


[1] https://www.archdaily.com/771150/7-rules-for-designing-safer-cities

 


rsz img 0862I joined Mattinson Partnership in April 2017 as a Trainee Recruitment Consultant, working alongside Freddie on the Town Planning and Architecture desk. Before joining Mattinson Partnership I was studying Law at the University of Bedfordshire and worked on a part-time basis in an accountancy firm. I was promoted to Consultant in Autumn of 2017 and now I head the Landscape Architecture and Urban Design desk. When I'm not out socialising with my colleagues you'll find me at home with my beloved black cat, Snowy

ss@mattpart.com

 

 

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