More Cities Adopting 'Naked Streets'

In the second post in an ongoing "Shareable Cities" series, Mike Clay discusses "naked streets"—a democratizing, stripped-down street management concept that removes streetlights, crosswalks, and other signage.

Read Time: 1 minute

June 4, 2014, 10:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Shared Street

Michael Hicks / Flickr

According to Clay, [the] shared space movement advocates freeing the streets from traffic lights, stop signs, zebra crossings, and kerbs, turning them into democratic spaces where all road-users can coexist."

The "naked streets" idea relies on the idea that users pay more attention when there aren't strict traffic rules in place. "Many cities around the world are are [sic] studying the concept of shared space and encouraging pedestrians to cross the street whenever they want. In Britain, Kensington, Chelsea, Coventry, Portishead and Ipswich have already made the move toward becoming more shareable. Outside of the UK, the Belgian town of Ostende, Ejby in Denmark, and Drachten in Holland are introducing trial projects that challenge the importance of traffic lights."

Clay also details some of the cities that have removed or implemented new technology in their traffic lights as well as new technology that improves pedestrian access to public space for the visually impaired. 

Friday, May 23, 2014 in Woodhouse

Green bike lane with flexible delineators and textures paint in Hoboken, New Jersey

America’s Best New Bike Lanes

PeopleForBikes highlights some of the most exciting new bike infrastructure projects completed in 2022.

January 31, 2023 - PeopleforBikes

Aerial view of MBTA commuter rail station in Concord, Massachusetts among green trees

Massachusetts Zoning Reform Law Reaches First Deadline

Cities and towns had until January 31 to submit their draft plans for rezoning areas near transit stations to comply with a new state law.

February 1, 2023 - Streetsblog Mass

Green alley under construction

Green Alleys: A New Paradigm for Stormwater Management

Rather than shuttling stormwater away from the city and into the ocean as quickly as possible, Los Angeles is now—slowly—moving toward a ‘city-as-sponge’ approach that would capture and reclaim more water to recharge crucial reservoirs.

February 2, 2023 - Curbed

Arizona Canal

HUD Grants Total $315 Million for Continuum of Care for the Unhoused

An unprecedented federal grant program, announced earlier this month, will support continuum of care for the unhoused in unsheltered and rural settings.

50 minutes ago - U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Covered pergolas for outdoor dining line the curb on Ballard Avenue, Seattle

Seattle Historic District Could Remove Street Dining

Despite the popularity of Ballard Avenue’s outdoor dining pergolas, some district board members argue the patios don’t match the district’s historic character.

February 7 - The Urbanist

Rendering of landscaped street with street trees and pedestrian sidewalk

South L.A. Complete Streets Project Back on Track

First proposed in 2015, the Broadway-Manchester redesign would add bike infrastructure, pedestrian improvements, trees, and other amenities.

February 7 - Urbanize LA

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.