What makes a great street?

A successful residential street generates:

  • health and environmental benefits through greater pedestrian and cycle movements.
  • social benefits through greater contact between people and enhancement of cultural awareness.
  • security benefits through activities overlooking the public realm and vice versa.
  • property value benefits through the ‘reflection’ of adjacent qualities onto the desirability of a particular property.

Make people feel safe in a street that is addressed by activities

People feel safer in a street that is overlooked by the residents living in that street. Passive surveillance of the street can be achieved by locating kitchens, living, or dining rooms with windows at the front of the house and avoiding high fences on the street edge.

Provide attractive frontage

People feel more comfortable walking or cycling in a street when attractive buildings front onto it, which also encourages community interaction. This is best achieved through high-quality design of building fronts including the placement of windows and doors. Front doors should be obvious, which allow people to recognise and access easily. The design of buildings should avoid creating expanses of blank walls and dominant garage doors along streets. Landscaped front yards add to the visual interest of a streetscape.

Increase traffic safety

This is about creating a balance between the needs of people as well as vehicles. Garages and areas for vehicle manoeuvring on or off-site should be carefully located. Reverse manoeuvring onto Unclassified streets is encouraged as it assists with calming vehicle speeds and frees up space for landscaping on lots. An acceptable means of reducing speed is to permit on street parking to reduce lane widths where adequate sight lines are available.

fig1 streetscape

Streetscape qualities (the cross section depicts an Unclassified street)


fig2 streetscape

Streetscapes that balance the needs of pedestrians and vehicles and that are fronted by houses that provide outlook over them, are inviting to be in and live on.