A view of colourful Kessel-Lo, Source: City of Leuven

Pedestrians first: Leuven launches mobility plan for Kessel-Lo

Pedestrians first: Leuven launches mobility plan for Kessel-Lo

The plan will focus on deprioritising cars in traffic while boosting low-speed zones and more cycling options

Recently, authorities in the Belgian city of Leuven announced a new mobility plan for Kassel-Lo, a borough of that city. The plan features more bike lanes, low-speed zones, revamped public transport and measures to calm traffic, such as one-way streets.

According to a statement by the City, David Dessers, Alderman of Mobility, wants to centre the whole plan around pedestrians, as all citizens are first and foremost pedestrians, whether they are going to school, the shop or their parked car. The city will start implementing the plan as soon as autumn 2022.

Furthermore, the Kessel-Lo plan was created using proposals by citizens of Kessel-Lo in an attempt to address their specific issues. At the same, it features measures that are part of Leuven’s wider mobility strategy, focusing on deprioritising cars, in favour of pedestrians, cycling and public transport.

Deprioritising cars

A major feature of the plan is measures aimed at deprioritising cars in the flow of people and traffic. This is because, as Alderman Dessers put it, the area sees a lot of cut-through traffic from rural areas or people who live far away from the heart of Leuven. Thus, the streets in Kessel-Lo can be quite dangerous at times.

The borough is effectively split in two by Diestsesteenweg, a boulevard functioning as the main eastern entrance to the city. However, authorities plan, if nothing else, to at least limit the thoroughfare by creating a lot of one-way streets and outright ban cars from a lot of residential streets.

This would have a noise-reducing effect and it will also improve air quality while opening up more space for the community and pedestrians. Also, the area will feature a low-speed zone as well as a revamped pass priority system.

This means that traffic lights will allow pedestrians to cross first, then bicycles, then public transport and finally – passenger cars. This is a system in use in many places around the low countries: Belgium and the Netherlands. It involves smart traffic lights that detect the presence of pedestrians and regulate traffic accordingly.



Growing City


Smart City


Green City


Social City


New European Bauhaus




ECP 2021 Winner TheMayorEU