Vilnius presents the Harmonised Street Design
Vilnius is starting a desovietisation process of the streets – grey, uncomfortable and unsafe streets will become Western-like – with tree alleys, small architecture, more versatile covers, and maintained facades by the streets. Today the Standard of Vilnius Streets that has been developed for the last year was presented. It contains 12 principles that are already applied for reconstruction or designing of city streets so that the city was more comfortable and attractive to its residents.
The streets will have plants between the pedestrian and traffic zones; the streetway’s width will not be excessive; the covers and illumination will consolidate the priority of pedestrians; parking will be arranged in the majority of streets; the buildings’ users will get their own “meter” of the street – all these items are included in the standard.
The standard was prepared in consideration to the structure of New York streets, yet, it was adjusted to Vilnius. It is attempted to make the capital’s streets into integral part of the city life, to make them greener and more vital.
“We have to desovietise and humanise literally our main public spaces. I want Vilnius residents to consider the street where they live or work as their favourite street in the world. For this reason, our main public space – streets – have to be transferred to qualitatively different level. They have to be comfortable and attractive to everyone,” – said Mayor of Vilnius City, Mr. Remigijus Šimašius, while presenting the new standard of streets to companies and institutions designing, building or maintaining the city streets.
A part of the principles of the standard of streets has been already implemented in the reconstructed streets Pylimo, Algirdo, Naugarduko, Islandijos and others. The illumination was changed there; bushes and trees were planted between the street and pedestrian area; the colours of all the street elements were matched. All the principles of the standard of streets are available HERE.
Several principles of the standard are related to another big initiative of Vilnius city municipality – Green Wave of Vilnius, the goal of which is to green each of 2000 kilometres of Vilnius streets. It is planned in the street design to avoid causing damage to the trees whole reconstructing and building streets, and to plant trees and bushes in the places where they are absent so that the streetway was separated from the pedestrian and cycleways visually and emotionally.
Chief Engineer of Vilnius City Municipality, Mr. Antonas Nikitinas is certain that the harmonised street design will help to make bold, maybe still new decisions in Lithuania, and to assess flexibly each future project.
“We will be able to apply 12 principles defined in detail to check consistently whether the works planned in the streets and the projects prepared for them are in compliance with general vision of the city. The same is done in case of structure, where all of them have been checked according to 10 rules of architecture and urbanism for several years already, – said A. Nikitinas. – Besides, the harmonised design of streets will help to expand the attitude to the already formed legal regulation, will allow experimenting and improving the rules or even proposing to amend national regulations in accordance with practice.”
Minister of Environment, Mr. Simonas Gentvilas congratulated Vilnius on this important step towards preservation of environment and welfare of the city.
“The harmonised design of Vilnius city streets, as well as the green wave, are the steps that have been waited for in order to improve life quality. We have to stop turning of cities into asphalt deserts. No exceptions should be applied for streets: they have to be not only transport, but also green arteries,” – says Minister of Environment, Simonas Gentvilas.
Vice Minister of Transport and Communications, Ms. Agnė Vaiciukevičiūtė, who was also present in the event, drew attention to the significance of the principles listed in the standard for the objectives of harmonious movement.
“Vilnius is a leader of bold and sustainable decisions. Decisions that are under implementation in several European capitals already, for example, Paris that is planning to make all the city streets greener and to adapt them to bicycles. I hope that a new greener infrastructure of the city will encourage Vilnius residents not to stay in traffic jams, but to choose more sustainable transport solutions,” – said A. Vaiciukevičiūtė.
More than 300 km have been asphalted for cars in Vilnius in recent years, more than 150 km pedestrian walkways and more than 70 km of cycleways have been built. At present, the number of trees planted in the capital is 20 times bigger than 7 years ago.
Link to presentation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=onA4mB8pXCQ
Small street design manual>>HERE
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