Famous for its grid system planned by Spanish civil engineer Ildefonso Cerdá in the 19th Century, the district of Eixample will be the first area subject to the new plans. Here, superilles (superblocks) will span nine actual blocks (three by three) and restrict vehicles entering unless owned by residents or businesses within. Once inside vehicles will only be allowed to travel 6mph compared to the city standard of 30mph (keeping to the apparent rule of fifths). The superilles will also incorporate changes in other aspects of traffic circulation including new road signage and bus routes. Other methods of transport are being encouraged, including public transport and cycling (186 miles of new cycle lanes are also being put down). According to Salvador Rueda, director of the city’s urban ecology agency, superilles are set to encompass between 5,000 and 6,000 residents. This is a figure which he says is “the same as many small towns. Everything we need to consider to face the challenges of this turn of a century—construction, economy, water, residues, metabolisms, social cohesion—should be captured in these superblocks.” In light of recent studies, air pollution has resulted in 3,500 premature deaths in the city's metropolitan area, a figure that equates to 0.1 percent of the population. Barcelona's council highlights traffic accidents, increasing levels of obesity, and a lack of green spaces as other factors for the plan's enactment. Just last year, there 9,095 traffic incidents which led to 27 fatalities. A reported one in five children in the city are either overweight or on the way to being so. Meanwhile, greenery in Barcelona is also hard to come by, with just 71 square feet of green space per resident. That's below the World Health Organization's recommendation of 97 square feet, London's 290 square feet, and Stockholm's staggering 942 square feet per person. “Anyone will be less than 300 meters from a bus stop at any time—and average waiting times will be of five minutes anywhere in the city [against the current average of 14],” Rueda says. The system would also be "an equitable network in which one could go from any point A to point B with just one transfer in 95% of the cases. Like in a game of Battleship”. “We want these public spaces to be areas where one can exercise all citizen rights: exchange, expression and participation, culture and knowledge, the right to leisure,” he added.
Posts tagged with "car free cities":
Oslo's City Center to Be Car-Free by 2019
On October 19th, Oslo’s newly elected city council announced plans to turn the city center, within Ring 1, car-free by 2019. To do so, at least 37 miles of bicycle infrastructure will be established and protected, and all interfering or free parking spaces will be removed.
The plan will also include a new metro tunnel and end the extension of E18 to the west. Lastly, motorists will be charged a rush hour fee. Through these bold implementations, the city hopes to halve emissions by 2020 and remove 95 percent of emissions by 2030, as AN covered here. As a first step, the City of Oslo will stop all its investments in companies that produce fossil fuel energy.
Stockholm Royal Seaport to Be Fossil Fuel Free by 2040Since 1990, the City of Stockholm has lowered emissions by 44 percent, despite being one of the fastest growing cities in Europe. Recently, Stockholm announced a goal to be fossil fuel free by 2040. Stockholm is one of three finalists in the Sustainable Communities category of the C40 Cities Awards. Stockholm's recognized project, Stockholm Royal Seaport, is one of Europe's largest urban development areas and aims to limit carbon dioxide emission below 3,000 pounds per person by 2020. By 2040, Stockholm Royal Seaport is expected to house 12,000 new residential units and 35,000 workspaces, in addition to becoming fossil fuel free.
Amsterdam to Prioritize Local Traffic at the City CenterEarlier this year, the Amsterdam city council agreed on a new design for Muntplein Square, but recent studies reveal traffic in the city center should be limited even further. A car number plate analysis revealed that 20 percent of motorized traffic in the city center is to access surrounding areas, 15 percent is to access areas further outside the city, and 30 percent are just circulating—taxis looking for customers or people in search of parking. The city council therefore agreed to implement further traffic limitations. The new plan will direct unnecessary traffic in the city center to outside roads and prioritize local traffic, creating more space for pedestrians and cyclists. Taxis will experience the largest extension in travel time—roughly six minutes per vehicle each week. Residents and commercial vehicles will have an additional two to three minutes of travel time each week. Although the city council has agreed upon rerouting city center traffic, they will not vote until 2016. If approved, the plan will be implemented before the end of the year.
Madrid to Monitor Air Quality With Strict Traffic RegulationsThis year, Madrid received an F, 58 percent, in the Soot Free Cities rankings, and later announced plans to enact some of the most rigorous anti-pollution laws in the world. On days when air quality falls below a designated threshold, half of cars will be banned from the roads, drastic speed limits will be implemented, and public transportation will be free. According to El Pais, these measures would have a daily cost of $2 million, and if monthly and annual transit pass users are refunded for the day, the daily cost would rise to $4.4 million. Although these numbers are dreading to a city swamped in financial crisis, studies reveal the city’s pollution is responsible for 2000 premature deaths per year, and therefore the matter must be addressed. If these four plans are approved and successfully implemented, their measures may become a pattern across the globe.
While major cities in Europe and across the world are experimenting with the car-free lifestyle, the American South is not likely on anyone's radar as the next to embrace the trend. A neighborhood in Nashville, Tennessee, however, has promised to not use cars for an entire week, leaving them at home as part of the "Don't Car Campaign."Having started on September 19, 30 participants will go carless until the 25th. “Parking has been a big issue here,” said Jamie Brown, a member of the Nations Neighborhood Association (NNA) board speaking to the Nashville Business Journal. “The residential density is getting higher. One [house] goes down and two or three go up,” she said. “Now we’re starting to see condominium and apartment units." Elaborating on the parking difficulties in the area Brown went on to say: “We’re worried about how [new development] is going to affect our overflow parking in the street. We don’t have sidewalks in our neighborhood. The developers keep telling us this is a walkable neighborhood, saying it’s close to downtown. … We wanted to test that concept.” The NNA campaign to go car-less highlights the outdated transit system currently in place, adjudged by the Nashville MTA as insufficient for the growing local population. The city, according to the Nashville Business Journal, is fortunate in that it is walkable and pedestrian-friendly with plenty of bike lanes. Abstaining from car usage then shouldn't be that much of an issue. “People in other neighborhoods have reached out and told us this is a great idea,” Brown said. “We hope the campaign could be done by other neighborhoods.” The team of 30 who will record and document their experiences seeks to be a leading example of how a population can get by without being dependent on cars. They also want people to start seeing how capable their transportation infrastructure really is.