Public Realm Information & Advice Network

Training for Sater Streets

We will then contact you
and confirm the details
for your booking

Pedestrian priority / Shared spacePedestrian Priority

sight lines
Sight Lines

Limited Places Available


Pedestrian priority / Shared spacePedestrian Priority

sight lines
Sight Lines


Legally backed pedestrian priority zone
UK answer to Swiss Encounter Zone?





  And Also


Water Light Graffiti

A Poitiers street in Paris was lit up in July with public, interactive art “Water Light Graffiti” by Antonin Foureau. His wall of water activated LEDs created a H2O sensitive canvas for anyone to doodle and sketch.

Painting could be done with anything including a paintbrush, water gun, atomizer or for the more expressive – a bucket.

The ingenious street installation gave the public space an after dark summer art spectacle.

Water Light Graffiti




London venues Olympic fly through

This movie is a breathtaking fly-through of London 2012 Olympic venues and many major London landmarks. It gives an impressive orientation of the skyscape through to a detailed view of what it is like in the buildings.

Zoom from the Olympic stadium and park, past the BT tower and on to Lords, Greenwich, along the Mall, under Tower Bridge, St Paul's Cathedral and then up, up, up.
Great heart-warming stuff.




Velodrome experience of Hoy, Pendleton & Trott

Fans of Chris Hoy, Victoria Pendleton and Laura Trott may be curious to know what it feels like to cycle in the Olympic Velodrome.

The movie certainly catches the spirit of going at full pelt around the undulating circuit with just a hint of the film Tron to give extra style.

Olympic athlete montage video featuring Muse's London 2012 official song, Survival.
Go to Youtube

Velodrome - cycling goes Tron



Public realm & paper art create Rainbow Streets

Public realm and paper art have been united in this public art installation to promote independence and peace. The star motif, taken from the Vietnamese national flag, is made from the negative space left by the origami rainbow arrangement floating along a wall.

These ephemeral urban installations, by Mademoiselle Maurise bring colour and a message to streets of Vietnam, Hong Kong and more.
Link to Mademoiselle Maurise

Public art - rainbow colours for streets






Spinnaker Tower with elegant public realm

The Spinnaker Tower which opened in October 2005, is situated right on the edge of Portsmouth Harbour on the waterfront of the Gunwharf Quays development. It is higher than the London Eye, Blackpool tower and Big Ben and at 170m is the tallest publicly accessible structure in the UK.
The surrounding public realm is inspired by the iconic spinnaker which street lighting taking on the elegant curve.

Spinnaker - street lighting

Spinnaker webcam

Click here for link Spinaker webcam for dymanic views minute by minute


Evolution of F1 car design

Go through to the link and see how different elements have been developed, refined and some discarded. Engineering of the F1 car has developed technologies for normal road cars. Pioneering new innovations and knowing when to discard old ones keeps the best at the top of the F1.
Highway engineers benefit from similar methods by keeping up-to-date with the transport innovations and the best road safety design methods. PRIAN encourages retaining knowledge within councils and highway authorites and sharing projects across regions.

Evolution of F1 car design

Evolution of F1 car design - 1950 to 2012

F1 car evolution info-graphicClick here for link to F1 infographic





Cycling velodrome

Multipurpose buildings give the best value for land and investment. This design for a Bicycle Club in China provides refreshments and roof top velodrome. NL Architechtes based in Amsterdam proposed this design for real estate developer VANKE. Visitors can rent bikes, enjoy the fantastic architecture from all angles while on two wheels.

Link to NL Architects

Cycle cafe

Velodrome cake

For those of us who may not get chance to go to China for the ultimate cycling experience we may have to settle for a slice of the fantastic BBC Olympic Cycle Velodrome cake.

From BBC receipes




Corringe v Calderdale: defining case for duty of driver & Highway Authority

Robert Huxford of Urban Design Group gives an over view for making balanced judgments while navigating complex law and guidance documents when designing the public realm.
Link to movie
Link to more information on decision making for public realm

Robert Huxford Urban Design Consultant m_udg

Robert Huxford
Urban Design Group

Useful further reading is ICE's Highway Risk and Liability Claims, A practical guide to Appendix C of The UK Roads Board, Report ‘Well Maintained Highways: Code of Practice for Highway Maintenance Management’.

