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BanprivatecarsinLondon: "Barcelona the walking city"

Link to web site

"... Ildefons Cerda was the visionary, pioneering Catalan urban planner whose street layout is characterised by long straight streets, a strict grid pattern crossed by wide avenues, and octagonal city blocks. Cerdà, considered traffic and transport along with sunlight and ventilation in coming up with his characteristic octagonal blocks. I was told that the street design was to have facilitated a tram network.

"The core idea was that the city should breathe and the growing population could be spread out equally, as well as providing green spaces within each block.

"Unfortunately Cerdà had not anticipated that the streets would become polluted and congested with cars and motorcycles. The wide avenues became one way motor traffic dominated speed drags. Random parking of motorcycles and cars blocked the safe passage of pedestrians and cyclists.

"Barcelona has been working hard to reverse this trend for the last ten years, improving pedestrian spaces, making walking a desirable and healthy alternative to car use. The metro is well-designed and intuitive and is undergoing expansion. There is also a well-connected train and bus network.

"The next phase is the so called Superilles or 'Superblocks' which aims to make secondary streets into 'citizen spaces for culture, leisure and the community'. In such a densely populated city with a notable absence of green space, this will create vital greening, as well as quality public space."

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