In this piece Yilan again discusses a very important topic of urban design in street furniture. Having read her blog and agreeing with all her points it lead me to think about some of the work I carried out while with Sunderland City Council regarding the decluttering of streets and creating of way-finding techniques.
While carrying out this work, which the importance for people’s health and safety is discussed in Yilan’s work, I found that one of the main issues regarding the lack of adequate safe spaces in cities around the county was the lack of funding provided for this type of development. The spaces within cities, the areas of socialising and congregation have for centuries been a major part of what makes a city successful and it is a serious shame that at some point within the hierarchy of government the importance of this type of development is not recognised.
Relating back to what Yilan mentioned on safety and walkability, taking the example of Sunderland the image below (Figure 1) shows just how difficult some areas of the City are to navigate around. Include the lack of up-to-date signage for a new comer to the city it is almost impossible for one to get around. I believe that this is not an issue caused at a local level as I saw efforts actively being made to rectify the issue, but that there is a problem higher up within the system that doesn’t recognise the importance of these assets for what they are.