Shared space designs, explained with 99% Invisible.
Some cities in Europe are undergoing a fascinating transformation: they’re getting rid of all of their road signs. That’s thanks to a design concept called “shared space,” where urban planners drastically lessen the presence of traffic lights, signs, and barriers, encouraging all forms of transportation to share the road. There’s evidence that drivers often totally ignore road signs, so the heightened risk forces commuters to remain on high alert as they pass through an intersection, in theory leading to safer travel. But by stripping cities of their traditional traffic control systems, they leave disabled residents in the dark — and that’s sparked a powerful debate of how to balance ease of movement with all residents’ needs.