🌇 Bicycles, parklets, and data are redesigning cities, and cars have little or no space in them.
The Champs-Élysées are being redesigned for people and bicycles. London's ULEZ is extended. New York goes carless. Rotterdam parklets replace street parking. Why are cities ditching the car?
Walk around in any European city, and most of your street photos will have a common element, an array of cars lined on-street parking. Well, that was the case until the pandemic hit and businesses were allowed to use street parking, and it seems there is no going back.
That must have been the thought behind the redesign of the Champs-Élysées, where cars will have their space drastically reduced. Here’s a before and after the redesign, and if you want to dig more, the fabulous website of its project is also worth a careful read.
Across the canal, London is expanding its ULEZ (Ultra Low Emission Zone) and making sure it hits cars where it hurts the most. From October the cost of getting into London by car is £12.50 per day and £100 for trucks.
New York is also joining in and revamping the iconic Union Square, while some of its streets will maintain the ban on cars post-pandemic.
Yet, not all impactful projects need to be so complex. Rotterdam has since 2018 adapted the parklet. All you need to do is to ask the council to remove a street parking spot and replace it with a more attractive parklet near schools and public buildings.
And… If your council does not allow it, you can always get creative 😂
All this is sure to fuel the bicycle economy where Portugal is the biggest European manufacturer, producing a quarter of the total bicycles sold in the continent.
With so many alternatives, “Dude: where is my car?” will soon be a thing of the past.