Principle 7: Create shady streets that put people first
  • Last updated:
  • 27 Apr 2020

Across the Sunshine Coast, streets have typically been seen as places of movement, mainly for vehicles. In reality, streets play a complex and important role as public spaces and places of commerce and connectivity. The cafes, shops and services that line our streets rely on the design of the streets to encourage people to use them. Streets are places where safety, comfort and human connection are priorities, and it is essential that the streets of the Sunshine Coast connect our communities socially and economically.

Good Sunshine Coast design creates a built environment that is walkable and comfortable for pedestrians and cyclists. Comfortable streets create a connected network of linear and shady spaces that support life on the street and bring the natural landscape of the region into the heart of its growing communities. For this, large shade trees and shade structures are essential to encourage people to linger and connect. Great streets support prosperous businesses and social activity. Their designers consider the spaces required to prioritise pedestrians, cycles and future mobility options, as well as the spaces required for services and infrastructure.

Why this is important

Poorly planned and poorly designed streets can be hot, noisy, dangerous and vehicle-dominated, with little space for footpaths, bikes and trees. People often do not linger on these streets, and businesses can suffer as a result. Poorly designed streets tend to prioritise vehicle efficiency over liveability and long-term prosperity. They can encourage car use and make us more active.

Ideas for working with this principle

Whatever scale you're working at–city, neighbourhood, street, park or building, here are some ideas for working with this principle.

1. Consider the design requirements of the whole street, including safe footpaths and bikeways, trees, vehicle use, parking, emerging technology and infrastructure needs above and below ground, to comfortably accommodate everything.

2. Put people first in street design. Prioritise the needs of pedestrians and cyclists before the needs of vehilces and infrastructure.

3. Design streets with plenty of shade, places to rest, good lighting, unobtrusive wayfinding and safe street crossings.

4. Design clutter-free streets and de-clutter existing streets to support easy access for all.

5. Plan for streets to retain existing trees where appropriate as well as to provide ample space above and below ground to support healthy growth.

6. Design streets to extend an interconnected tree canopy along movement corridors to help mitigate the urban heat island effect and support local wildlife.