The document gives the current position on highway liability arising from maintenance and design.
It also gives an overview of the the latest philosophy and vies on best practice and legislation.
Recommeded for all with responsibility for providing and maintaining roads and highway infrastructure including: local authority engineers, transport planners, landscape architects, elected
members, insurers, risk managers
By sharing highway related claims information Highways Authorities can monitor their performance with others and the general national trend.

ICE - Highway Risk and Liability Claims




The Architecture of London 2012 : Vision Design Legacy

The Architecture of London 2012 is a fascinating guide to the buildings, landscaping of the 2012 Olympics which covers the vision, design and legacy. It has stories of the people behind the games too. Those with a hands on role for the innovative buildings and striking park designs not to mention the technical challenges.

ISBN-10: 1119993865
ISBN-13: 978-1119993865

Olympic legacy


Traffic barrier dominos

ITV reports, CCTV footage shows a 1.5km-long road barrier in China collapsing like a giant row of dominoes in just 30 seconds.

Link to ITV movie

Traffic barrier falls like dominos




Lego bridge

The small town of Wuppertal in Germany has transformed a bridge into the largest Lego bridge (or is it?) In fact its just a painted affect but with all the joy and colour of the famous building blocks.
The work by Martin Heuwold is located on an old industry artery that has been converted into a 10 mile causeway of  Bewegung e.V.

The trompe l’oeil effect is extreemly cost effective way of regenerating a plain concrete bridge.

Link to Martin Heuwold 'Megx'

lego bridge



Public Realm sewn up: Stitched illustrations

Peter Crawley's stitched illustrations of architecture streets grids and cityscapes in his stitched creations. This precise work has made 2 dimensional images of BT tower, Sao Paulo, Los Angeles.

Link to Peter Crawley

Public realm: sewn BT tower


Queen greets Olympic flame in Windsor with Olympic rain

Olympic rain umbrella

Rain hindered todays Olympic torch relay as it was taken from Oxford to Windsor and then on to Reading.

Gina MacGregor made her way to meet the Queen at Windsor Castle in the rain with the Olympic flame.
Gina has been playing netball for 65 years and coaching for 60 years. In 2005 she was made an MBE for services to netball.

She is greeted by Sebastian Coe, chairman of the London Olympics, and she quips:
"Well, you saw me in a better state early. Let me dry for a moment."

Link to see live flame relay on BBC's Torchcam

Queen greets olympic flame


Watertower: reclaimed glass and steel public art

Watertower public art sculpture

Roofscape sculpture by Tom Fruin is the fourth work in his Icon series which features scavenged, reclaimed, and recycled materials constructed into sculptural tributes to architectural icons around the world, from the obelisco of Buenos Aires, to the kolonihavehuse of Copenhagen.

Illuminated by the sun during the day and by Ardunio-controlled light sequences designed by Ryan Holsopple at night. The
Watertower opened June 7th, with daily light shows beginning at dusk and continuing to morning.
Link to Tom Fruin

Glass house by Tom Fruin - public art in Copenhagen


London's Shard - opening laser spectacular lights up London

The Shard opened yesterday with a laser spectacular set to an orchestral background by the London Philharmonic Orchestra and attended by the Duke of York and the Qatari prime minister. Lasers in green, blue pink and purple transformed the towering structure to its full height of 1,016ft and beyond. It adds another breathtaking piece of iconic architecture to London and joins London Eye, the Gherkin and Tower Bridge in reinforcing London’s dynamic character.
Irvine Sellar, Chairman of Sellar Property said: "The Shard is an iconic addition to the capital's skyline and will be one that all of London can access and enjoy."

Residents and visitors will be able to see the fantastic view of the London’s skyline.
Tickets to visit from 1st February 2013, cost £24.05 for adults and £18.05 for children.

