Pedestrianization – Basic Concepts and Benefits

A massive following has been gained by pedestrianization from all over the world. It has become a noteworthy phenomenon in the continents of Europe, North and South America, Asia, Australia, and even Africa.

Established upon a basic concept that dates back to the Greek agora, it has attained unequivocal acceptance in countries like the United States, Brazil, Argentina, Canada, Hong Kong, Philippines, Japan, Denmark, Germany, and even Morocco. Many European towns and cities have gone to the extent declaring their city centers as pedestrianized– where motor vehicles are off-limits and mobility is possible only through walking or (if allowed) motor-less biking.

Formally defined in the context of the removal of car traffic within urban thoroughfares by means of local policies such as street closures and similar restrictions, it has been hailed by environmentalists as an excellent strategy which fits well in terms of the good it does to the city and its occupants.

The following cite and briefly explain how the elimination of cars from streets can benefit an urban area and its users:

1. Pedestrian safety is attained due to the absence of motor vehicles which remain the major source of human injuries in city streets. With the cars gone, the roadways become solely dedicated to people, where they can safely move around and mingle with one another.

2. Human mobility is possible even without dependence on fossil-fuel driven contraptions. A car-less culture is espoused as the better alternative for short trips because automobile traffic is avoided. One can even safely estimate a time of arrival to a destination point; something which has become difficult in a maze of vehicles entangled in traffic.

3. Reduction of noise comes with the absence of engine blare and horn blowing, all of which originate from the less-than-desirable elements of the urban setting. The more we think about the car, the more we reconcile with its negative repercussions in our lives.

4. Reduction of air pollution is guaranteed with the drop of carbon emissions which come mainly from vehicular engines. The absence of cars in any location almost equates to a guarantee of fresher air to breathe.

5. Environmental benefit comes as a consequence of the minimization of cars which rely on the burning of fuel in order to run; and on its hazardous gaseous contribution upon the environment. With less people dependent on cars and gasoline, a worthy contribution to ecological preservation is thus made possible.

6. Walking as a healthful alternative fits well with the pedestrianization agenda. In this day and age where everyone finds it difficult to allocate time to do any active exercise, walking to a destination has been accepted as worthwhile alternative.