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Here’s an idea with a future: city living is better where there are large areas ‘roped off’ for pedestrians. Life can break out in a place like that, with people staying for a coffee instead of just whizzing through in their cars. Some cities around the world have been particularly bold…
Tokyo has several urban Hokousha Tenhoku or ‘Pedestrian Paradises.’ They’re renowned shopping districts, as well as popular promenade spots for the young and trendy.
‘Día Sin Carro,’ ‘The ‘Day Without Cars,’ the city’s transit system and other pro-pedestrian measures are the legacy of one committed turn-of-the-century Mayor, Enrique Peñalosa.
Las Ramblas is the more famous access to the Old Quarter (‘Barri Gotic’) a part of town alternating open squares, ancient churches, winding streets and funky street-vending.
Morocco Marketplace is the world’s largest car-free designated zone. All the better to lose yourself in the mystique.
Bahnhofstrasse is a lovely road running from the train station to Lake Zurich itself. Sealed off from car traffic, it makes for a lovely promenade space. If you lose track of time, you can buy a Swiss watch.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Fair Winds on Calle Florida, a 20 block stretch, is certainly the oldest car-free zone in the world, being given that designation in 1913.
The Underground City is as eclectic and energetic as the city above. Basically, it’s Montreal’s solution to subzero cold weather: the city thrives, underground.
Under the leadership of frequent Mayor Jaime Lerner, congested Curitiba became one of the world leaders in ratio of green space per citizen. The city now has twelve car-free zones in its parks.
Bourke Street Mall is a stretch of the city’s central road that represents the most completely pedestrian-friendly part of a city that’s extremely pedestrian-friendly anyway.
Piazza Del Campo. This lovely small Tuscan city of 30,000 stays lovely by banning most auto traffic from its old town center.