Stuttgart is not a grid-built city and implementing superblocks might not be as easy as in Barcelona, Source: Depositphotos

Stuttgart wants Barcelona-style Superblocks

Stuttgart wants Barcelona-style Superblocks

A decision in this direction came through the city’s new sustainable development plan

On 4 April, the local government of Stuttgart decided to create three Superblocks, modelled after Barcelona. The decision came with the local government accepting a sustainable development plan with 200 measures.

The plan has a host of measures focusing on traffic calming and offering people more ways to get around the city apart from personal cars. The plan also pinpoints the targets and goals the city needs to achieve to become climate-neutral by the year 2035.

Superblocks in Stuttgart: Not for the first time

Superblocks, also known as Superilla were an idea of Barcelona’s Mayor Ada Colau and were first introduced in 2016. The concept focuses on reorganising traffic in certain areas of the city to create more public space with quiet and safe streets for cafes and greenery.

Barcelona is uniquely suited for such a concept because large parts of the city are built along a uniform block grid. The Superblock thus takes that idea and expands it, creating a collection of blocks, 3x3 and groups them, restricting car movement inside the block.

In turn, this allows citizens to retake those streets, which can now be used as playgrounds, meeting spaces, squares and anything else in between. At the same time, the reorganised areas see less traffic, less pollution and less noise, raising the quality of life for citizens.

With Stuttgart that development is still possible, although the city is largely not designed around a grid and sits in a valley, incorporating the nearby hills into its urban fabric.

Nevertheless, local authorities have already tried to use pop-up Superblocks, during Stuttgart Mobility Week, back in October 2021. They included one in Augustenstrasse and one in Wanderbaumallee.

Felix Märker from the Stuttgart Office for Urban Planning and Housing was quoted in a press statement explaining that the initiative provoked a mixed reaction at the time. Nevertheless, he believes, it had an impact and the city would try and incorporate it in some form going forward.

The key points of the city’s sustainable development plan

Here are the key points of Stuttgart’s sustainable development plan:

  1. Promoting intramodality - covering a route with several means of transport;
  2. Expansion and improvements of local public transport;
  3. Switching commuter traffic to environmentally friendly means of transport;
  4. Conducting a competition to redesign the B 27 federal road in 2024;
  5. Redesigning of three quarters per double household according to the principle of the Barcelona Superblocks
  6. Increasing bike budget to 40 euros per citizen;
  7. Creating 20 bike lanes by 2025;
  8. Tempo 30 limits for noise protection at night in all city districts within the scope of legal possibilities;
  9. Permission to park on the sidewalk only if the remaining width of the sidewalk is two meters.



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