Revisiting Donald Appleyard’s Livable Streets

“Fixing the Great Mistake” is a new Streetfilms series that examines what went wrong in the early part of the 20th Century, when our cities began catering to the automobile, and how those decisions continue to affect our lives today.

Donald Appleyard was a scholar who studied the neighborhood environment and the ways planning and design can make life better for city residents. In 1981, Appleyard published “Livable Streets” based on his research into how people experience streets with different traffic volumes.

This video explores three studies in “Livable Streets” that measured, for the first time, the effect of traffic on our social interactions and how we perceive our own homes and neighborhoods.

The work and thinking of Donald Appleyard will feature in the upcoming book by Jan Gehl and Henning Thomsen, Making People Visible – Methods for Public Life Studies, to be published 2012.

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