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ENERGY CITIES' PROPOSALS FOR THE ENERGY TRANSITION OF CITIES AND TOWNS

5.6 Design a street code to favour walking and cycling
Urban planning as a way of reducing energy use

The problem at hand

Private cars have long been a symbol of urban dynamism and freedom for citizens, but their proliferation is now a problem. Cities have been organised around the car with fast, easy access to all areas, segregated urban functions and public space occupancy, thus leading to rocketing energy use.
This happened to the detriment of cyclists and pedestrians, conviviality and peaceful use of public space by children and the elderly. Once used as meeting points, streets have become almost insuperable walls separating the inhabitants.
Private cars are using a disproportionate amount of space in view of the service provided and the nuisances generated. Streets and parking areas, as well as many places and interstices, are not permanently occupied by cars but cannot be used for other purposes. We need multi-functional, balanced, intense and safe public spaces to reduce our energy use and improve quality of life.

Proposal

The establishment of a Highway Code made it possible for cars to move around without causing too much damage.
A Street Code is a set of rules regulating public space sharing between users. It puts the most exposed people and the modes of transport presenting the highest risk factor first. This gives the following order of priority: playing in the street, going to the shops on foot, cycling to work, taking public transport, delivery fleets and private car traffic.

Conditions for success

  • Designing public spaces as convivial meeting places.
  • Designing the street code as a component of an urban planning policy focused on people rather than on objects.
  • Applying the street code in city neighbourhoods so as to facilitate access to local public and private services.
  • Making the street code an intergenerational (children, parents, old people) and multi-player (schools, shops) dialogue tool at the district level.
  • Explaining with pedagogy the changes made possible by the street code.


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Cities and towns that show the way

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