Compare and contrast the modernist and flexible approaches to the ordering of traffic.
My aim is to compare and contrast the modernist and flexible approaches to the ordering of traffic. This essay will focus on the two approaches in detail and the similarities and differences between them. I will use statistical evidence and the case study “The Drachten experiment” to support my answer. I will also use evidence from chapter 7 of “Making Social Lives”, written by Elizabeth B. Silva. The two different approaches to the ordering of traffic are the Buchanan Report, a modernist approach, and the Monderman thesis, a flexible approach. Both Buchanan and Monderman address similar questions but advocate very different solutions to the issue of traffic management. In 1961 Colin Buchanan, an engineer, was commissioned by the UK Government to start work on traffic problems. This was because the amount of motor vehicles on the UK roads was growing, this is evident when looking at statistical data from 1949-2006. In 1949 there were 46.5 billion vehicle kilometres on the UK roads, by 1961 this had more than doubled to 104.2 billion, the data tells us that the number of motor vehicles on the UK roads in the nearly sixty year period continued to increase. (In table 1)(The Open University, 2009, P.326.) With the rapid rise of motor- vehicles an increased supply of roads needed to be built, but also a new design of the space. Buchanan believed that because the roads were dominated by cars and other vehicles this posed a threat to others. So after the mid-1960s towns were built on principles of segregation, where traffic that was presented as dangerous had to be segregated from pedestrians. This meant vehicles and pedestrians were given their own space and you either used one space or the other. Traffic was restricted by rules and physical boundaries that were set by the authorities, it was standard that everyone followed the rules that were set to ensure social...
References: Bromley, S., Clarke, J., Hinchliffe, S and Taylor, S. (2009) Making Social Lives, Milton Keynes, The Open University. P326, table.
Elizabeth. Silva, (2009) “Making Social Order”, in Taylor, S., Hinchliffe, S., Clarke, J. and Bromley, S. (eds) Making Social Lives, Milton Keynes, The Open University.
Glaskin, M, (2004) “Innovation: the end of the white line”, Sunday Times, 22 August, P334-335.
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