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Compare And Contrast The Approaches Of Buchanan And Monderman To Ordering Public Spaces That Include Pedestrian And Motor Vehicles

1482 words - 6 pages

Social Order is how people ‘fit’ together with each other and the world around them ( Silva, 2009. pg 311), it is how people know how to behave and what they expect from others in social situations. Social Scientists understand there are many factors to consider when studying order; it is a combination of imagination, practices and the ideas of past and the future (Silva, 2009. Pg 311). This essay will look at an influential report by Buchanan, produced in 1963 and a thesis by Hans Monderman, both of these look at the connection between social ordering in public spaces between pedestrians and motor vehicles. The essay will compare the studies and show the similarities and differences between ...view middle of the document...

Buchanan’s approach was considered a modernistic one as it emphasizes on standardisation and uniformity (Silva, 2009.Pg339) the core values being car ownership and for people to be mobile. Owning a car was a material symbol of being successful and the roads should be governed by rules set out by the authorities to ensure the safety of people.
This follows on to the second study produced in the 1980’s by Dutch Safety Officer Hans Monderman, he based his ideas on ‘shared space’ and devised the principle of the ‘naked street’ (Silva, 2009 pg325) He wanted to introduce a practice called ‘psychological traffic calming’, where all the ever increasing traffic calming measures, road signs and kerbs and railings were taken away. The idea was that once all the ‘furniture’ was removed, people and car drivers would have to work together to use the road safely. The idea was to create a more civilised environment than that of segregation that Buchanan has created. (Silva, 2009. Pg333) He believed that the segregation was an imposition and unsuitable for communal life. (Silva, 2009. Pg 333) The evidence that supports Monderman is that of psychology, if a person is treated a certain way, they will act a certain way, an example of this is in an experiment conducted in 1989 in the Netherlands called the Drachten Experiment.
A town called Drachten which had 43,000 residents had problems with lights on a junction and it had caused 140 casualties in a year, a traffic engineer (Hans Monderman) was brought in and suggested getting rid of the white lines and the traffic lights, it was unconventional, but the towns other option was to ban cars in the town which was not practical. Hans Monderman made the statement ‘if you treat people like zombies, they will act like zombies’ (Silver, 2009. Pg 334) he explained that if they were taught blindly to following instruction (in this example white lines and traffic lights) they stop thinking for themselves and accidents follow (Silva, 2009. Pg 334)
By having to make eye contact with other drivers and pedestrians at the junction it increased concentration of the drivers, making them aware of their surrounding and other people’s actions as well of their own. (Glaskin, cited in Silva, 2009. Pg 335)
Monderman’s approach was considered a flexible approach to social order, emphasising fluidity, and a lack of prescribed rules and a reliance of self management (Silva, 2009. Pg 339) These are more related to the core values of social order, the idea of working together, co-operation and how people interact with their surrounding world. It enables people to be free to negotiate the use of space and take responsibility for their actions ( DD131 Online activity 22, 2009)
A link can also been found between Monderman and Erving Goffman, a social Scientists who had a view that people behave in a certain way to tell other people who they are. One of the similarities is monderman’s suggestion that peoples interactions in ‘shared...

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