A modern city without cars? Sounds great, but not for all. Is it even possible and do we really want this?.
Imagine children playing soccer on the streets. Imagine tourists blithely photograph in the middle of the road. Restaurants that put their tables on the street. And around – no cars, no motorcycles, no buses. About this I remember Venice, the only city without cars I’ve seen. We were there with friends during summer holidays at University. We then moved to Italy to ride to. Venice, of course, unique in that is built on small Islands. But still it was very nice to be in the city, you can wander, not dodging cars.
Over the last 100 years cars have become a dominant force in the urban landscape. The streets specifically extend to them was freer and faster to drive to have more space for Parking. Private cars have made a revolution in how we move, but at the same time brought with it many challenges – from air pollution to traffic accidents. And today is a small but growing number of cities trying to get rid of cars. In the last few years in Oslo and Madrid has repeatedly hit the headlines of the media about plans of the authorities to prohibit car traffic in the center of these capitals. The plan, however, has not yet carried out to the end.
How to save a choking city?
However, these intentions represent a broader trend: as much as possible to disrupt traffic in major cities. Here and London with his payment of entry into the Central areas of the city, and Mexico city with the initiative of “pico y placa” (when your right to drive on certain urban routes depends on an odd or even number ends with the number of your car), and several towns have decided to completely prohibit vehicular traffic (for example, Sevilla in Spain).
“Our main goal is to return the streets to people, says Hanna Markussen, Deputy mayor of Oslo, on issues of urban development. – It is important to understand how we want to use our streets, and what they do. We believe that the street is a place where you meet people, where you eat at restaurants outdoors, where children play, where they show their work to the artists.”
To achieve this, Oslo was closed for cars of the streets in the city centre, removed almost all the Parking spaces, replacing them with bike lanes, benches and tiny parks.