From Oslo to Hamburg. The cities giving up on cars

Una rivoluzione verde quella che sta coinvolgendo i centri di molte città europee. Puntando su trasporto pubblico, ciclabile e sullo sharing.

Oslo’s announcement, made just a few days ago, comes all the way from the city council: cars will be banned from the city centre by 2019. Moreover, the council will build at least 60 kilometres of bicycle lanes in order to favour bike mobility.


oslo bike sharing
Bike sharing in Oslo. Photo: Edu Plaza/Flickr


“We want to have a car-free centre,” said Lan Marie Nguyen Berg of the Green Party. “We want to make it better for pedestrians, cyclists. It will be better for shops and everyone”. This is nothing more than the latest signal towards emissions reduction and sustainable mobility. Oslo was one of the first cities to invest in electric mobility: it already has 4,000 electric vehicles charging stations.


It is not the only city willing to ban cars from the old town. For instance, Helsinki, other capital of the Scandinavian peninsula, will be car-free by 2025. It will increase public transport and enhance bicycle mobility.

England is also taking similar steps. Cambridge can be entered by car only by travelling one single road, whilst it can be entered freely by bike, public transport and on foot. The experiment is having success: the city centre revived, commercial services included.


bike bicycle cambridge
Bikes in Cambridge. Photo: vic xia/Flickr


Not to mention Hamburg, likely to become Europe’s greenest city. Public parks, green areas, and bicycle lanes network will lead, according to administrators, to abandon cars within 20 years. Moreover, Paris will double bicycle lanes by 2020, whilst speed limit in the city centre will be set to 30 km/h.


What about Italy? Milan has reduced car traffic thanks to Area C (restricted traffic area), car and bike sharing, and the opening of two new metro lines. “Ten years ago, in Milan there were 65 cars in 100 inhabitants, today 51 in 100. In 2014, car registrations decreased by 15,000 compared to 2013 and by 38,000 compared to 2011,” said assessor Pierfrancesco Maran.


milano bikemi
BikeMi a Milano. Foto Rudi Bressa/LifeGate


These figures demonstrate how the offer of new mobility opportunities is essential to a more sustainable mobility. This allows us to compete with large European cities in the field of sustainability”.


Cover photo: urban_lenny/

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