13 December 2021 News

Mobility from the perspective of people, instead of cars

It is time to correct the design error of the last century, in which the car was central to urban planning: mobility from the perspective of the human, the resident of a street, neighbourhood or district instead of from the car. In Embassy Lab ‘Green for Gasoline’ Studio 1:1 rolled up its sleeves for the following design question: Design new typologies for car-free streets with which we can broadly investigate how a future streetscape will shape our public space.

In cities, the car takes up a large part of the public road. In Eindhoven the parking spaces on street-level amount to 2.250.000 m2, as visualised in the image above. The durability of the car as the number one mode of transport is now slowly beginning to fade in the Netherlands. It is notable that a streetscape in which the car does not play a dominant role provides space for infill that can enhance the quality of life for people (and nature). According to various studies, space for cyclists, pedestrians and greenery has positive effects on the quality of life in a street. Green, meeting and accomodating. This space can be given a new purpose. We want to know what that space could look like if we no longer have to take the dominance of the car into account. What kind of choices will we make then?

Potential for a pilot from a broad perspective

In this Embassy Lab, Studio 1:1 began by researching projects and experiments that had already been done and that were related to ‘Blik voor Groen’. They then conducted extensive research to analyse the city from different angles. The aim was to come up with an image for a potential street/neighbourhood for next year’s pilot. Think of the hottest neighbourhoods in times of heat stress. Or streets where there is the most water nuisance during heavy rainfall. Or streets where the municipality will have to replace the sewers in the coming years. Or from the perspective of the municipality’s green policy plan. This provides a broad selection of potential streets for carrying out a pilot project. They presented this exploratory research at Dutch Design Week 2021. They are currently working on further concept development, part of which is the Serious Game. 

Including participants with a Serious Game

From the research of the projects already done, Studio 1:1 concluded that it is crucial to involve the residents. Therefore, they designed a ‘Serous Game’ with which they can let the residents participate in a good and regular way during the execution of the pilot. This game contains various design tools to redesign a street.

The goal (and the intention of the Municipality of Eindhoven) is to carry out the project in a street or neighbourhood in Eindhoven in 2022 in which the Serious Game is an important component. At the moment, further, development is being discussed.

Interactive element on Dutch Design Week 2021