Edited by Robin Hickman, Moshe Givoni, David Bonilla and David Banister
Chapter 29: The car in the neighbourhood: residential design and social outcomes in southern Germany
The presence of traffic in the residential environment has rarely been a comfortable one. From the ‘Red Flag’ Act (Marshall, 2005) to the creation of modern ‘car-free’ development, policymakers have sought to limit the physical intrusion of vehicles on civic life and to orientate the public towards more ‘sustainable’ modes of travel that are less energy consuming and less polluting. The innovation of design measures to protect the public against the physically and socially detrimental effects of wheeled traffic forms a strong narrative in urban planning history, extending back from the Roman cul-de-sac and notably through to the twentieth-century development of Parker and Unwin’s Hampstead Garden Suburb, Stein’s Radburn and Buchanan’s ‘environmental areas’, all designed to minimise the penetration of traffic. Similarly, planners and developers have sought to reduce the need for car travel through the orientation of new residential development towards alternative modes of transport and by creating a mix of different land uses that reduce the need to travel. But to what extent can integrated urban design and transport planning create more environmentally sustainable travel patterns among residents by reducing overall traffic, altering the behaviour of motorists in the neighbourhood and changing the spatial relationship between residents and their cars? The matter is complex, not least because of the influence of factors outside of the neighbourhood focus.
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