[Urban design] Street design for user priorities

 One of most important point of Urban design is how to make street more active. Active can be involved pedestrian, cultural activities or something else. To encourage more sustainable travel patterns and safer streets, designers must place pedestrians at the top of the user hierarchy. Walking is the most sustainable form of transport. 

Furthermore, all journeys begin and end on foot. By prioritising design for pedestrians first, the number of short journeys taken by car can be reduced and public transport made more accessible. The need for more walkable communities is also an issue of social equity as it is the poorest and most vulnerable in society, including children, the elderly and the disabled for whom car travel is less of an option. 

Placing private motor vehicles at the bottom of the user hierarchy should not be interpreted as an anti-car stance. People will always be attracted to cars where they are a convenient and flexible option and for many users it is currently the only viable option for medium to longer distance journeys. The key issue is one of balance, and the needs of the car should no longer take priority over the needs of other users or the value of place.

source: http://www.environ.ie