Shared spaces – where street signs take a back seat in favour of a desegregated sections that sees commuters share the street with pedestrians – are on the rise.
Also known by its Dutch moniker woonerf, or living street, the concept is that the absence of separation will make everyone more cautious, so that commuters slow down, make eye contact and negotiate.
There's plenty to like about the idea; existing shared space schemes have demonstrated benefits such as lower vehicle speeds, reduced congestion, fewer accidents and injuries, and more vibrant and attractive streets.
However, concerns have been raised about the impacts that shared spaces have on more vulnerable road users such as children, the elderly and people with a disability.
This video, a collaboration between news site Vox and truly excellent design podcast 99% Invisible
(a must-listen for anyone even remotely interested in how design impacts our day-to-day lives) outlines the advantages and pitfalls of shared spaces.