Planetizen - Urban Planning News, Jobs, and Education

European Cities Try to Make Cars Unwelcome

Many cities in Europe are rediscovering their pre-automobile roots, using new technologies like ride-sharing and congestion pricing and old-fashioned ones like demolishing parking lots and dense development. Car ownership is dropping precipitously.
May 8, 2015, 10am PDT | Josh Stephens | @jrstephens310
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email Comments
Roman Pavlyuk

With their cozy streetscapes and mature public transit systems, European cities already have relatively low rates of automobile use. But that doesn't stop them from going big. Cities from Lyon to Birmingham to Munich are aggressively introducing programs and development patterns to make driving harder and car-sharing, walking, biking, and riding public transit easier.

“Sharing is the new paradigm of urban mobility. Tomorrow, you will judge a city according to what it is adding to sharing. The more that we have people sharing transportation modes, public space, information and new services, the more attractive the city will be.”

"'Multi-modal' and 'interconnectivity' are now the words on every urban planner’s lips. In Munich, says Bore, planners told him that the city dwellers of the future would no longer need cars. Bikes and more efficient public transport would be the norm; for occasional trips out of the city, they could hire a car or join a car club that facilitated inter-city travel. The statistic everyone trots out is that your car sits outside, idle and depreciating, for 96% of its life. There has to be a more efficient way to provide for the average of seven hours a week when you want it."

"The statistic (London neighborhood) Hackney is proudest of is that more than 15% of its residents commute to work by bike. “It’s about creating an environment where it’s easier for people to cycle or take the bus, so they’re not relying on cars,” Demirci says. Car ownership in the borough has dropped over the past 10 years: whereas a decade ago 56% of households did not own a car, that figure now stands at 65%."

Full Story:
Published on Tuesday, April 28, 2015 in The Guardian
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email