An Elegant Guide to Walkability

The Spanish city of Pontevedra has developed an innovative, and attractive, map of pedestrian connections based on the color-coded subway maps common to cities around the world; burnishing its reputation as "a leader in walker-friendly urban policy."

Eduardo Ares discusses Pontevedra's award-winning Metrominuto map, the latest effort by city leaders to protect their historic streets from oppressive automobile traffic, and promote non-motorized transportation. Past efforts have included widening sidewalks, establishing a free bike-lending service, and banning motorized transport in sections of the city.

"To further improve walkability," explains Ares, "Pontevedra's city council produced a map that visualizes the distances and travel times between key places on foot at an average speed of five kilometers per hour. Known as Metrominuto, the map has color-coded lines that resemble those of a subway guide. The pink line from Peregrina Square shows that it takes about 14 minutes to walk from there to the train and bus stations. Free parking areas are marked to encourage visitors to leave their cars outside the city center."

"Metrominuto reminds residents and visitors that many automobile trips can be made in a more convenient, environmentally friendly and healthy way by walking."

Full Story: Visualizing a Walkable City

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