Figure 19

  Figure 18:
An attractive public realm enhances people’s quality of life and the perception of a place

Figure 19

  Figure 19:
An attractive public realm enhances people’s quality of life and the perception of a place


Inform your design:

Assessment of street definition and enclosure in the local area; the measurement of building heights and street widths and the continuity of buildings along the streets (the gaps between buildings and their distance from the street edge).

Use your Movement Strategy to inform the detailed design of your streets. Make sure that the design of a street reflects its order in the street hierarchy;

Seek advice from appropriate professionals (landscape and tree specialists) who can provide advice on what species might be appropriate for your development.

Communicate your design:

Demonstrate how the definition and enclosure of the streets and spaces reflect that of the local area;

Prepare a plan showing the location of all active frontages, and key buildings;

Provide details of the boundary treatment to be used including the height;

Prepare a plan and sections showing the features of each street/order of street and how they work together to create different types of social spaces, including appropriate trees, soft landscaping and street furniture;

Explain how appropriate traffic speeds will be achieved and indicate where natural methods of traffic calming have been integrated into the street design, where needed.

Support your design:

Manual for Streets 1 (DfT, 2007)

Manual for Streets 2 (ICHT, 2010)

Oxfordshire Streets Design Guide (Sep 2021)

Building for a Healthy Life (2020)

Streets for all (Historic England, 2018)

WHO Environmental Noise Guidance (Executive summary 2018)

Oxfordshire Transport and Access Group (OXSTRAG)


Swale frontages as part of a street (Upton)
Varying surface materials and landscaping, enhancing shared surfaces (Tadpole Garden Village)
Landscaping to soften street scene (Didcot)
Traffic calming and landscaping at a human scale (Upton)

Ensure that streets as spaces are:

    1. fronted by main entrances/front doors which provide direct access to the street or space known as ‘active frontage’;
    2. providing ‘natural surveillance’ by incorporating ground and first floor habitable room windows overlooking the street;
    3. defined by boundaries that reflect the character of the area and clearly differentiates public space from private space;
    4. providing sufficient amounts of space between the public realm and adjacent/adjoining buildings, known as ‘semi-private’ space.
    5. the amount of street furniture is kept to a minimum to: reduce street clutter, and simplify navigation. Furniture should be of high quality, well-designed, robust, and in keeping with its setting;
    6. all users’ needs have been considered through inclusive design. Careful consideration is given to the safety and comfort of mobility and visually impaired people. Reflect upon the need for: shade and shelter, seating for rest stops, and consider gradients. Include wayfinding and signage installations, natural surveillance;
    7. where they are required, the use of bollards is avoided in favour of other treatments, such as tree planting;
    8. that lighting features follow the design approach used for other street furniture and avoid causing light pollution in sensitive/darker non-urban rural areas (consider, downward lighting and reduce LUX levels in these areas). Direct glare must be avoided, from any lighting scheme to neighbouring properties;

Note: All design principles are applicable to all scales of development unless otherwise specified; *minor applications, **major applications