How excited was I when on a recent visit to London I discovered a ‘Home Zone’ style street setting smack bang in the middle of the city, Exhibition Road, South Kensington to be precise. Home Zone is a concept that originates from the Netherlands and something that I became aware of on a recent trip to Amsterdam.
The idea of the pedestrian pavement and vehicular road blending together is a bold move forward. By using textured surfaces and creating ‘obstacles’ such as parking spaces on a diagonal and altering the road layout to a snaking effect, the intention is to reduce the speed of traffic by forcing the drivers to take more care and pay attention, allowing the space to be shared by everyone.
Though here the road still follows a linear format and therefore didn’t really reduce the speed of traffic as much as I would have anticipated. Also, as a pedestrian it was easy to lose the definition of the edge as there is no level change, perhaps I was subconsciously following one of the visually enticing diagonal line. Designed by Dixon Jones, the project was completed ahead of the London 2012 Olympic Games and sets a new standard in urban street design. If you’d like to find out more then click here.
Sian Bury - Landscape Architecture Student