Assistance to owner (AMO)
Be running is the regional strategy aimed at promoting running in Brussels via the development of a territorial overview of pedestrian speeds. Perspective.brussels has been working on this strategy since 2019. Based on an online survey targeting the Region's joggers and big data analysis, perspective drew up an "ideal route map" that identified a range of connections linking parks and green spaces together, as well as with structuring axes such as the canal and the "Green Promenade" (Promenade Verte).
The mission consisted of producing a planning guide for "all pedestrian speeds", intended for designers and public space planners whose projects ought to improve the practice of running on the routes identified in the "ideal route map". The aim of the guide is to help them develop good practices for the design of "runner friendly" routes in public spaces, while also taking into account other users of public spaces (slower pedestrians, cyclists, etc.).
The process engaged public space planners and private actors linked to running, through a range of bilateral meetings and exploratory runs. These exchanges allowed the project to benefit from the expertise of everyone involved. The exploratory runs in particular provided opportunities to observe diverse problems linked to the coexistence of different speeds in public space, as well as the obstacles to comfortable and safe running in the city. They enabled the identification of a set of problematic spatial types, which the guide attempts to address through pragmatic and flexible solutions that can be adapted to the specificities of individual cases.
The recommendations do not aim to demarcate public spaces with defined running routes using a specific design-language (paving, dedicated space, signs, etc.). Instead, the idea is to adapt the public space, in its generic character, into a comfortable and continuous infrastructure that allows joggers to find their place among the other users. The recommendations follow the principles of Universal Design, whereby all modes of transport are able to function and co-exist in public space. As such, these guidelines stand to benefit joggers as much as average pedestrians or those with reduced mobilities.