Giving the streets back to residents

By Claire Whelan

Barcelona has a bold new plan to reduce car use, increase physical activity and improve the environment of the city through the introduction of ‘superblocks’. Smaller streets will be partially reclaimed as public open space for pedestrians, with car use limited to local residents at a speed of 10km/h. The super blocks are approximately 400m in width, and bus services will be increased along the main roads to provide bus stops within 300m. 300km of new bicycle paths are also part of the plan.

Image source: The Guardian
Melbourne is heavily based on the grid system, most famously within the CBD but also throughout many inner and middle ring suburbs. We’ve already seen examples of under-utilised roads or car parks being re-purposed as public open space such as the creation of new pocket parks in Richmond (Richmond Terrace), Collingwood (Peel Street Park) and North Melbourne (The Bee Park). These projects were not without opposition, and yet have been successfully implemented and well used by local residents.

Is it time we started aiming higher? 

Read more here.

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