‘ Home zones offer a real-life context for exploring some critical debates about modern urban living: debates about car-dependence, the meaning of ‘community’ and ‘safety’, social values, the relationship between local government and residents and the balance (some would say tension) between public and private space and between individual and collective well being.’ (Tim Gill, Aug 2005)
Kent Highway’s engineers had completed the first phase of this pilot Home Zone using traditional road calming measures and creating a single use play area. The Cavell Way community led by Caroline Field of Moat Housing Society was keen to explore other options for traffic calming and a range of play spaces. The community had visited woonerfs in the Netherlands and a vision to apply the shared surface principles used by the Dutch engineers. Kent Highway’s Safety Officer invited Anna Tennent as part of the Kent Design team to work with them to develop the second phase plans.
This project was innovation from inception to completion as it was one of the first 12 ‘home-zones’ piloted by the DoT. During the second phase the radical nature of the home zone principles met with significant obstacles by the waste and emergency services. Working with the local community and laying out the designs on site ensured acceptance of the realigned shared surface and reduced sightlines.
Phase 2 of the development was to mitigate the over-engineered safety measures, this was hampered by the theft on a regular basis of the hard and soft landscape materials. The design was completed and TRL recorded that there was a reduction in accidents and near misses was recorded in the home zone in their report in 2005.
Project Type: Landscape Architecture, Planning, Regeneration
Location: Sittingbourne, Kent, UK
Contract Value: £150,000
Landscape Architecture, Regeneration, Community Development, Sustainable Design, SUDS, Partnership Working