Link to booking the best view in town

See opening laser light show by clicking image below   London's Shard opens with Laser show




MAKING ROADS SAFER: Bikes and Lorries - Safe Cycling near Lorries

This short movie shows how drivers of large vehicles and cyclists can share the road with safety. Understand what a lorry driver sees from the cab. Avoid the most common situations where accidents may occur.

Cyclist and Freight - Sharing the Road Safely


Damon Hill suports slower road speeds

Damon Hill urges motorists to slow down

            “I am a big fan of the 55mph speed limit.
             Most people aren’t safe to drive over 55.”

On the eve of UK's F1 at Silverstone, Damon Hill backs a slower speed limit for roads in Radio Times. Well known for driving at speeds of 200mph in his F1 days, Damon said,

       “Mostly they drive too fast, too close to the car in front,
    and they think they know what they’re doing. And they don’t.”

Link to Radio Times article




Automated Response System – Vehicles Black Box

Intelligent Transport Intelligent Society

Institution of Mechanical Engineers recent report ‘Intelligent Transport Intelligent Society’ advised that all new vehicles be fitted with automated response systems within 2 years. This would improve the information gained for a collision and give more accurate details of the location with Global Positioning Systems.

Link to pdf: Intelligent Transport, Intelligent Society

LATERAL SAFE is one of the sub-projects of a European Commission project run in collaboration with members of the European Council for Automotive R&D (EUCAR).

Lateral Safe

This multi-sensor system covers 270° of the vehicle’s surroundings using the following functions:
• Tracking of dynamic targets moving towards the vehicle
• Knowledge of manoeuvres in the direction of an obstacle and critical lane-change manoeuvres
• Detection of obstacles at close range
• Detection of vehicles in blind spot
• Detection of critical and non-critical objects in the lateral and rear areas



Road Casualty Map from

Interactive map of virtually every reported fatality and injury that occurred on roads in Great Britain in the period 2000 to 2010 as a result of a collision involving a motor vehicle.
It is easy to use and locate the place you are interested in or simply zoom in and out.

The website was released in 2011 for World World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims and Road Safety Week.

If you work for a national media agency and would like some higher resolution exports of particular areas please contact ITO World. Casualty data is based on Stats19 data collected by the police and made available through the Economic and Social Data Service (ESDS) and the UK Data Archive.
Link to map:

Road Caualty Map

2012 Road Safety Week 19th-25th NovGo to the Road Safety Week website for free action packs, ideas for road safety professionals, teachers and Community groups.



Dinning with Altitude!

Sky high alfresco dinning could be the latest gourmet trend.
Suspended from a crane, 22 diners can break bread with the best view in Brussels. Seats are similar to those on a roller coaster and the heights scaled vary according to wind and weather conditions.

Dinning in the Sky, Brussels & London

See the Dinning In The Sky website



2012 Olympic Rings on Tower Bridge, London

One of London’s most iconic landmarks today got ready for the Olympics. See the first lowering of the giant Olympic Rings on Tower Bridge marking the 30 days to the start of the games.

Olympic Rings on Tower Bridge, London

See their journey here
See BBC coverage the first lowering here



Streetscape to Soundscape - City Symphonies

City sounds are explored by Mark Mckeague's project City Symphonies. Transport sounds are designed with electric cars mimicking the rumble of the combustion engine. But Mark has taken it a step further by looking at the sound of cars and their relationship to other road users and the environment.
From Streetscape to Soundscapes that are unique in place and time. The roadside becomes a new context for sound – the city is the score. He has used London’s road network and the traffic it carries to inspire unique melodies of urban infrastructure.

City Symphonies

Link to Marks website

Streetscape to soundscape

Parliament Square takes a musical turn with Mark Mckeague who is at the RCA.



BT Phone Boxes transformed - K6

To celebrate this years Diamond Jubilee and London 2012 BT have joined forces with Childline to transform the classic red BT phone box, ‘K6 into an array of BT ArtBoxes.
The Gilbert Scott phone box was designed to commemorate King George V's Silver Jubilee.

These boxes are temporary art installations which will be auctioned to raise money for ChildLine’s 25th anniversary.

