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Paved With Gold Summary

Paved With Gold Summary

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Published by John Siraut
Ground breaking work showing the link between quality of the public realm and property values
Ground breaking work showing the link between quality of the public realm and property values

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Published by: John Siraut on Jan 11, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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BrieingPaved with gold:the real value ogood street design
This research demonstrates a direct link between street quality and property prices.It shows that the quality o a high streetcan add at least 5 per cent to the price ohomes and to the level o retail rents.This is the rst study to connect economicbenets directly with the quality o streetdesign, management and maintenance.It may seem obvious that smarter streetscost more and that good quality designbrings benets but this research gives usnew inormation: it shows that the designquality o a street aects prices on its own,regardless o any other actors. All theother things likely to aect prices, suchas income levels, the quality o publictransport, or the range o local shops, havebeen discounted. Simply improving streetdesign can make a major dierence tomarket values.These ndings support the case orimproving street quality, and provideevidence o the likely returns rominvesting in a high-quality streetscape.
About theresearch
Paved with gold 
, researchedby Colin Buchanan, is thelatest project in a long-termCABE research programme toinvestigate the value o design.Well-designed buildings, spacesand places contribute to a widediversity o values and benets.These range rom direct, tangible,nancial benets to indirect,intangible, long-term values suchas improved public health orreduced levels o crime. Benetslike these are very important tosociety but it’s not easy to put avalue on something as dicultto dene as better public health.So how can we make sure thatnew developments are designedto deliver key public objectives?
Paved with gold 
shows how wecan calculate the extra nancialvalue that good street designcontributes, over average orpoor design. It shows howclear nancial benets can becalculated rom investing inbetter quality street design.It also shows how, by usingstated preerence surveys,public values can be measuredalongside private values, so thatthey can be properly included inthe decision-making process.
Fig 1: 10 London high streets list and map
Case studies
Ten London high streetswere selected as casestudies, as shown below.London was chosen sothat the researchers couldbuild on work they hadalready completed orTransport or London.1High Road, North Finchley2High Street, Hampstead3Finchley Road, Swiss Cottage4High Road, Kilburn5The Broadway, West Ealing6High Road, Chiswick7Walworth Road, Southwark8High Road, Streatham9High Street, Tooting10High Street, Clapham13426578109
Assessingdesign quality
The rst phase o the researchinvolved assessing the designquality o each o the case studyhigh streets. This assessmentused the pedestrian environmentreview system (PERS), a toolor measuring the quality o thepedestrian environment. PERSscores the way a street worksas a link, acilitating movementrom A to B, and as a place inits own right. Figure 2 showsthe headline categoriesincluded in PERS and howthese categories are weighedagainst each other.The PERS tool was used toassess the quality o eachhigh street. The nal scores,calculated on a seven-pointscale rom -3 to +3, are shownbelow. These show relativelywide variations in quality,rom Chiswick High Roadat the top o the scale with+0.98, to the Walworth Roadat the bottom with -1.70.
Fig 2: Individual importanceo PERS categoriesFig 3: Average street design score (PERS)
   C   h   i  s  w   i  c   k   N  o  r   t   h   F   i  n  c   h   l  e  y   H  a  m  p  s   t  e  a   d   C   l  a  p   h  a  m   S   t  r  e  a   t   h  a  m   S  w   i  s  s   C  o   t   t  a  g  e   K   i   l   b  u  r  n   T  o  o   t   i  n  g   W  e  s   t   E  a   l   i  n  g   W  a   l  w  o  r   t   h
Quality o environment 24%Personal security 13%Permeability 12%User confict 11%Surace quality 10%Maintenance 9%Lighting 7%Legibility 5%Dropped kerbs/gradient 4%Obstructions 3%Eective width 2%100%90%80%70%60%50%40%30%20%10%0%
What makes a high-qualitystreet?
dropped kerbs
tactile paving and colourcontrast
smooth, clean, well-drainedsuraces
high-quality materials
high standards o maintenance
pavements wide enough toaccommodate all users
no pinch points
potential obstructions placedout o the way
enough crossing points, in theright places
trac levels not excessive
good lighting
sense o security
no grati or litter
no signs o anti-socialbehaviour
signage, landmarks and goodsightlines
public spaces along the street
a street that is a pleasantplace to be. 

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