What European cities do to limit cars?
From Berlin to Paris, London, Copenhagen, Brussels and Madrid, many cities in Europe are joining the race to build a zero carbon economy
- January 04, 2019 19:30
- Olya Georgieva
Many European cities are taking steps to regulate or limit cars in their own ways. Below you can find just few examples for the major European cities:
- Copenhagen has a goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2025, when it aims to have 75% of journeys in the city completed by public transportation, on foot or by bike. Today, over half of Copenhagen's population bikes to work every day, thanks to the city's effort to introduce pedestrian-only zones starting in the 1960s. The Danish capital has more than 200 miles of bike lanes and has one of the lowest percentages of car ownership in Europe.
- Fuel-tax protests aside, Paris has banned cars on Sundays and on public holidays in several parts of the city. It is also developing parking lots outside the city to cut car use by commuters. The mayor says Paris also plans to double its bike lanes and limit select streets to electric cars by 2020.
- Madrid has set limits in some areas on cars that don’t belong to local residents. The only cars that will be allowed downtown will be those that belong to locals, zero-emissions delivery vehicles, taxis, and public transit like buses.
- Vienna’s grand plan is to reduce cars to the point where only 20% of its transport is conducted by car. The Austrian capital hopes that car use will fall as it invests in making other means of transportation more attractive.
- Berlin has recently announced a plan to build a dozen “super highways” reserved for cyclists. Germany’s capital is also the city of shared and electric mobility, as driving a personal car is not a sign of success here. The city already had more than 400 electric car-charging points and four hydrogen refueling stations in 2015, and a major expansion of this infrastructure is still being deployed.
- Brussels features one of the largest car-free area in Europe. Most streets that surround Brussels' city square, stock exchange, and Rue Neuve (a major shopping street) have always been pedestrian-only. The city is looking for more ways to expand its car-free zones — one proposal would turn a popular four-lane boulevard into a pedestrian-only area.
- London discourages the use of diesel engines in some areas of the city by charging a fee of 10.99 Euros per day for diesel cars that enter during peak hours. They call it a congestion charge. The city will ban diesel cars by 2020.
- Hamburg is making it easier not to drive. The German city plans to make walking and biking its dominant mode of transport. Within the next two decades, Hamburg will reduce the number of cars by only allowing pedestrians and bikers to enter certain areas. The project calls for a gruenes netz, or a "green network," of connected spaces that people can access without cars. By 2035, the network will cover 40% of Hamburg and will include parks, playgrounds, sports fields, and cemeteries.
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