For a map of the best dressed boxes in town
For all of the designs

BT Red Phone box transformed
Think you can do better?     Why not design your own BT Telephone Box
by downloading the classic phone box outline and then just get creating.



Parking and planting in happy harmony

Innovative street tree planter
The fantastically nostalgic Fiat 500C has been used by artist-designer Fabio Novembre for his public art piece, “Per fare un albero” (Create a tree). First seen in Milans fashion street Montenapoleone, then they moved to New York’s Canal Street at 6 Avenue.
Novembre’s said his solution to merge into one object trees and cars, two elements always vying for urban space, is a “symbol of a new way of living.” According to Fiat’s spokespeople, Fiat 500 C’s cheerful, friendly, innovative and eco-friendly character is a perfect fit for such an undertaking.

Re-using the cars adds to the sustainability of this type of placemaking project. In New York, once the cars are removed, the 12 foot pear trees will have a permanent home and will bring the city closer to its goal of planting one million new trees.
Link to Million Trees NYC
Fiat tree planter

Street tree planter by Fabio Novembre
above: Public art in New York and Milan




Walking calculator at Living Streets

.Walk to work counter

Walking to work or school is no much more fun when you can see how many times round the world you have gone or how many muffins of energy you used. Walk to Work Week 2012 (from 14-18 May) promotes walking as part of the Great British Walking Challenge. During the week thousands of employees across the UK are walking to, from and during work.

Class Competition - Design a 'Walk to School' banner
School children get out of cars and start treading the pavements.
Add to the fun once you get to school by entering a class design for a ‘Walk to School’ banner. The winner will get their design made into a real banner for the school gates and shoes for the class.
Let your imaginations run wild.
To enter, all you need to do is email a photo of your design to by 31 May 2012. For competition information click here.



Honda traffic congestion busting technology

Fast breaking and intensive acceleration increase congestion and making accidents more likely. This innovation by Honda detects potential for congestion by analysing traffic patterns and smoothing out speed.

Honda traffic congestion busting technology

The car maintains a consistent distance between vehicles thus minimising congestion
and enhancing fuel efficiency.



New York's Harlem - pedestrian median

Street improvements to one of Harlem’s widest intersections proposes wide pedestrian friendly median strips.
The plans show the wide road layout of the Adam Clayton Powel, Jr. Boulevard which takes 6 lanes of traffic going north/south. Making this pedestrian friendly is a real challenge.

Link to proposal document of public realm improvements
Scroll down for views of existing street and the proposed improvements

Median strip in Harlem, NY

The enhanced median now has a large refuge area, so pedestrians can wait safely in the middle between the traffic. They can now cross 3 lanes at a time, rather than all 6.
Safety increased as pedestrians only need look in one direction for approaching traffic.
Planters help protect the pedestrians while adding additional green to the streetscape.
Pale surface of the central pedestrian area highlights this waiting point for pedestrians and not part of the vehicle carriageway.

Role your curser over the images below for results of improvementsMedian strip in Harlem, NY

New York median strip



Beetles Abbey Road - Zebra Crossing

The Beetles album cover Abbey Road (1969) features the zebra crossing near the recording studios in London’s NW8.
There have been changes to this place of highway homage, including more white lines and more cars parked.

Beetles Abbey Road - crossing today

Beetles Abbey Road - zebra crossing

Abbey Road sign

No matter the time of day, you can see groups of people gather in line to pose for the iconic photograph of this famous zebra crossing. Local drivers have come to expect to wait a little longer and most are accommodating.

Link to webcam of Abbey Road



Information at your footsteps – ipavement

A mini processor embedded in a footway paving slab gives public realm more functionality.By Bluetooth or Wi-fi technology, these 'smart-slabs' can give passersby information such as local maps, events, tourist information to aid navigation and way finding. Community groups and businesses will be able link directly to hand held devices in the local area.

ipavement - Madrid trials smart technology in paving slabs

Madrid is pioneering this new wave of high-tech paving.
Cultural events, literature, music, heritage, media, accessibility information and local services are already being tested on the streets.

