Summary

Assessing experiments: Citizens perceptions and values

This report presents a study that examines citizens’ perceptions and values regarding street experiments (SE) in three European cities: London, Munich, and Bologna. The aim of the research is to understand how citizens value different dimensions of SE and to provide insights for the design of effective and inclusive street interventions.

To achieve this objective, the study employs a primarily inductive and qualitative survey method. A total of 458 citizens participated in the survey, offering their perspectives on five SE parklets and plazas located in the selected neighbourhoods. The survey methodology allows for open-ended responses, enabling citizens to express their thoughts and evaluations of the SE interventions in their everyday street life.

The analysis of the survey data leads to the development of a comprehensive framework comprising 10 categories that cover various dimensions, including functional, social, safety, environmental, and economic aspects. This framework enables a thorough examination of the values citizens associate with SE, capturing both the practical benefits and the broader social implications of street transformations.

The findings of the study reveal that most citizens across the three cities place higher value on the public life dimensions of SE compared to its benefits for active mobility. This includes appreciating the improved attractiveness of the streetscape, the provision of spaces for stationary activities, and the opportunities for social and civic interaction within their neighbourhoods.

The research not only provides valuable insights into citizens’ qualitative evaluations of SE but also offers practical recommendations for practitioners involved in SE interventions. By understanding and incorporating citizens’ values and preferences, practitioners can design SE initiatives that are more effective, inclusive, and aligned with the needs and aspirations of the community.

Overall, this study contributes to the existing literature by exploring citizens’ perspectives on SE from the standpoint of everyday street life. It sheds light on the importance of considering the social meanings and impacts of street transformations and offers a valuable methodological approach for analysing citizens’ qualitative evaluations of SE interventions.

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Tools

Developing Strategies for Change During Street Experiments

Many factors at play when it comes to organizing successful street experiments. In our research, we identified enablers and barriers that either support or limit street experiments on their way to triggering system change. Additionally, we recognized the role that municipalities adopt towards street experiments as particularly important in this process. The Developing Strategies for Change workshop brings these findings together and offers an interactive format for civil servants to explore different roles and enable collaboration between departments.

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Tools

Conversation Starter Deck

Organising a street experiment is a complex process. The Conversation Starter Deck is just that – designed to start the conversation about organizing a street experiment. The input for this deck is cards, drawn from insights generated during the EXTRA project. The questions on these cards are intended to provide policy-makers and experiment organisers with an overview of the most important aspects to consider while organising a street experiment. At the same time, it offers a unique and interactive form to engage diverse departments and discuss experiment goals and ambitions.

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Tools

GOAT (Geo Open Accessibility Tool)

GOAT is a digital planning tool designed to enhance sustainable mobility and urban development by integrating various accessibility indicators. It utilizes a broad spectrum of data, including points of interest, buildings, population data, land use, and environmental data. Tailored for local authorities, regions, and planning offices, GOAT aims to streamline planning processes, fostering efficiency, collaboration, and data-driven decision-making. Using OpenStreetMap data, it offers isochrones, multi-isochrones, heatmaps and scenarios supporting walking, cycling, and wheelchair accessibility assessments. Moreover, its digital accessibility facilitates participatory methods, engaging stakeholders, practitioners, citizens, and academics in exploring accessibility impacts in various cases.

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Tools

D4AMS (Dashboard for Alternative Mobility Scenarios)

The Dashboard for Alternative Mobility Scenarios (D4AMS) allows policymakers and mobility experts to explore the mobility outcomes of street experiments and shared mobility options on the city level. Various scenarios are presented for four case study cities: Ghent, Bologna, Munich, and Amsterdam. These scenarios include different configurations of shared mobility options and street closure plans, allowing for comparative analysis. The dashboard website also contains more information on the methodology and outlines major policy guidelines.

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Tools

IAPI (Assessing Inclusive Accessibility by Proximity)

IAPI is a GIS-based quantitative methodology for assessing accessibility, through active mobility, to a basket of daily, essential services at the district and city levels. IAPI measures accessibility by considering how the technical performances and perceived qualities of the neighborhood’s paths and public spaces can influence active mobility for pedestrians, people with reduced mobility, and cyclists. By using open data – mainly from OSM – integrated with crowdsourced information collected via citizen direct involvement, IAPI is designed to maximize scalability, transferability, and the level of customization for context-sensitive applications.

 

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Tools

StreetECHO

StreetECHO is a comprehensive open-source toolkit designed to facilitate stakeholder engagement with communities in the transformation of urban streets, emphasising the importance of diverse citizen perspectives, experiences, needs, and values related to city streets. This toolkit comprises a suite of tools including a data collection survey and a street mapping tool for documenting individual perceptions of street transformation. It also features a dynamic data visualisation tool, allowing users to navigate and engage with aggregated data in real-time. Additionally, StreetECHO offers a detailed workshop protocol for community engagement workshops, ensuring inclusive and effective participation.

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