La Raia’s cellar – and its pisé walls designed by Austrian architect Martin Rauch (a…
The cities, which foster most their inhabitants to move on foot, by bike or public transport, are increasing. Driving is discouraged, on the one side, because of pollution and the unbearable traffic, and, on the other side, to reduce the related costs and risks. In addition, major cities have slowed down their rhythms: London is moving with the speed of a carriage and Los Angeles commuters are blocked up in traffic for 90 hours on average.
The fastest changes in mobility happened exactly in those European capitals designed even thousand years before cars were invented.
Some examples. Madrid has already forbidden most of the traffic and the car-free area is over 1 square kilometer wide. This is the first step towards the city pedestrianisation, to be completed in the next five years, when the 24 most congested streets will be redesigned to be used for walking only. In Paris, city plans are discouraging people from using cars permanently. By 2020, the aim is to double cycling lanes, to ban diesel engine cars and to restrict some roads for electric and low emission vehicles. In 2001, the 40% of families had given up using cars. Today this percentage has risen up to 60%. Even if Hamburg doen’t want to exclude cars from its own city centre, the local administration is taking decisions for those who do not drive. A new big green network will be completed in the next 15-20 years and i twill connect parks all around the city, creating cycling paths and pedestrian zones. Helsinki is expecting new inhabitants to arrive in the next five decades and this would mean more restrictions for cars. According to the new city plan, suburbs will be transformed into populated pedestrian communities, connected to the centre via public transport. New services will be introduced to make residents life easier: a new app will allow citizens to rent bikes and motorcycles, to ask for shared cars or find the nearest train or bus. In Milan, traffic and pollution conditions have considerably improved in the old city centre. At first, an experiment was done: those citizens, who chose to move without cars, received in turn a book of tickets for using public transport. After that, the C area was introduced: traffic restricted to public transport and authorized vehicles only, and a day ticket to be paid by those who want to move in such area. Signal maps, video cameras and parking areas were strengthened. Much has still to be done, instead, as far as Milan cycling lanes are concerned, where every day citizens have to win several exhausting challenges.
A biodynamic life
by Giuliana Zoppis
News, events, products and services for an innovative and conscious lifestyle:
all that can give an ecologic shift to everyday actions with responsibility, curiosity, creativity and the desire of improving us and the world we live in.
This is the section led by Giuliana Zoppis, architect, journalist and expert of ecodesign, biobuilding and socio-environmental sustainability. In 2006, together with Clara Mantica , she founded Best Up the first chain for promoting the sustainable living.