Interpave publish new case study exploring shared surface innovations

The trade association Interpave has published a new case study exploring how concrete block paving plays a key role in innovative shared surfaces, characterising an important regeneration project in Edinburgh – integrating hard landscape with architectural design.

The Greendykes North project forms part of a 15-year vision to breathe new life into the Craigmillar area of Edinburgh – previously the fourth most deprived area in Scotland. Its master-plan embraces the principles of shared space and the evolution of the ‘woonerf’ or home-zone concept for residential streets. Here, shared space brings together all street users – including drivers – as part of the social world. The deliberate integration of traffic with other social activities reduces speeds and improves the relationship between pedestrians, cyclists and traffic.

Halcrow landscape architects led the design team to develop the proposals to detailed planning and Road Construction Consent including a road safety audit. The brief was not to design streets but rather three-dimensional spaces responding to the built environment, giving a legible hierarchy. Precast concrete paving plays a key role with its diversity of colours, surface textures, patterns and modular designs used to define areas and reduce speeds without signage.

Probably the most innovative part of the project, the Greendykes Terrace shared spaces, are 5.5m wide and utilise a single row of centre-street parking with two way vehicle routes on either side – believed to be the first use of this layout in Europe. The diversity of choices offered to drivers makes them think and reduces speeds, and there is no need for vehicles to reverse. The complete absence of signage is ameliorated by the consistent use of a palette of paving materials and colours.

Greendykes Mews demonstrates a particularly successful use of home-zone design techniques. Again, street width matches the building scale – narrower this time to suit the 2-storey housing. The shared surface design makes use of distinct panels of different concrete block colours and styles, bordered by flush kerbs to give a highly structured feel. The single shared spaces and permeable paving areas for parking alternate to form a series of chicanes, combining to slow traffic. These islands also form meeting points for resident interaction and are emphasised by changes in surface material and planter walls.

This, and other case studies, as well as Interpave guidance on various topical issues ranging from Sustainability to SuDS, can be downloaded via the Interpave information resource at:

For more information contact Interpave, The Old Rectory, Main Street, Glenfield, Leicester LE3 8DG

Tel: 0116 232 5170 Fax: 0116 232 5197 E-mail: info(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)