Artists (Arterial Streets Towards Sustainability)

Artists (Arterial Streets Towards Sustainability)


A Svensson, University of Lund, SE



ARTISTS (Arterial Streets Towards Sustainability)
a joint European Project funded by the European Commission, a part of Key Action 'City of Tomorrow and Cultural Heritage' in the Fifth Framework Programme 'Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development'

The problems of traffic congestion, accidents, air pollution and excessive noise that are characteristic of large parts of most European towns and cities are usually to be found in their most extreme form along the major arterial streets. Yesterday?s arterial streets were planned as if there only were car driver interests to take into consideration; which obviously is not true for today?s arterial streets that have to manage many different and sometimes conflicting functions, of which some are not transport-related at all. Arterial streets, therefore, present a particular challenge to sustainable urban planning, as they attempt to meet at least four, often conflicting functions. Arterial streets are main channels for through-going traffic between different parts of the city (1), provide access for various kinds of traffic to buildings (2), are often market places (3), and are meeting places where residents and visitors meet, talk and take part in events (4).

ARTISTS aims at producing holistic analyses of problems and methods for improving the environment and living conditions (traffic safety, air-pollution, accessibility, etc) on and along arterial streets in European cities.

Today?s street classification system does not consider the multiple and sometimes conflicting functions of the arterial street. As the classification system and related design guidelines are of tremendous help for planners in identifying problems and solutions, there is a need for a new classification where the ?sustainable arterial street? has a place. A new approach is to see the street as a continuous artery, facilitating efficient ?people movement? along the street, and as a series of locales ? each locale system being made up of the buildings, the spaces between the buildings and the related activities. The locale function takes into account demands for the street to be the backyard for residents, the way to school for children, a point for crossing, a place where people meet, shop and eat and so on. ARTISTS will provide guidance on how to establish the crucial balance between the ?artery? and ?locale? roles. Hence, indicators to assess the performance of these roles are being refined.

Studies of existing decision-making and design processes show for instance that the most successful reconstructions of arterial streets are projects with early stakeholder involvement and several design alternatives. Expected outcomes from ARTISTS are therefore; the development of tools for making the design and participation process more creative; the acquisition of a deeper understanding of the relation between design and performance, and a summary of the knowledge thus obtained in a user-friendly Guideline.


Association for European Transport