More Cities Planning to Make Car Use Obsolete
While none of the following seven cities have actually banned cars, each is moving steadily towards of goal of making the need for private car ownership a relic of the 20th century. Writing in Wired, Adele Peters catalogs which cities are planning for a less automobile-dependent future by promoting the transition to car-free neighborhoods.
Madrid, Spain - The Spanish capital now has a car-free zone measuring more than a square mile, where only local residents are permitted to drive their cars or be fined the equivalent of $100. The city is also planning to redesign 24 of its busiest streets for walking, instead of driving, and the most polluting cars will have to pay more to park.
Paris, France - If you don't live in a local neighborhood, you won't be able to drive there on weekends, and this policy may be expanded to the rest of the week. Already, 60% of Parisians don't own their own cars and by 2020, the mayor plans to not only ban diesel cars, while restricting certain high-volume streets to electric cars and 'other low-emission vehicles' but she also wants to double the number of bicycle lanes.
Chengdu, China - A new satellite city of Chengdu is being planned so that any location can be reached on foot in 15 minutes, though development is current on hold over zoning issues.
Hamburg, Germany - The northern German port city has a 15-20 year redevelopment plan in place that is connect the city via a a 'green network' that will make it easier and safer to travel by bicycle or walk.
Helsinki,Finland - The Finnish capital's new urban development plan is to "transform car-dependent suburbs into dense, walkable communities linked to the city center by fast-moving public transit." It has already launched a transit-on-demand program, complete with app that will eventually include the ability to make use of shared bikes, cars and taxis; the goal being to make car ownership unnecessary.
Milan, Italy - The home of ZeHus S.R.L., developers of the All-In-One electric bicycle hub motor used on EV World's Project Bamboo Zeus prototype, Milan has initiated a program that awards drivers who leave their cars at home, free public transit vouchers.
Copenhagen, Denmark - The Danish city has the lowest percentage of car ownership in Europe. Nine times as many people bike to work, to school, or to shop as they do in Portland, Oregon. The city has gradually implemented more and more car-free zones over the last few decades, as well as constructing 200 miles of bike lanes. It is currently building new bike 'superhighways' out into the suburbs.
There is a reason London Mayor Boris Johnson is pushing for greater bicycle ridership and safer cycling infrastructure: traffic in the city now moves slower than it did in Queen Victoria's time. Worse, a recent study in the U.K. predicts drivers there will spend the equivalent of 106 days of their lives looking for a parking space.
Groningen: The World's Cycling City
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