Policy Press

Publishing with a purpose

End of the Road

Reimagining the Street as the Heart of the City

By William Riggs

Published

May 31, 2022

Page count

192 pages

ISBN

978-1529225150

Dimensions

234 x 156 mm

Imprint

Bristol University Press

Published

May 31, 2022

Page count

192 pages

ISBN

978-1529225143

Dimensions

234 x 156 mm

Imprint

Bristol University Press

Published

May 31, 2022

Page count

192 pages

ISBN

978-1529225167

Dimensions

234 x 156 mm

Imprint

Bristol University Press

Since the earliest days of civilisation, streets have played an important role in shaping society, but what is a street? Is it a living ecosystem, a public space; a social space, an economic space or a combination of these?

The focus on automotive travel over the past century has changed the role of streets in cities. This has degraded the quality of urban life and contributed to public health issues. This book offers a unique look at streets as locations that can evolve to support the economic, social, cultural and natural aspects of cities.

Using modern urban design examples, it challenges readers to focus not only on the liveability and travel benefits of roads, but on how the power of streets can be harnessed. In so doing, it shapes more dynamic spaces for walking, biking and living, and stimulates urban vitality and community regeneration, encouraging them to make changes in their own communities.

"Over the past half century, many of our streets have been transformed into vehicle sewers, built and rebuilt around the sole criteria of moving cars and trucks as quickly as possible. This useful book reminds us that streets are for more than just motion: they are the primary social space of our communities, and their design contributes markedly to the growth or decline of our society." Jeff Speck, city planner and author, Walkable City.

"Streets are the lifelines of our communities and our societies. In William Riggs' telling, we made a big mistake handing over this critical piece of social infrastructure for moving and storing cars. It’s now time to retake such valuable space not just for walking and biking, but for dining, shopping, living and working, making them part of more vibrant and livable communities." Richard Florida, University of Toronto, author of The Rise of the Creative Class.

William (Billy) Riggs is a professor and program director at the University of San Francisco School of Management. A global expert and thought leader in transportation, economics, design, the environment and urban development, he is a consultant and advisor to multiple companies and start-ups on technology, mobility and the future of cities.

1. Introduction

2. A Recent History of the Street

3. The Street for Transport

4. The Street as Economic Space

5. The Street as Social Space

6. The Street as Cultural Space

7. The Street as a Natural Space

8. The Challenges to Ending the Road

9. Beyond Streets: Integrating Behavior

10. A Window into the Future: New Vehicles, New Streets

11. A Call to Action: Streets as the Heart of the City