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A summary presentation regarding the retrofitting of connectivity measures in established urban areas. This made up a section of my MSc in Spatial Planning dissertation.

A summary presentation regarding the retrofitting of connectivity measures in established urban areas. This made up a section of my MSc in Spatial Planning dissertation.

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    Permeability presentation   summary Permeability presentation summary Presentation Transcript

    • Joseph CorrDip.PR, MPRII, MSc Spatial Planning
    • Ravenswell, Rush
    • Hampton, Balbriggan
    • Huntstown, D15
    • •Topic: “Making retrospective connectivity improvements to enhance permeability inexisting residential areas and the challenges involved in doing so”•Research question: Why is it so difficult to implement connectivity in established areas,what are the main hurdles to doing so, is the communications requirement in spatialplanning being ignored and creating trust issues between the community and planners•Questionnaire objectives: Find out general modes of transport and travel patterns ofpeople in their own areas •Would people change their travel modes if there was more pedestrian connectivity •Do they want more accessibility or would they rather the status quo remain •What prevents pedestrian access measures from being implemented •Is there confidence and trust in the statutory process involved •Do they trust the decisions of planners and public representatives •Is there a rational reason for opposing pedestrian access
    • Literature ReviewThe Guidelines for Planning Authorities on Sustainable Residential Development in UrbanAreas (2008) states that,“Connectivity and permeability: Convenient access needs to be provided between andwithin areas, particularly to larger community and commercial facilities and to places ofwork. Routes within the area should be accessible for everyone and as direct as possible,and for this reason “gated estates” should be discouraged.”•The Guidelines for Planning Authorities on Sustainable Residential Development in Urban Areas (2008)•Shaping Neighbourhoods: A Guide for Health, Sustainability and Vitality by Barton, Grant & Guise•Analysis of Inter - Connectivity Levels of Urban Street Networks and Social Interactions in Enclosed Neighbourhoodin Johannesburg RSA•Encouraging Walking: Advice to Local Authorities - Department of Environment, Transport and Regions (DETR), 2000•Social Psychology (second edition), Tony Malim•Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community by Robert D. Putnam•Economic and Social Geography: Made Simple by R. Knowles & J. Waring•National Spatial Strategy (NSS)•Greater Blanchardstown Initiative (GBI)
    • Findings - Literature•The Guidelines for Planning Authorities on Sustainable Residential Development in Urban Areas (2008) is aclear directive from the Department of Environment, Heritage & Local Government (DoEHLG) and thereforeshould form the thinking of planners in their approach to all construction projects. The difficulty is that thisdocument was produced by the DoEHLG subsequent to the largest construction boom in the history of the IrishState.•Shaping Neighbourhoods: A Guide for Health, Sustainability and Vitality by Barton, Grant & Guise. It sets outthe criteria for new development projects in three categories – Location, Access and Frontage. In terms oflocation, it focuses on how social infrastructure and commercial areas should be within walking distance ofresidential areas. All development regardless of size should have direct, visible access for pedestrians. It isimportant that areas where schools and retail outlets and other major trip generators are located should haveeasy access for pedestrians with permeability to the fore of planning.• National Spatial Strategy states that From the point of view of strategic spatial planning, sustainabledevelopment will, among other things, mean: maximising access to and encouraging use of public transport,cycling and walking
    • Findings - Literature•Dr. O. Fabiyi Oluseyi, Department of Geography, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria carried out a study called,Analysis of Inter - Connectivity Levels of Urban Street Networks and Social Interactions in EnclosedNeighbourhood in Johannesburg RSA which looked at the escalation in road closures as a way of stemming crimein urban areas of Johannesburg, South Africa. He identified the difficulties that arose after such measures weretaken. One example of difficulty was the reaction times of emergency vehicles and another being the constraintson residents wishing to access recreational spaces in and around where they live. Dr Olueseyi’s paper does tell us isthat stemming connectivity and ensuring permeability of communities is restricted, means urban design is used asa support mechanism to enforce the law.•Department of Environment, Transport and Regions (DETR) in the United Kingdom (UK) published EncouragingWalking: Advice to Local Authorities. The document sets out how walking can be a good way of encouragingpeople out of a sedentary lifestyle as well as areas being safer because of the passive surveillance of areas used bywalkers, making streets safer for everyone. This is in total contrast to the mindset used in South Africa where a lackof connectivity is used as a way of keeping streets safe by discouraging civil unrest. The document also highlightsthe facts that walking accounts for 25% of all journeys and 80% of overall short urban journeys of less than a mile.It also states that walking makes journeys safer, more pleasant and easier than private transport use.
