MA Urban Design Studio | Group 1: Neighbourhood tactics
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Group 1: Neighbourhood tactics

Park Station is a vibrant hub, bustling with activity at almost any time of the day. We chose to focus our attention on the ‘street experience’ in and around the station. From street vendors selling their goods to pedestrians and vehicles vying for space, the streets around the Park Station can certainly be an interesting place to be.

A land use map of activities at the street level shows us that most of the formal activity around the station is of a commercial nature. On Wanderer’s Street and Noord street (located to the east of the station), street vendors occupy a significant portion of the sidewalks and tend to draw a large amount of pedestrian traffic to the region. With significant vehicular traffic passing through the area and the station’s main taxi rank located on the same road, the result is a rather chaotic clash of vehicular and pedestrian movement.


{Road Usage Map}

The Johannesburg Inner City Traffic and Transportation Study (JICTTS) from March 2010 points out that some of the main issues in this region tend to stem from this clash of users. Additionally, the study also found a high level of crime concentrated in the area. The study then goes on to highlight the need for an intervention in the region.

“This area, located in the gap between different management zones, is heavily traded with high volumes of pedestrians moving in and out of these facilities until late at night. The conflict and friction between different street users including vehicles, traders, pedestrians and services vehicles, as well as poor lighting and the intensity of other retail uses, affects the ability of the police to patrol and control the area.” – Page 16, JICTTS Report 2



The clash of users (images from Google Street View)


Our approach is to provide the users of the region exactly what they want rather than forcing restrictive rules in the area. The streets (Wanderers and Noord) are currently being used by a variety of users and the design looks at creating a space that caters to this need.

Our intervention is to create a shared space that can be harmoniously used by vehicular and pedestrian traffic. The street vendors will also have designated selling areas within the design.



Images from case studies (ECO-Box Paris / Exhibition Road, London)


One of the first tactics would be to raise the current road level to that of the footpath thus allowing for more fluid and effortless pedestrian movement. Vehicles will still be allowed to pass through the space, however, at a lower speed. Apart from signage, the design will incorporate textured surfaces which will enforce the lower speed limits. Through signage and tactile feedback, drivers will be notified in advance that they are entering a shared space.

Parking along the street will be restricted to drop offs only and a time limit will be introduced within the area of intervention. Once successfully applied and tested, the shared space concept can be expanded to the rest of Noord Street and its intersections with King George Street and Klein Street.


{Designing the intervention}


The area will be well lit to ensure the safety of the users, with lighting elements being designed-in. The street will be shaded with a combination of tensile and fabric structures spanning across the width of the street, thus enhancing the street experience. Hard and soft landscape will also be woven into the design to allow for pause points and seating for the users.

The colours, geometry and patterns will be drawn from African art and culture. Gradient paving patterns will be used to demarcate parking areas and direct pedestrian / vehicular flow.


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Patterns and design inspirations


The end goal is to achieve a space that embraces both formal and informal trade while not disrupting traffic flow. The intervention will create a safer place for all the users involved.





Shashank Achanthodi