Adonis Diaries

Car-free cities: Done and planned

Posted on: January 21, 2015

Car-free cities: Done and planned

Urban planners are finally recognizing that streets should be designed for people, not careening hunks of deadly metal

Madrid has already banned most traffic from certain city streets, and this month, the car-free zone will expand even more.

By 2020, the mayor of Paris plans to double the number of bike lanes in the city, ban diesel cars, and limit certain high-traffic streets to electric cars and other ultra-low-emission vehicles.

A new satellite city planned in Chengdu, China could serve as a model for a modern suburb: Instead of a layout that makes it necessary to drive, the streets are designed so any location can be reached by 15 minutes on foot.

Though Hamburg isn’t planning to ban cars from its city center (as has been misreported elsewhere), the city is making it easier and easier not to drive with a new green network.

Helsinki expects a flood of new residents over the next few decades, but the more people come, the fewer cars will be allowed on city streets.

The smoggy city of Milan is testing a new way to keep cars out of the city center: If commuters leave their vehicles at home, they’ll get free public transit vouchers.

Copenhagen started introducing pedestrian zones in the 1960s in the city center, and car-free zones slowly spread over the next few decades.

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January 2015

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