The Beautiful Everyday Journey

Built Environment Fellowship 2015

Ellen Hadden
Thomas Greenall
Roberta Marcaccio
Astrid Bois d’Enghien

Is it possible to talk of a ‘London approach’ to cycling? What are the characteristics of the London cycling experience that differentiate it from the experience in other urban centres, and can an understanding of these aspects help us to generate a uniquely London design strategy?

The DSDHA collaborators intend to address these questions through their research while focusing on the notion of “The Beautiful Everyday Journey”, with the aim to make cycling a more pleasurable and accessible mode of transport, rather than a specialism.

As the city’s population continues to grow its infrastructure is increasingly struggling to cope. It is now critical that we question long-held assumptions about progress, mobility and organisation, and promote a shift in attitudes towards the design, management and integration of different modes of transport. It must be acknowledged that moving goods, people and data in a city is not a mere logistical exercise but also a psychological issue which has critical impact on our intelligence, both as individuals and as a society.

To fully address the varied urban conditions across the city, our research will initially focus on four London case studies: The transport hub at Vauxhall, the privately-owned pedestrianised landscape of Broadgate, the heritage neighbourhood of Somers Town and the medieval street pattern of the West End. These case studies are intended to capture some of the key challenges confronting the integration of cycling infrastructure into London’s nodes.

Through an understanding of these conditions they intend to devise and then test a series of design strategies for bringing infrastructures together in a holistic public realm, which will contribute to the creation of beautiful everyday journeys across London.