The Group Design Projects are an educational exercise and the projects undertaken and designs developed during them should not be reported as representative of projects undertaken by or designs developed by the Supporters.
[Group 02] Urban Design for Smarter Streets
Week 4 saw the finalising of the design evaluation framework, based on Smarter Streets’ acronym POINT, standing for Pedestrian Motivation, Optimisation of Space, Incentivise Business Development, New Unique Concepts, Traffic Calming. The evaluation framework was then used to select the parts of the design that were most fulfilling the project objectives, allowing the team to combine these in a final proposal.
The final design was fully costed, and the benefits of the new road layout in terms of reductions in journey time were quantified and analysed in great depth. A mitigation design was put forward in the event of extreme public opposition to the chosen idea.
In week 3 the Smarter Streets Team brought together the conclusions drawn in the baseline report to produce 4 clear design concepts. Some of these were further developments of the concepts seen at the end of week 2, whereas some were fresh ideas, such as the mechanical canopy pictured.
The ideas were presented as initial ideas to the client and the feedback collected from Critical Session 3 was then used to fine tune the designs. The road layout proposals were also presented in detail, with crossings and lane configurations considered. The team also began work on formulating a design evaluation framework for the deeper comparison between design proposals and the baseline.
The aim of our second week in the office was to produce an extensive, thorough and professional quality Baseline Report detailing all the information, research and statistics gathered about the site prior to starting design proposals. In order to do so, we required a continuation of the measuring and surveying thus collecting the data required to produce the complete CAD drawing of the site. The measuring was completed and we now have a full detailed CAD drawing to use in design development.
The rest of the statistical data, site analysis and conclusions are brought together in the conclusive report. The baseline report is 22 A3 pages long, and contains all the information relevant to the situation as it stands. This report will be edited and cut down to form the initial chapter in our final submission.
We have also come up with a few initial design proposals this week, which were formally presented to the client in our critical session on Friday morning. We received some great feedback with regards to design development and evaluation, and intend to begin fine-tuning our designs for the remainder of Week 2, continuing this process into Week 3.
Week one in Group 2 has been exciting and informative for everyone involved.
Our project is a development of Princes Circus near Tottenham Court Road into a more pedestrianised and useable space. Unsurprisingly, our early discussions included sharing of ideas and opinions relating to the Exhibition Road development; what we liked/disliked, what works and doesn’t work logistically. Hamish Mackenzie was named team leader when he put himself forward for the role and showed great enthusiasm for the project.
We identified the quantities and the data to be collected in the first week in order to move onto the design stage as soon as possible. During our individual briefing with Dr Ghail, we were informed that data relating to traffic and pedestrian flows through Princes Circus was unavailable, and that we would have to collect it ourselves. We also decided to conduct an extensive and thorough survey of the site. We decided we would note the locations and sizes of all unmovable objects, such as manhole covers and trees, and all constraints which ideally would not be moved but could be, such as kerbs and road markings. It was also decided that a public opinion poll would be carried out to collect feedback both from pedestrians and business owners in the area.
The critical session, which took place on Friday morning, summarised our findings for the week. We feel that we have sufficient data regarding public opinion and traffic flows, whilst a few things remain to be noted as part of the survey of the site. The CAD drawings have been started and will be finished by the end of next week, and all site constraints have been identified; leaving us in a position to begin design at the start of Week 3.
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