Link to ipavement, The Intellegent Pavement




Happy Birthday to Birmingham’s Spaghetti Junction

Gravely Hills Interchange ‘Spaghetti Junction’ is 40 years old. The tangle of roads combines 5 levels supported by 559 concrete columns and towers over the local community, rivers, canals and the Aston Villa ground. It was opened by Peter Walker the transport secretary and hailed as a new generation roads to beat congestion.

Spaghetti Junction - 40 years old



Everything goes - on land

For all budding transport professionals, Everything goes on Land is a feast of cars, trucks, bikes, trains, Rvs and construction vehicles too!
Ride along with Henry and his dad as they visit the big city and check out all the amazing vehicles in this active book with mini-story lines, endless seek-and-find activities, and hundreds of funny details.

Everything goes - Wow

Link to:
Everything Goes on Land

Publisher: Balzer & Bray/Harperteen
ISBN-10: 0061958093
ISBN-13: 978-0061958090

Everything goes on land by Brian Biggs Everything Goes on Land by Brian Biggs




Helping the High Street and Town Centres

The Portas Review set out what Mary Portas thought had led to the decline of the high street and made 28 recommendations about what could be done to breathe life back into High Streets and Town Centres.
Link to: The Portas Review

The Government's response lays down a challenge for local partners to re-imagine their town centres and high streets. Encourageing local communities to enhance the public spaces and create vibrant local econmies.
These measures give people the incentive and encouragement to take the lead and work together to put their creative ideas into practice.

  • More Portas Pilots – in response to overwhelming interest and demand, we will fund a further twelve pilots, as well as workshops and toolkits so other towns can learn from their experiences
  • A £500,000 investment to help Business Improvement Districts access loans for their set-up costs
  • A High Street Innovation Fund - £10million to councils in areas blighted by empty shops and recovering from the riots to help bring entrepreneurs back to their communities
  • A £1m Future High Street X-Fund – to reward the areas delivering the most effective and innovative plans to bring their town centres back to life.
Link to :  High streets at the heart of our communities: the Government's response to the Mary Portas Review

Successful High Streets - Mary Portas Review


Knowing Your Place - Community Led Plans

Community-Led Plans allow a community to plan its future. This English Heritage document guides how heritage may be included within this process and ensuring it keeps its vitality, sense of identity and individuality.
Then go on to choose the best ways for it to develop and grow.
This advice note deals with the incorporation of local heritage within plans that rural communities are producing, reviewing or updating and focuses particularly on parish plans and village design statements.
Link to :  Knowing Your Place

Community-Led Plans - Heritage and characterLocal heritage sign post preserved



Backseat A-B-See     ABC-fun,  Vroom, Vroom!

Summer holidays can mean long car trips with traffic jams. Hmmm, not so fun.

But this great book may give a ray of light for low-tech in car entertainment.
Traffic signs are the source of inspiration for this classic road game. Auther Maria van Lieshout see beauty in the simple designs of road signs and lets her imagination take the strain.

Available from Amazon for this ABC-fun.

Backseat A-B-See

Traffic sign road trip entertainment







Smart Cities

Smart Cities - integrated transport

Integrated Transport


Demonstration movies of IBM’s systems that intelligently integrate transport networks. It is a fascinating look into the high technology of systems controlling the cities.

For link click here



Cities in Miniature

See how 2 great cities look miniaturised, one in Europe, one in South America.

The City of Berlin

or click here
to go to movie

The City of Samba

Rio de Janeiro

or click here
to go to movie

Mini Kiev

or click here
to go to movie





Highway design pallet to enhance village character

Highway details - Lavenham

Lavenham in Suffolk may be one of Englands finest medieval villages with fantastic examples of timber buildings but its highway design need not be a special case.

Many rural villages could adopt the same simple material palette.

   • Buff surface on footway, carriageway and car parking
   • Natural york stone and granite setts
   • Simple wood bollards where deemed absolutely necessary



see more items


PRIAN is a not for profit organisation supporting individuals, professional bodies and government in improving the public realm. All material published on this website is copyright PRIAN unless otherwise stated. Copyright © PRIAN 2007     Contact us