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Dr. Ben Hamilton-Baillie

Speaker: Dr. Ben Hamilton-Baillie, Sustrans, UK Transport

For generations, the spaces between buildings in the towns and cities across the USA and Europe have been dominated by the requirements of traffic engineering, with its language of signs, traffic signals, bollards, barriers, kerbs and road markings. As a result most cities, towns and villages look increasingly alike, and there has been little opportunity to express community values, history, or a sense of place.

In some mainland European countries this is beginning to change. Ben Hamilton-Baillie, an architect and specialist in urban design and movement from England, described some of these changes and set them in a broader historical context. The examples, mainly from Denmark, Germany, Sweden and The Netherlands, outlined a radical new approach to the design and management of public space in towns and cities.

Mr Hamilton-Baillies talk examined some of the history of traffic in towns, illustrated by examples of some remarkable and surprising new approaches to safety and traffic management. He covered ideas about gateways and transition zones, speed management and safety, and the relationship between urban design, engineering and behavioural psychology. Such ideas are in their infancy in the USA, but they offer the possibility for new relationships between vehicles, pedestrians, bicycles and the public realm. Mr Hamilton-Baillie drew on recent examples from several European countries to suggest ways in which traffic engineering and urban design might combine to enhance the prosperity, vitality and safety of the public realm.

Hamilton-Baillie Associates

This event was recorded. Please contact Ellen Thorson to order a copy.

About the Speaker(s)

Ben Hamilton-Baillie is a specialist in urban design and traffic engineering, and director of Hamilton-Baillie Associates.

Following a career in public housing, he worked with the transport charity Sustrans to develop the National Cycle Network. The award of a Winston Churchill Fellowship allowed him to investigate latest approaches to traffic in towns across mainland Europe. In 2001 he became the first UK citizen to be awarded a Loeb Fellowship to the Design School at Harvard University, allowing him to research and develop ideas about the relationship between cars and communities. He has taught and lectured extensively across the UK, northern Europe and the USA, and is author of ?Home Zones: Reconciling People, Places and Transport? (Harvard 2001). He is a visiting lecturer in urban design and transport at the University of the West of England.