Europe moves towards reducing cars in cities

Cristina Lynn, Parking & Traffic Consultants’
Managing Partner, is currently attending the World Parking Symposium in Canada,
presenting a research paper on ‘How do Australian cities manage parking?’ Her
research and presentation is in part based on a comparison with research
developed by the Institute of Transportation and Development Policy in New York.
You can read more about the research study on our recent blog post ‘Study on parking space management finds Europe leads the way’ here.

The co-author of the report and Global Research
Manager of the Institute for Transportation & Development Policy, Michael
Kodransky, has directed us to a follow up piece published in The New York Times. Below we have republished the first few paragraphs of the article for
your interest:

ZURICH — While American
cities are synchronizing green lights to improve traffic flow and offering apps
to help drivers find parking, many European cities are doing the opposite:
creating environments openly hostile to cars. The methods vary, but the mission
is clear — to make car use expensive and just plain miserable enough to tilt
drivers toward more environmentally friendly modes of transportation.

Cities including Vienna to
Munich and Copenhagen have closed vast swaths of streets to car traffic.
Barcelona and Paris have had car lanes eroded by popular bike-sharing programs.
Drivers in London and Stockholm pay hefty congestion charges just for entering
the heart of the city. And over the past two years, dozens of German cities
have joined a national network of “environmental zones” where only cars with
low carbon dioxide emissions may enter.

Likeminded cities welcome
new shopping malls and apartment buildings but severely restrict the allowable
number of parking spaces. On-street parking is vanishing. In recent years, even
former car capitals like Munich have evolved into “walkers’ paradises,” said
Lee Schipper, a senior research engineer at Stanford University who specializes
in sustainable transportation.

“In the United States, there has
been much more of a tendency to adapt cities to accommodate driving,” said
Peder Jensen, head of the Energy and Transport Group at the European
Environment Agency. “Here there has been more movement to make cities more
livable for people, to get cities relatively free of cars.”

reading the full article on The New York Times website, ‘Across Europe, irking drivers is urban policy’, here.

Many thanks to Michael Kodransky for the provision of
this link and his research! Read more about the Institute for Transportation & Development Policy here, and the Our Cities Ourselves site here. Image by
Christoph Bangert for The New York Times.

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