IHBC’s COVID-19 signpost 64: Government on designing for ‘Safer public places – urban centres and green spaces’

treesGovernment has issued a ‘guidance document focusing on the design principles for safer urban centres and green spaces’, entitled ‘… Safer public places – urban centres and green spaces’.

images: Open Government Licence v3.0

GOV.UK writes

… Identification of issues in urban centres and green spaces

Using the latest government advice on social distancing, this decision tree sets out a process to identify issues and interventions for maintaining social distancing in urban centres and green spaces.

It will be important to identify the key design issues and potential temporary interventions related to social distancing in urban centres and green spaces. This will be particularly important in focal zones, which are those areas with the densest development and where high levels of footfall are expected. The following steps could be applied:

  1. Identify your public spaces that are more likely to be focal zones and require interventions:
  • these could be transport hubs, high streets, shopping centres, areas for employment and commercial uses, and parks

Typically characterised by:

  • high footfall
  • constrained areas for transport modes, pedestrian, cycle and vehicular
  1. Consider your user groups, levels of footfall and activity in spaces with intensive usage.
  2. Assess the key social distancing issues, potential conflicts and risks.
  3. Consider the interventions that can be made to mitigate and reduce the social distancing issues, level of conflict, and risk. This should be assessed against existing risks including security – see Section 5.
  4. Consider the statutory and legal implications and liaise with statutory bodies.
  5. Consider the implementation of temporary physical interventions, timings and procurement implications that will be suitable in the public realm.
  6. Consider the management of spaces and interventions including:
  • guiding movement through the spaces
  • the potential need for any enforcement measures such as at entrance areas, to supervise and assist
  1. Consider the maintenance issues such as cleaning and repairing.
  2. Monitor use, management and maintenance, and effectiveness of measures.
  3. Review and consider the phasing in and out of interventions.

See the full guidance and links

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