Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Archive for March 15th, 2008

Places without cars

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All over the world cities have set aside places to be car free. Sometimes whole cities become car free for a day. In many urban places, reducing car penetration has been the key to regaining urbanity. Initially it was often thought that it would promote retail streets facing competition from suburban malls and big box stores. But after a while it was realised that successful places became destinations in themselves. And instead of being areas that people tried to get through as quickly as possible there was a reason to loiter and enjoy the place.

There is a desparate lack of such places in this region. There are even fewer places that are closed to traffic but allow transit – another popular variation on this theme.
NET 213 at Old Market Square 14Ap04
To get an idea of what the variety and attractiveness of car free places looks like I have started a flickr group “Places without Cars” . Take a look.

The more I think about the more I am convinced that with the exception of the seawall and similar places in Vancouver, some of the dykes in Richmond we do not actually have a car free space here – and, no, Robson Square doesn’t count. Is there anywhere in this region that has closed a street to cars?

Written by Stephen Rees

March 15, 2008 at 2:15 pm