The Spread of Ciclovia

Temporary street closures for pedestrian use -- an idea that spawned in Bogota, Colombia -- are occurring in cities all over the world. The trend is expected to continue.
August 18, 2008, 12pm PDT | Nate Berg
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"They danced the tango in Portland, Ore., they're doing the samba in New York, and by the end of this month, they'll be dancing in the streets of San Francisco. It's urban planning with a Latin twist, a simple idea imported from South America for transforming the cityscape. Temporary street closures, or ciclovias, are sweeping across the US, as cities take a new look at alternative uses for their streets."

"For some public space advocates, this is just the beginning: 'London, Paris, and other cities have taken this idea much further, but they started with temporary street closures,' notes Wiley Norvell, whose organization, Transportation Alternatives, is participating in the New York event. 'Once you get out of the mind-set of 'all cars all the time,' all sorts of possibilities open up.'"

"Every summer Paris closes a portion of one of its major expressways and creates a temporary beachfront and promenade – complete with sand and palm trees – along the Seine. Starting with the closure of one street more than 40 years ago, Copenhagen has gradually developed a central city that prioritizes walking and cycling."

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Published on Monday, August 18, 2008 in The Christian Science Monitor
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