Some cities and neighbourhoods across the world are reevaluating the space they make available for cars. They are rebuilding their streets to give priority to other uses such as community spaces, art exhibits, parks, and public transportation. The result is a much more accessible and enjoyable space that can be explored at leisure. Also, this is great news on our collective health front, as studies have proven that reduced traffic-related air pollution, less noise, and lower levels of heat emitted from vehicles are good for our bodies and the planet.
The people of the Dutch capital are known for their predilection towards cycling and walking, over driving cars everywhere they go. Recently, they have introduced a 27-point agenda that will drastically reduce car traffic in the city. Here's what it will entail around 11,000 parking spots will be replaced by space for wider sidewalks, trees, and bike lanes by 2025. Car parking permits will be reduced. And roads will be redesigned for access to walking and biking. At rush hour, you may get access to free public transit. And by 2030, the city will ban all gas and diesel vehicles. Many Scandinavian countries are pro-bikes. And they are doing interesting things via cycling. In Copenhagen, you have got chefs who cook on fully equipped cycles, moving around the city giving cycling tours Check here for details.
The Catalan capital introduced its first car-free'superblock' idea in 2016 by creating peaceful islands of car-free spaces in the city. Since the pandemic, the superblock concept has been expanded on a broader scale by banning cars in these areas. They are removing car lanes and instead widening pavements. and converting more than 20 streets into pedestrian green spaces. The idea is to reclaim cityscapes from vehicles and create more playgrounds, bike lanes, and restaurant terraces.
There was a time when this city in Belgium had been choked by too many cars and pollution from noise, and exhaust fumes was haveing an impact on life. So much so that people had started moving away, and tourists were thinning out. City authorities decided to change things by developing a radical mobility concept with a a car-free city centre, and low-traffic, communal woonerfs (or living streets). Cafes and street art have taken over these spaces. And they are a pleasure to walk around in and soak up the city's unique vibes.
This city has replaced car culture with 'open streets', more cycling, and pedestrian-friendly zones. Montréal&rsquos 'open streets' are almost entirely car-free all day. Which means there is more room for cyclists and pedestrians, and for arts, cafes, and cultural open-air events. They have bioswales, art installations, and benches to take a break on or read a book.
This relatively new neighborhood in Netherlands has residents who do not own cars. Located next to a river, the area has stores, parks, art spaces, etc - all within walkable distances. The central train station is also close. Ultrecht supplies shared carsf or those who need them.