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A Car Ban By Other Means

After failing to implement a car ban, Oslo officials are converting downtown street parking into public space.
July 2, 2018, 6am PDT | Casey Brazeal | @northandclark
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Oslo officials made ambitious goals to cut the city's emissions by 95 percent by 2030, then a downtown car ban failed to pass. Still, officials didn't give up on cutting the significant portion of emissions that comes from private cars. "Instead of an outright car ban, Oslo has now announced a tactical-urbanism approach to limiting vehicle movement through the city center by simply removing all the parking spots from the area," Eillie Anzilotti reports for Fast Company.

The onstreet parking the city is reclaiming will be put to use in other means. "Some will be playgrounds or cultural events, or [contain] benches or bike parking—or other things you can fill the space with when you don’t have 1,200 kilograms of glass and steel," Oslo vice mayor for environment and transport Lan Marie Nguyen Berg recently said on the record for a separate article for The Guardian.

"Those plans are spelled out in more detail in the city’s outline for six pilot spaces, which include ideas for a beer garden and an 'outdoor living area' featuring different pieces of street furniture and an e-bench with wifi and charging capabilities," Anzilotti writes.

Officials hope that business and residents will benefit from the more walk-centric streets and become more enthusiastic about the move. If they don't, these changes are unlikely to stick and it will be hard for the city to hit its emission's goals.

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Published on Saturday, June 23, 2018 in Fast Company
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