Much of our focus on designing our spaces goes on optimising home life or fostering better learning practices. And rightly so. However, forgetting and dismissing our cities’ infrastructure as a necessarily complex evil is having devastating effects. This article from Curbed explores how one firm is trying to humanise our approach to transportation design through empathy and equality. It’s about thinking creatively to put ourselves in the middle of the process as collaborators rather than users.
Headlines about traffic fatalities are consistently grim: ‘ Nation Roused Against Motor Fatalities’, reads one from the New York Times; another says: ‘Pedestrian Deaths in U.S. Approach Highest Number in 30 Years’. These stories could have been written weeks apart, but the former is from 1924 and the latter from 2019.
In 100 years, we haven’t been able to solve the safe streets problem. If we’re going to move the needle, the team at the transportation consulting firm Toole Design argues that we need to rethink the strategy behind street safety.
Since 1925, the transportation industry has been using a concept called the Three E’s—engineering, education, and enforcement—to guide decisions. Last week, Toole Design released a manifesto called ‘The New E’s of Transportation’, arguing that, instead, ethics, equity, and empathy should be the driving factors for all transportation decision making.
The conventional Three E’s approach, Toole’s manifesto states, “doesn’t provide the guidance or moral compass we need to plan, design, and build a transportation system for the 21st century.”