Pedestrianizing cities: Yes, but with alternatives
My list

*Author | Patricia M. Liceras

Pedestrianizing historic city centers is becoming increasingly common. The aim is to dethrone the car as the king of the city center in order to provide more areas for pedestrians, walkers and cyclists, reduce air pollution and create opportunities that allow new and closer relationships to be established between residents.

In fact, the “15-minute city” concept has gained popularity recently, defended by Anne Hidalgo, the Mayor of Paris. These are cities in which one can fulfil all their professional, educational, health, leisure or any other requirements, with short journeys from home, either on foot or on a bike. Particularly in the future post-COVID era, which will lead to the full emergence of teleworking and the subsequent reduction of journeys from home to the office and vice versa.

However, with this form of urban planning, which reduces or blocks car access. Is it all good news? Are there any downsides?

Advantages of pedestrianization

PIC 1

Pedestrianizing cities is an unstoppable trend at a global level and it does bring with it many advantages. It not only improves road safety, since most fatal accidents involving pedestrians and cyclists take place in city centers, but it also increases pedestrian mobility, which has undoubtable positive effects on the health of the population.

It also reduces pollution and improves the quality of life of residents and pedestrians, with less environmental noise, improved air quality and more spaces for green areas and socializing.

And of course, with wider sidewalks, people tend to walk more and can access stores more easily, which boosts commerce in the new pedestrian areas, and increases the value of property, which benefits owners.

Disadvantages of pedestrianization

PIC 2

However, replacing asphalt with cobblestones in order to make cities more pleasant for their residents and more respectful with the planet, is not a miracle tool devoid of disadvantages. Disadvantages tend to arise when cars are eradicated from cities, by means of a municipal ordinance, without proper planning and execution, and without offering suitable mobility options for thousands of affected people.

On the one hand, residents in these areas tend to use their cars in their day to day activities and restricting the use of their vehicles may lead, not only to the residents opposing these types of measures, but may even cause them to move to other areas of the city without traffic limitations. As a result, houses would be occupied mainly by students, temporary tenants and tourists, displacing the original population. Therefore, these processes must be flexible for residents, avoiding falling into a sense of leniency, which would diminish the effectiveness of the pedestrianization, but without strictness either, which could leave these places bare of their normal residents.

Convincing mobility options should also be offered to other groups that are particularly affected: residents of the suburbs who work in the center, since their journey to work would be greatly affected. Options which, among other aspects, should include boosting and extending the public transport network.

Furthermore, when an area is shut off to four-wheeled traffic, these vehicles do not just disappear as if by magic, instead, they end up concentrating on nearby roads, normally leading to traffic jams, air and noise pollution, car parking and traffic congestion, etc. Therefore, existing traffic flows must be carefully studied, to ensure the proposed restructuring plans do not saturate the surrounding areas.

Disadvantages that could be mitigated if the projects are managed with the right precision. Therefore, the pros do seem to far outweigh the cons, when it comes to living in cities that prioritize pedestrians over cars. The issue would not be whether or not to pedestrianize them, but rather how to avoid pedestrianizing them in a disorganized manner or just because it is in vogue.

