Evaluating a Shared Spaces Intervention. A Case Study of Street Users in Auckland, New Zealand

Oliver, M
Badland, HM
Duncan, S
Wooller, L
Wright, R
Miner-Williams, W
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Commissioned Report
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Auckland University of Technology

The environmental qualities of urban spaces have the potential to influence
peoples’ behaviours,
including mode of transport and physical activity patterns, shopper spending habits, and social
engagement and behavioural characteristics. Increasingly, urban planners and transport engineers
are integrating concepts such as self -­‐ explaining roads and shared spaces into environmental design
approaches, for improved driver behaviour, pedestrian safety, and health behaviours. Despite this,
research focusing on the effects of such interventions is limited, largely due to the substantial
expense of implementing built environment infrastructure, and a general disconnect between
researchers and regulatory bodies responsible for intervention implementation. Greater focu s needs
to be on understanding the effects these interventions can have on the general population, to
inform future infrastructural initiatives and investment. This study compares the profiles and perceptions of street users
immediately post and sixteen
mo nths after
a major streetscape upgrade to a shared spaces mode in the the Fort Street precinct
(central business district), in Auckland, New Zealand. A convenience sample strategy was employed
for data collection and participants completed
in -­‐ person survey s . Descriptive
data treatment and
inferential statistical
analyses were undertaken to compare user profiles and opinions pre and post
streetscape upgrades. In total ,
373 street users
in the Fort Street precinct participated in this research.
Overall, findi ngs
indicate positive perceptions of the Fort Street upgrades and positive impacts on health -­‐ related
behaviours. Recommendations for further improvements to the area predominantly focused on
improving pedestrian safety, including reducing traffic speeds, r educing car usage of the area, and
providing better clarity on appropriate driver behaviours.

Evaluating a shared spaces intervention. A case study of street users in Auckland, New Zealand. Auckland, New Zealand: Human Potential Centre, Auckland University of Technology.
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