Stockholm’s walking culture is a reason for a happy city

24 November 2015

Ten years ago, when many Stockholm streets became closed to traffic, about 70% of the residents opposed the move. Today this enjoys the support of the vast majority of people who work and live in the Swedish capital.

Stockholm Pedestrians

Photo City Lab

New York invested afresh in Times Square because of the lessons that this city could learn from Stockholm in Sweden. Stockholm has dramatically improved pedestrian friendliness and safety in the last decade.

Ten years ago, when many Stockholm streets became closed to traffic, about 70% of the residents opposed the move. Today this enjoys the support of the vast majority of people who work and live in the Swedish capital.

One of the reasons for this is that it makes economic sense. Stockholm discovered what other pedestrian cities had also discovered: the more destinations such as shops, restaurants, cultural activities, parks and waterfronts are within walking distance, the better the city or town’s property prices.

 

Photo City Lab

Photo City Lab

In the world of urban planning, Stockholm and Copenhagen are known as the best pedestrian cities. Vision Zero, which focuses on reducing traffic fatalities and serious injuries to zero, has contributed to this. These cities have achieved an unheard of reduction in accidents and injuries over decades by a mix of engineering, education and law enforcement.

According to Lars Strömgren, an advocate for cycling, Vision Zero was focused on keeping you in your car – only safer. But the new Vision Zero 2.0, an updated version, focuses specifically on the use of bicycles and walking, rather than sitting in a car.

For an article and video about this, click here.

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