Images | Jan Antonin Kolar, Julian Tong, Kilian Seiler

Related Content
COVID and poverty: its impact on cities
COVID and poverty: its impact on cities
Cancer and cities: risk factors and solutions for an increasingly urban society
Cancer and cities: risk factors and solutions for an increasingly urban society
Technology and equitable education: promises and obstacles of a looming revolution
Technology and equitable education: promises and obstacles of a looming revolution
How can cities help visually impaired people?
How can cities help visually impaired people?
How can cities improve the quality of life of disabled people?
How can cities improve the quality of life of disabled people?
How India wants to become the future of smart cities
How India wants to become the future of smart cities
Coworking spaces: how cities are adapting to this new work concept
Coworking spaces: how cities are adapting to this new work concept
It’s 2021. Why Are Public Spaces & Roads Still Unsafe For Women?
It’s 2021. Why Are Public Spaces & Roads Still Unsafe For Women?
5 signs that a city needs to urgently change in order to stay alive
5 signs that a city needs to urgently change in order to stay alive
These are the reasons why people abandon their city
These are the reasons why people abandon their city
Creating opportunities for a better future with the Tel-Aviv foundation
Creating opportunities for a better future with the Tel-Aviv foundation
[ui!] Urban Software Institute: Mobility for your whole life
[ui!] Urban Software Institute: Mobility for your whole life
Will there be a digital divide between smart and dumb cities?
Will there be a digital divide between smart and dumb cities?
Smart tourism destinations: the challenge of achieving a harmonious balance between industry and habitability
Smart tourism destinations: the challenge of achieving a harmonious balance between industry and habitability
Technology in schools with an impact in and out of the classrooms
Technology in schools with an impact in and out of the classrooms
Digital natives, technological illiterates?
Digital natives, technological illiterates?
Can we combat poverty with an app?
Can we combat poverty with an app?
Welcome to Vienna, the World’s best city to live in
Welcome to Vienna, the World’s best city to live in
Huawei Intelligent Operation Center: The brain and central nervous system of a Smart City
Huawei Intelligent Operation Center: The brain and central nervous system of a Smart City
SCHRÉDER EXEDRA: Lighting up cities
SCHRÉDER EXEDRA: Lighting up cities
Sameh Wahba, World Bank:
Sameh Wahba, World Bank: "Policies that can enable the creation of denser cities may be fiscal but also administrative"
Smart Innovation & City Progress in Disruptive Times: How cities are using disruption to accelerate innovation
Smart Innovation & City Progress in Disruptive Times: How cities are using disruption to accelerate innovation
Human Rights, Sustainability & Technology: Digitally Organizing Communities
Live
Human Rights, Sustainability & Technology: Digitally Organizing Communities
And what shall we do with Grandad? Smart cities tackling the challenge of an ageing population
And what shall we do with Grandad? Smart cities tackling the challenge of an ageing population
Cities leading the way towards a just digital transition in the post-covid era
Cities leading the way towards a just digital transition in the post-covid era
PEOPLE-FOCUSED SMART CITIES: Connecting all the world’s people by 2030 as a force for good
PEOPLE-FOCUSED SMART CITIES: Connecting all the world’s people by 2030 as a force for good
Barcelona Smart Region: providing smart services for citizens
Barcelona Smart Region: providing smart services for citizens
Women's Leadership in Mediterranean Cities and Regions: addressing the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond
Live
Women's Leadership in Mediterranean Cities and Regions: addressing the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond
Towards a New Latin American City: Rethinking Urban Development After COVID-19
Live
Towards a New Latin American City: Rethinking Urban Development After COVID-19
#CitiesAreListening: Dialogue on a smart recovery in the post COVID-19 era
#CitiesAreListening: Dialogue on a smart recovery in the post COVID-19 era
Cities for global health: A city-to-city platform to face the pandemics
Cities for global health: A city-to-city platform to face the pandemics
Chicago’s inclusive response to Covid-19
Chicago’s inclusive response to Covid-19
BRENT TODERIAN: Brainstorming Urban Ideas
BRENT TODERIAN: Brainstorming Urban Ideas
Maimunah Sharif: the impact of Covid-19 in informal settlements
Maimunah Sharif: the impact of Covid-19 in informal settlements
Making Tech Work For People Across the Globe
Making Tech Work For People Across the Globe
Forced integration: how Singapore is preventing ethnic segregation in its neighborhoods
Forced integration: how Singapore is preventing ethnic segregation in its neighborhoods
How to Accomplish the
How to Accomplish the "Right to Housing"? Interview with Mayor Colau
SASKIA SASSEN: Urban Fragilities in a Post-pandemic World
SASKIA SASSEN: Urban Fragilities in a Post-pandemic World
Five changes with which cities can adapt to people living with Alzheimer's
Five changes with which cities can adapt to people living with Alzheimer's
CARLO RATTI: Reinventing the Post-pandemic World
CARLO RATTI: Reinventing the Post-pandemic World
Outdoor Smart Parking Solutions: Parking made simple
Outdoor Smart Parking Solutions: Parking made simple
MindSphere City Graph: Bringing the physical and digital world closer together
MindSphere City Graph: Bringing the physical and digital world closer together
Smartnodes: Realizing smart cities through smart lighting
Smartnodes: Realizing smart cities through smart lighting
X-Tention: How to avoid crowded places with an app
X-Tention: How to avoid crowded places with an app
Recommended profiles for you
Remember to activate your profile to network!
Activate profile
Juliana Ting
Juliana Ting
Fira Barcelona
Strategic Development Manager - Smart City Live & Tomorrow.City
II
Irfan Oktavian Hulu Irfan
University of Medan Area
My position in company or institution is Collage student of Faculty social science and political.
PC
Paola Cavallo
L.u.m.s.s.a.
I work for the social resrarch
GH
Gerald Hane
GRIPS
Research Fellow
Yessica Diaz Vidaurre
Yessica Diaz Vidaurre
Organizacion
Administradora
Rafly Hidayat
Rafly Hidayat
Universitas Sriwijaya
Student
MJ
Mónica Jasis
CENTR MUJERES AC
Co-Director
BT
Bekir Selcuk Temel
Basaksehir Living Lab
It manager
MA
Morin Au
MDS
Architect
Daniela Andreia  Moreira de Sousa
Daniela Andreia Moreira de Sousa
APEXA
Técnico Superior de Serviço Social
RT
Rutsuko Tanaka
World Bank TDLC
Public Relations Officer TDLC
Mahmoud Kalhori
Mahmoud Kalhori
Municipality rejoins 5 from tehran
Mayor of Tehran municipality region 5
JT Mudge
JT Mudge
productOps
Solutions Director
SA
Sara Afraz
BAM
Architect, Advisor
Md
Maria de Lourdes da Silva Oliveira
Autonomous
Architect
Mahmoud Kalhori
Mahmoud Kalhori
Municipality rejoins 5 from tehran
Mayor of region 5 of Tehran municipality
JC
Juan Campo
Casa
Casa Blanca\\n
MC
Marta Cayetano
ACUP - GUNi
Comms manager
Romulo Soares
Romulo Soares
HubCumbuco
Founder
Angela@ Bustillos
Angela@ Bustillos
eXplorins
CMO

Only accessible for registered users
This content is available only for registered users
TO: $$toName$$
SUBJECT: Message from $$fromName$$