Making Life Better, Giving Back Roads To Pedestrians

Many urban areas are designed with cars in mind. Consequently, a lot of space was made for roads. This leads to the question, what would life be if there were no cars? 

Despite many car driving tips, we are all aware of the dangers that vehicles can bring and also the conveniences it offers. Nonetheless, as a result of green movements, many communities have come together in efforts to achieve a better environment that will benefit everyone.

Imagine children playing soccer on a major city highway. Tourists stand in the middle of the road to take photos. Restaurants filled the streets instead of cars, mopeds or buses. That is my memory of Venice, the only car-free city I have visited during the summer holidays.

Venice – This City Has NO CARS! (VENICE)

For the past 100 years, cars have dominated the urban landscape. Roads have been widened in many cities to accommodate cars, and a large amount of space is given to parking them. Private vehicles have revolutionized mobility, but they have caused many diseases due to air pollution caused. There is also the potential for traffic accidents.

Today, a small number (but increasing) of cities are removing cars from their urban landscape designs altogether even though the cars have not been completely removed.

However, this movement represents a broader trend in a number of cities in the world to make driving more difficult.

Is it the cost of London traffic, the “pico y placa” initiative in Mexico City (odd-even license plate policy), or some small cities like Pontevedra, Spain, which prohibit cars directly.

“Our primary goal is to give back the road to the people,” Oslo closed several roads to cars and removed all parking lots and replaced them with biking trails, benches and mini-parks.

Hanna Marcussen
Deputy Mayor
Oslo Urban Development

The road should be a place where people meet, where people get to know new friends, eat in open restaurants, where children play, and where arts are freely on display. There are also environmental aspects.