Shared space: utifrån olika åldersgruppers perspektiv

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A shared space, in the context of road transport, often refers to an area that is shared by unprotected and protected road users and is intended to facilitate a living city space for everyone. The purpose of this study was to investigate how young, middle-aged and elderly people experience shared space from a pedestrian perspective, but also to investigate whether, and if so, how an alternative design of the area (with or without large flower pots) affects their experience. In the study, two different methods were combined; an eye tracking study and a Q-study. The Q method is a research method that is used in psychology and social sciences to investigate people's subjective views on a particular matter, phenomenon or topic. In this study, the Q method is used to investigate pedestrian experiences of two different design configurations - with or without large flower pots deployed - on the Fiskaretorget (eng. Fisherman’s Square) in Västervik. A total of 37 participants, divided into the three age groups, participated in the study, which was carried out at the Fiskaretorget and an adjacent non-signal-regulated pedestrian crossing in Västervik. About half of the participants carried out the experiment with, and half without large flower pots placed on the square. The results of the eye tracking study show that middle-aged pedestrians seemed to experience increased risk awareness, in the absence of the traditional division between unprotected and protected road users. Young and older, on the other hand, looked about the same amount of traffic-related objects, regardless of whether there were large flower pots placed or not. At the same time, the Q-study shows that pedestrians, regardless of age, did not experience any great uncertainty on this type of common areas. The perceived uncertainty, which nevertheless existed, was further reduced with large flower pots that recreated the traditional division with clear zones or stretches, pedestrians can stay in a relatively car-free area while the motor vehicles get clear paths to travel along. Based on these results, we recommend that, instead of a shared space design, designing common areas should have clear safe zones where pedestrians can stay in relatively car-free areas.

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