    • Findings - LiteratureSocial Psychology (second edition), Tony Malim describes how minorities influence a wider audience and describes itas “The Influence of the Crowd.” He demonstrates that a crowd is intellectually inferior to an isolated individual andstates that “mob man is fickle credulous and intolerant” and attributes the primitive behaviour to three things:•Anonymity: Individuals cannot be easily identified in a crowd.•Contagion: ideas and emotions spread rapidly and unpredictably.•Suggestibility: the savagery which is just below the surface is released by suggestionBowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community by Robert D. Putnam. In his book Putnam exploresthe participation, or lack thereof from private citizens. He discusses how Americans have become apathetic towardpublic participation to the point that they are unwilling to vote in local or national elections. This would support thescenario that I have outlined in terms of the Tony Malim section. If people are disaffected to the point they do not evenknow who represents them in the political sector of society, there is little hope that they will participate incollaborative planning or in community/public consultation on an individual basis. However, according to Malim, suchpeople may participate as part of a crowd where their anonymity is safe and their subtle suggestibility can find anoutlet. That is not to say that such people seek out issues that may be controversial in their community. However, ifsuch issues may give a platform to them in order to vent existing grievances with the local authority.
    • Methodology Questionnaires Interviews Social Media
    • Methodology Questionnaires •Approximately 70 people filled out questionnaires •Determine the level of understanding about connectivity •Find out the travel patterns of participants •Case Study Area questionnaire to test the opinion of residents in a specific area •Learn about the attitude of the residents •How connectivity would improve their area – or not •Do they trust the process •Are their voices and opinions being heard – and listened to
    • Methodology Questionnaires •Examples of analysis arising from the questionnaires in regard to travel habits
    • What age group are you in: 65+ 19 – 20 0% 0% 16 – 18 3% 21 – 30 17%41 – 65 40% 31 – 40 40%
    • If permeability was improved in your area, would it encourage you to walk or cycle instead of using a car: Not a car user 21% No Yes20% 59%
    • Could you walk comfortably from your home to the following: None of the above 3% Pub(s) Public Transport 17% 20% Community Centre 10% Shops 19% Medical care 13%Work 3% Schools 15%
    • Statement Strongly Agree Agree Undecided Disagree Strongly Disagree “Fingal County Council could do more to make walking easier in the community by 8% 17% 17% 21% 37% opening up pedestrian access points.” Statement Strongly Agree Agree Undecided Disagree Strongly Disagree “I trust the process that Fingal County Council uses when making decisions on planning 0% 21% 21% 29% 29% matters in my area.” Strongly Statement Strongly Agree Agree Undecided Disagree Disagree“Stronger communication between thecommunity and the council is needed to 29% 54% 13% 0% 4%adequately address transport and planning issuesfor residents of the area.” Strongly Statement Strongly Agree Agree Undecided Disagree Disagree“I would support the temporary opening ofpedestrian/cycle points in my estate by Fingal 8% 21% 4% 21% 46%County Council for a three month period to seeif access is improved for residents.”
    • Strongly Statement Strongly Agree Agree Undecided Disagree Disagree“The redesign of my housing estate wouldgenerate savings in terms of transport costs 12% 17% 4% 42% 25%for residents.”“The redesign of my housing estate wouldfacilitate more walking/cycling and would 4% 17% 12% 38% 29%make the area safer.”“The redesign of my housing estate wouldlessen the impact on the environment in 8% 25% 13% 33% 21%terms of carbon emissions.”“The redesign of my housing estate would 8% 13% 17% 33% 29%encourage me into living a healthier lifestyle.”
