Madrid has realised the benefit of banning cars and increasing footfall – and it’s not the only city to take heed.
Madrid is the latest European city attempting to make its downtown streets more pedestrian-friendly. This week Madrid’s mayor announced that from November, all non-resident vehicles will be barred from the central zone following the creation of three Residential Priority Zones across the city since 2005. And it’s not just Spain. Copenhagen is building bike superhighways branching out from its city centre and London has promised to make large parts of Oxford Street car-free by 2020. While such moves don’t equate to an end of urban car use, European cities are realising that curbing automobiles to make cities friendlier for pedestrians is just as important as lowering emissions to hit environmental targets.