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Reshaping Urban Public Space – ARPAT

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The initiatives to be undertaken are known but it is very difficult to do due to the resistance of the population because the administrations have the task of moving towards new systems of sustainable mobility

In this article we resume the summary of the symposium on a different management of road space in cities, which was held in Pisa at the Palazzo Blu.

Reclaiming a public urban space
As mentioned in the previous article, the topic of parking is fundamental if we intend to encourage sustainable mobility, bicycle use and pedestrian movements. The best option is to make parking difficult. The downtime factor is essential to changing the way we move around our urban centers – says Dundee. “It is a difficult issue for any administration.” No local administration has the courage to attack this issue, but it is the most important lever that can be worked on to start the transition towards sustainable mobility.

Amsterdam recently pledged, by 2025, to gradually remove 1,500 parking spaces to return public spaces to people. The same is done in Paris and Copenhagen. For example, the Danish capital’s administration decided to abolish car parks and remove road capacity from cars, even before bike paths were built. in Italy in 2008 bicicplan Reggio Emilia It has led to an increase in bicycle use by providing an increase in the prices of parking lots facing the center. This action was stronger and prompted people to bike despite several kilometers of previously built bike paths.

The rate increase was the measure to convince people to try to move in a different way in the city, much more than the bike path. Despite this evidence, the increase in tariffs today is a factor that remains very difficult to address in Italy.

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Another important factor is the quality of the public space. Dundee stresses that the roads in Italy are congested due to the regular presence of cars at every hour as if it was always rush hour. On the outside, on the other hand, the streets of urban centers look clean and have returned to their initial purpose where the lower presence of vehicles indicates a higher quality of the road intended to be a public space that returns to more vitality for the cultivation of green spaces equipped with benches and everything necessary to make it return to a social and social space .

Urban road network as a safe space
Another factor that should be given more attention is the daily carnage of road accidents, according to Dundee. The numbers are those of the war: one killed every two and a half hours, one wounded every 3 minutes on Italian urban roads, with an average of 9 killed and 661 wounded per day. 73.8% of accidents occur on urban roads, 21% on roads outside of cities and 5.3% on highways. But what is the acceptable number of deaths on the streets of Italian cities? According to Dundee, we should dial the number “0”. However, 99% of accidents today are caused by cars. In other European countries, says Dundee, roads look clean and have returned to their initial purpose as the lower presence of cars indicates a higher quality of the road as a public space, greater liveliness, and more reallocation to green areas thanks to pavement clearance interventions.

Sitting in the car to perform a few kilometers reduces the chances of physical exercise, and favors cases of overweight and obesity, moreover, studies confirm that movement is the basis of relational life and allows the individual to enter into a relationship with his peers, with those around. environment. The car culture has led man to a state of chronic sedentary lifestyle and the child has become a seated child. Data in Italy confirm this trend by detecting one in ten children as obese. The infant’s sedentary lifestyle has become a problem.

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Study data ISTC – CNR promoted Institute of Policy Studies in London, in a survey covering 15 countries in the world including Italy and Germany, reports that the independence of children in Italy to go to school has increased from 11% in 2002 to 7% in 2010. To provide the independence criterion for British children is 41% and Germans 40% They reach the school by themselves on foot or by bicycle. This shows how the issue of road safety is related to children’s independence, and thus their health.
London has begun closing streets facing school entrances to vehicular traffic 24 hours a day, turning streets into play areas (play street) to live and use before and after school. It is about creating places where children can play together, socialize, talk and meet before the educational situation. A similar initiative was taken in Paris which decided to completely close all 168 school buildings for the health of children and young people 24 hours a day.

The safety factor confirms, as it has been shown from all the research, that the main deterrent to walking or cycling in Italian cities is the dangerousness of the road. If the road is dangerous, it is difficult to convince potential users to use the bike. Therefore, it becomes necessary to work on the issue of safety to prepare all the necessary interventions so that they can become a truly aware and able to guide the choices.

for further information:

The Pisa Conference “Città 30 – Let’s run!” On 09/16/2022

WHO comprehensive road safety action plan (In English)

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