Transportation, Large Infrastructure, and Context in Urban Areas: A Review of Human-Scale Perception and Response

The Alaskan Way Viaduct in Seattle, Washington, U.S.A. is slated for replacement due to concerns about earthquake stability. The viaduct is a high volume transportation corridor that parallels the city’s waterfront, an area of increasing importance to the economic conditions and livability of Seattle. An expert workshop was convened to consider elevated structure alternatives. Since any new structure must provide a people-friendly context that connects waterfront to city center, expertise in human perceptions of outdoor spaces was recruited for the workshop. This paper is a compilation of evidence-based ideas and principles about human response to and behavior within outdoor spaces, derived from social sciences research. It is a perspective on context sensitive design that blends the on-the-ground scale of human activity with the macro scale of an elevated, high volume transportation structure. Such concepts are becoming increasingly important as many cities choose to optimize the use of on-the-ground spaces associated with transportation infrastructure. The following topics are presented: sound and noise, light and shadow, on-the-ground spatial configuration, crime prevention through environmental design, the experience of nature in cities, and driver response to nature in roadsides.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: CD-ROM
  • Features: Figures; Photos; References;
  • Pagination: 16p
  • Monograph Title: TRB 86th Annual Meeting Compendium of Papers CD-ROM

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01044343
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 07-1842
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Feb 8 2007 6:33PM