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Compare And Contrast The Approaches Of Buchanan And Monderman

1539 words - 7 pages

'Compare and contrast the approaches of Buchanan and Monderman to ordering public spaces that include pedestrians and motor vehicles.'

Social order is embedded into peoples' daily actions although it generally goes unnoticed by many. It exists to eliminate the disturbances of public order and many people devise different strategies in an attempt to make things run more smoothly. It demands peoples' cooperation to interact with each other in 'shared space.' 'The making of social order involves many things like imagination, practices, the fitting together of people and things, and ideas about the past and the future' (Silva, 2009, p.331). It is important to remember that the ordering of ...view middle of the document...

'The key principle was to isolate 'rooms' for working, shopping and leisure from the 'corridors' where traffic would move. Buchanan called these isolated areas 'environmental units"(Silva, 2009, p.328). 'Traffic is viewed in the report as an agent because it has an active role in shaping the ways people live, how space is designed, and how people interact with each other and with their environment. Traffic is presented as an agent that is dangerous, and in order to contain it's dangers it has to be segregated, isolated and bounded by rules imposed through visible displays in space' (Silva, 2009, p.331). The Buchanan report was so powerful that the UK government gave it official approval to be put into practice. His approach is still practiced to this day all over the world because it is favoured over others.

The second case study examined is known as the Monderman's thesis which was done by Hans Monderman from the Netherlands who was also a traffic engineer. He came up with a new approach to help ameliorate road safety in the 1980's. 'Monderman pioneered the concept of the 'naked street' within his 'shared space' model' (Silva, 2009, p.333). Unlike Buchanan's approach of being forced to rely on road signage to follow rules, Monderman's 'naked street' principle was about getting rid of all roadside markings and warnings in settings such as neighbourhoods so that people would not be compelled to behave in particular ways. He referred to the removal of street furniture as 'psychological calming.' In contrast of segregating pedestrians from drivers and creating 'environmental units' for each, Hans 'shared space' philosophy engages operators of motor vehicles, pedestrians as well as cyclists as participants of the street who must all communicate with one another through contextual signals about the use of the road and negotiate who has priority over the other. 'The model builds on the idea that a natural interaction between the driver and the pedestrian would create a more civilised environment than that achieved by segregating cars and pedestrians. The segregation is criticised as an imposition by the state, unsuited to communal life' (Silva, 2009, p.333). In like manner, Monderman exercised his strategy of managing traffic and producing social order on the road. Despite the fact that his approach was not very popular, it gained strong influence in the way in which the architectural plans of the streets are innovated more recently near the beginning of the twenty-first century.
Although both approaches have vast differences, they compete for the same thing which is to manage and maintain a safe road traffic system in society. Buchanan's conceptualisations fall under the modernist approach which gives extra weight to the enforcement of road signage and written texts to set the standards and regulations of peoples' actions and behaviours on the streets. Buchanan also stresses that car ownership is strongly linked to material success. This approach...

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