I want to be able to get around the city quickly and actively. When I park my bike, I want it to be protected from rain and theft. I want to be able to ride my bike all year round, protected from car traffic, without having to take detours. And I want to breathe fresh air, not fumes.
The street should be a pleasant, green meeting place for people, not a lifeless, grey transport artery. Away with all the parked cars that take up valuable space and in with wide sidewalks, trees and benches! When a car really needs to be used, there are practical ridesharing services that can be reached via apps.
I would give my beard and my sourdough to see that happen!
For a long time, our cities and roads have been planned to accommodate the car culture, according to the dictates of car-centric urbanism. This has resulted in barrier effects, unhealthy lifestyles and polluted air. Even today, cars are the preferred choice for many people. Cars offer many advantages that people are not ready to give up until there are viable alternative vehicles and modes of transport, better roads and attractive walking and bicycle paths.
The city must prioritize
The space taken up by cars, whether parked or in motion, means that a large share of the city is lost. Is a city that prioritizes cars attractive when the air is unhealthy to breathe? Or when vehicles contribute to traffic danger, congestion and noise? Accessible mobility options and the ability to move freely is what makes a city attractive, not the transport vehicle itself.
Transport system vital for inclusion
Accessibility, attractiveness and the range of mobility alternatives are key areas that require further development. Innovations in different transport systems and vehicles not only contribute to a better environment, they can also make more people feel physically and socially integrated and secure in the city. There are clear connections between access to the transport system and equal opportunities in the housing and labour markets.
By 2030, enhance inclusive and sustainable urbanization and capacity for participatory, integrated and sustainable human settlement planning and management in all countries
UN Global Goal - 11.3
Cars as a mobile service
It is debatable whether or not owning a car in an urban environment is justifiable. Is it reasonable to pay for a car that is parked and unused 96% of the time? What happens if we go from owning a car to using one only when we need it? Mobility isn’t limited by a lack of car ownership, it’s enhanced when the mobility alternatives are expanded. This encourages sustainable thinking, since the car is utilized more efficiently. Cars become a mobile service that we pay for only when they are driven.
From parking spaces to urban farming
Removing streetside parking can greatly increase the attractiveness of the streets and reduce congestion, and the freed-up space can be used for high-capacity pedestrian, bicycle and public transport. The new green areas that are created will purify the air and buffer noise and new social spaces will encourage spontaneous interaction between residents. Parking areas can also be used for urban farming and transport routes for smart delivery vehicles. All of this would contribute to a more connected city with greater well-being.