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Shared space pioneer Hans Monderman dead

The pioneer of the 'naked street' Hans Monderman died this week after battling cancer.

The 60 year old Dutch traffic engineer built a world-wide reputation for innovating "shared space" street design under which signals, railings and curbs were removed from the street and vehicles and pedestrians shared the same space and "negotiated" by eye contact.

Early examples of shared space in the Netherlands proved extremely successful and shared space schemes have been implemented in Austria, Belgium, Germany, Scandanavia, Switzerland and the UK in the last 10 years.

High profile examples in the UK include Kensington High Street in London and New Road in Brighton. As many as 40 shared space projects across the UK are planned.

UK shared space consultant Ben Hamilton-Baillie who worked closely with Monderman, wrote of him: "Through remarkable persistence, patience and professional commitment he has managed to put in place well over 100 "shared space" schemes, transforming the urban and rural landscape of his native Friesland, Groningen and Drenthe. I have never met a man so generous with his time, so modest and unassuming about his achievements, and so humane in his application of technology to the benefit of everyday human society."

Interviewed by NCE in November, Monderman spoke of his latest initiative to create a "shared space" academy in the Netherlands where UK traffic engineers could get training in shared space principles and where criticisms of "shared space" such as from charities representing blind and partially sighted people could be addressed.

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