Link and Place theory

The best approach of urban design is that you forget about all your nicely paved roads and imagine that you are back in the 1930s but with all your actual buildings, railways and subway lines. Like this you have the highest degree of freedom, since

  • Most people have legs so they can walk or cycle, in addition without local emissions
  • Bus service can be re-adjusted and the image of public transport can be considerably improved (just think about Bogota’s Transmillenio BRT system)
  • Car traffic can be restricted and/or stored in buffer areas (P+R, congestion charging, car-sharing and car-pooling)
  • Travel destinations are often places where people want to spend their limited time and/or money, so public transit junctions and their surrounding is also a place where people actually meet each other.
  • Buildings accommodate business no matter if it’s a grocery shop, a fancy restaurant or a kitchen showroom.

Anyway, a mobility concept should improve both the life quality and the national economy. It’s the humans and the goods what need to be transported and not their vehicles! I know it can sound obvious but still, most of the public space developments are than divided into two main categories: the links and the spaces.

The two functions of public spaces.

Considering the main functions we can examine all streets in all cities and putting them to context we can place its actual and desired place in a matrix.


Here is the presentation of Prof. Peter Jones, co-author of the revolutionary book ‘Link & Place: A Guide to Street Planning and Design’ (Peter Jones, Natalya Boujenko and Stephen Marshall, 2007)

(to be continued)