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London’s Do-It-Yourself Approach to Safer Streets

2:37 PM EDT on August 10, 2010

In the UK, the non-profit Sustrans is pioneering a community-based method to reclaim streets from high-speed traffic and make neighborhoods safer and more sociable places. Called "DIY Streets," the program brings neighbors together to help them redesign their streets in a way that puts people, safety, and streetlife first.

So far, individual streets have benefited from DIY redesigns in 11 communities in England and Wales. Recently Streetfilms got a walk through of one successful DIY project -- on Clapton Terrace in London. With the people who made it happen as our guides, we saw how planners and neighbors collaborated to transform a place where speeding used to rule into a local street with calm traffic and safe space to socialize.

Can the DIY model work on a bigger scale than an individual street? We're about to find out: Residents of the London Borough of Haringey will soon be working with Sustrans on the first neighborhood-wide DIY project.

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