    • Findings - Questionnaire/Interviews •Would people change their travel modes if there was more pedestrian connectivity? •Opponents to connectivity measures – No •Supporters of connectivity measures – Yes •Do they want more accessibility or would they rather the status quo remain? •Opponents cite fear of antisocial or criminal behaviour would escalate •Supporters don’t believe this to be the case •What prevents pedestrian access measures from being implemented? •Fear of antisocial behaviour, haphazard parking, abuse of the general area •Is there confidence and trust in the statutory process involved? •Serious reservations from opponents about the process •Confidence from supporters •Do they trust the decisions of planners and public representatives? •Serious display of mistrust from opponents (maybe a safety mechanism ) •Is there a rational reason for opposing pedestrian access? •On the face of it strong arguments can be made stand up but lack evidence
    • Methodology Interviews •10 interviews carried out •“Touchy Feely” way of getting information •Open discussion •In-depth information •Flexibility in asking questions •Flexibility in responses from residents •“How do you feel about the issue” •“What do you believe is the best option” •“What your experience is”
    • Methodology Social Media •Questionnaire distribution •Level of interest in the topic •Variety of opinions •What is the level of knowledge •Quality of the discussion •Comparability of different areas •Proposed solutions •Who is “Pro” and who is “Anti” •Various contributors
    • Methodology Social Media
    • Conclusions - Social•There is an immense amount of information on the subject and it is a highly charged, emotive issue indensely populated or major growth areas for ‘anti’ people.•Proximity to the proposed access point intensifies opposing attitude of residents and they take a Zerotolerance approach to the issue because they live close to access points. ‘Pro’ people are willing tosupport their neighbours even those with differing opinions. Older people prefer the option to walk toshops or other locations in the community. There may be an issue emerging in regard to theaffordability of private transport.•Trust between the community and the planning authority is at a low level with major misgivings aboutthe statutory process involved from residents opposing pedestrian access.•Anonymity allows uninhibited behaviour in regard to public consultation “Safety in numbers” so Ibelieve Social Psychology has a significant role to play in planning matters and it needs to be embracedby the planning authorities
    • Conclusions - Regulation•Policy documents exist but do planners/developers adhere to them. It is clear that sacrificing goodplanning to pander to the emotional needs of the community is counter productive and bad practice. Itis not enough to have the policies in place if they are loosly implemented - “Great policies but rubbish atimplementing them.” Rob Kitchin – NIRSA•South African solution to crowd control during the Apartheid era may sound extreme but stemmingconnectivity as a crime prevention measure is being used to a lesser extent in Ireland. We need to find abalance between what is sustainable urban design and a good quality of life standard for thecommunity.•Health benefits of good connectivity may outweigh the antisocial implications and dealing with theissue could lead to an urban design revolution brought on by planners who use a ‘sledgehammer tocrack a nut’ when seeking to implement policies, instead of a more measured approach. “You catchmore flies with honey than with Vinegar!”
    • Conclusions - Role of the political reps & planners•Political leadership does seem to be non-existent with a “Jump – How high?” approach being employed. Theleadership is lost when the fears of residents which are not evidenced based or proven, are given priority overproper planning practice.•There is a disconnect between planners and the community when the political conduit is lost because theplanners now have community opposition and political opposition.•Planners are perceived as having a “Save the people from themselves” attitude if they decide to rideroughshod over the wishes of the community and this is where strong political opposition comes into play.•David Cameron’s comment that “Bad Planning” had contributed to the London riots feeds into suchcontroversial issues because by that logic, permeability and ease of movement by pedestrians and cyclists ismaking it easier to cause civil unrest in urban areas! Back to the RSA mindset.•Definite compromises required where greater good of the community is in question with a need for on-goingcommunication. A Proactive approach instead of Reactive approach could reap mutual benefits. Sometimes,solutions proposed by planning authority may not be a solution at all (Ballisk Gate), and “CommunityWorkshops” could be a tool for planners where the trading of opinion is valuable and trust is built up but mostimportantly, where information on sustainability indicators can be gathered.
    • Quotes•If a number of persons are not in some way angry at the planner, then no principles have been presented;the planner has been merely a secretary to the mob, and the plan will be weak to the point of being useless.~ Andrés Duany•We have legislators who think it their duty only to listen to the people instead of becoming expert on thesubjects which they must decide upon. ~ Andrés Duany•Democracies have great difficulty solving the long-run problems created by policies that provide short-termbenefits. Once people receive the benefits, they do not want to give them up. ~ Anthony Downs•I have never seen a fact that would stand up to a myth at a public hearing. ~ J. Gary Lawrence•A hundred years after we are gone and forgotten, those who never heard of us will be living with the resultsof our actions. ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes
    • Recommendations•Establish and mandate multi discipline local government teams to achieve sustainabledevelopment in established urban areas.•Encourage planners to engage with stakeholders to ensure a change in public attitude tosustainable urban design is.•Remind politicians of their responsibility to the wider community and not just a vocalminority.•Work outside the statutory process period by holding “Town Hall” meetings.•Look at pragmatic measures to eliminate emerging Transport Poverty.•Take steps to prevent the further marginalisation of urban dwellers.• Encourage and support political courage to deliver a better quality of life via spatialplanning•Training, education, and more up skilling.
    • Joseph CorrDip.PR, MPRII, MSc Spatial Planning