Pedestrian Pockets in Radburn

The Radburn, NJ experiment is famously known to be the first fruition of the garden city literature. During an era where planners idealized the utopian-esque ideologies that were in a matrix responding to modernism - Radburn was the city of implementation. Radburn demonstrated the logic of this matrix to a distinguishable degree. In essence, Radburn was a response to that which the matrix was responding to. Along with Radburn, Peter Calthorpe in his work on Pedestrian Pockets, was also responding to modernism whilst being influenced by garden city literature. Because of similar premises, the two, Radburn, NJ and Pedestrian Pockets, have akin properties. In some areas of analysis, the similarity is so remarkable- one would think Radburn planners were reading Calthorpe at the drawing table. That isn’t to say they have no differences.

Calthorpe’s Pedestrian Pocket suggestions involve the management of pedestrian propinquity of their commutes. This would be done by supervising the distance in which the nodes, links, and destinations of commute are from residential areas. Hence, a Pedestrian Pocket is an area that is mixed-use, balanced, and within a 5-minute walk to a transit centre. These primary recommendations are exemplified in Radburn. As planned in Radburn, foot pedestrians have likeable access to core amenities, work, and retail space. The fundamental goals of Radburn by doing this, were to help cars and pedestrians coexist, likely in response to the contrary car-favouring ideas in modernist planning. This is exactly what Calthorpe sought to do. A key difference midst many similarities, is the coexistence of pedestrian paths and vehicular roads. Calthorpe in his Pedestrian Pockets literature did not reject the symbiotic notion of the two, nor did he accept it. There is no direct method noted to keep them apart – whereas in Radburn there is such an effort. Besides this difference, the two approaches to city planning – Radburn, NJ, and Pedestrian Pockets are responding to alike notions, bear many similarities, and aim for the same effect.