Skip to Content

Removing Cars to Create Public Space

Cars dominate cities, especially in America. But as many cities in other countries have found, removing cars can turn busy streets into lively public places. Now the U.S. is starting to catch on.

Public space has a loose definition. It can be sidewalks, government buildings, or even streets, which account for nearly a third of the land area in an average city. But in people's minds, "public space" is a park or a forest or a beach - places associated with recreation, the out-of-doors and that "nature" thing we tend to divorce ourselves from. Making a connection between the idea of public space and the mundane reality of potholes and rush hour can be difficult. But by temporarily taking cars out of the picture, cities are converting the public space of streets into the public space of common perception.

It's an idea that started out in Latin America more than 30 years ago. The Colombian capital of Bogota began to prohibit cars from driving in certain parts of the city on Sundays, creating safer places for people to walk and bike. The event picked up in popularity and has grown to cover more than 70 miles of the city's streets, attracting more than a million residents every week.

Numerous other cities in Latin America and Europe have followed the lead of Bogota, but this is a trend that has only recently picked up in the United States. Portland, Oregon held its first street closure in June, New York City held three similar events in August, and San Francisco had two of its own in September. Chicago is the next major city to try it out, with two Sunday events this month. The main idea in each of these cities is the same: get cars off the streets and people on them.

For the full text, click on:

So, when is Bangalore going to follow the example?

Muralidhar Rao comment guidelines

Posting Guidelines apply for comments as well. No foul language, hate mongering or personal attacks. If criticizing third person or an authority, you must be fact based, as constructive as possible, and use gentle words. Avoid going off-topic no matter how nice your comment is. Moderators reserve the right to either edit or simply delete comments that don't meet these guidelines. If you are nice enough to realize you violated the guidelines, please save Moderators some time by editing and fixing yourself. Thanks!

about seo | forum