Naked is Better! On the Many Benefits of Shared Streets

Experiments with shared (also called "naked") streets in Auckland, New Zealand show that mixing motorized and non-motorized modes can be safe, friendly, and economically successful.

1 minute read

February 26, 2015, 6:00 AM PST

By Todd Litman


Shared Street

Michael Hicks / Flickr

Shared streets (also called "naked" or "woonerf") remove the distinction between footpath and traffic lanes, so vehicles and pedestrians can share roadspace. Auckland New Zealand has implemented this strategy in several downtown commercial streets, as discussed in this website. Each street is assessed and the most appropriate design goes through a public consultation stage before works begin.

The city conducted a detailed study on shared space performance. It found that:

• Peak hour foot traffic increased 50 percent (comparing pre-works in 2008 to post-works in 2011)
• There are noticeably fewer vehicles and they travel slower. Vehicle speeds declined more than 25 percent.
• 91 percent of stakeholders were highly complimentary about the new shared space, compared to 17 percent before. 
• 75 percent of property owners determined that it was valuable being sited near or adjacent to a shared space.
• Almost half of those surveyed (49 percent) would visit the area more often, as a destination in its own right.

Well done, Auckland!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015 in Shared Spaces Website

Aerial view of snowy single-family homes in suburban Long Island, New York

New York Governor Advances Housing Plan Amid Stiff Suburban Opposition

Governor Kathy Hochul’s ambitious proposal to create more housing has once again run into a brick wall of opposition in New York’s enormous suburbs, especially on Long Island. This year, however, the wall may have some cracks.

March 20, 2023 - Mark H. McNulty

Empty parking garage at night with yellow lines marking spots and fluorescent lighting

Rethinking the Role of Parking in the American City

In cities big and small, the tide is turning against sprawling parking lots, car-centric development, and minimum parking mandates.

March 16, 2023 - The New York Times

A futuristic version of New York City, with plants growing neatly on top of modern skycrapers.

Friday Eye Candy: 20 AI-Generated Cityscapes

AI-generated images are creating new landscapes and cityscapes, capable of inspiring awe or fear.

March 17, 2023 - Chris Steins via Medium

A group of wetsuit-clad swimmers gathers to talk in shallow water near the shore of the San Francisco Bay.

Proposed Pool Would Make an Olympic-Sized Play Area in the San Francisco Bay

The San Francisco Bay is usually an undesirable place to swim, except for a hearty few. A development proposal seeking assistance at the state level would add a pool to the Bay’s waters to make the idea of going for a swim more appealing.

March 24 - The Mercury News

Chicago elevated train over busy city street surrounded by high-rise buildings

Chicagoland Transit Agencies Call for State Funding as Budget Shortfall Looms

Illinois transit agencies want to see changes to a law requiring them to collect half of their revenue from transit fares, arguing that low ridership and staffing shortages will lead to a massive budget gap without intervention.

March 24 - Crain's Chicago Business

Minneapolis Stone Arch Bridge

Panel: Minneapolis Zoning Updates Should Reflect Mixed-Use Future

A discussion of post-pandemic changes in work and commuting concluded that the city’s overhaul of its zoning code should be less restrictive with land uses.

March 24 - MinnPost

New Updates on PD&R Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

HUD’s 2023 Innovative Housing Showcase

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

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.