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Car-free city solutions in the Nordic capitals

Nordic capitals are planning increases in its car-free downtown areas.  

Photo: Shutterstock

Car free city centres are high on the political agenda in many European countries.

A new report describes car-free city centre solutions in Helsinki, Stockholm and Copenhagen. All three cities are working strategically with pedestrian prioritising and urban life. In their strategies, non-motorists are considered main contributors to urban life and vitality of downtown areas. New policy measures are applied and in many cases, significant increases in the car-free downtown area are planned in three Nordic capitals.

The pedestrian areas have different sizes and regulation. Goods distribution is allowed at given times in all three car-free areas. In Helsinki, goods delivery has partially been moved to an underground tunnel system. In both Copenhagen and Stockholm there are consolidation centres relieving the pedestrian zone.

The pedestrian areas in the three cities have been mapped and analysed. In addition, data about experiences gained with the arrangements have been obtained, and so has plans for future development. The report is particularly focused on how the car-free area is regulated in relation to city-centre visitors arriving by car or bike and goods deliveries. Data were gathered through literature studies and interviews with experts in the three cities. These were experts on urban and transport planning and delivery of goods. Data collection also includes a study visit to Helsinki.

The report was prepared with fundings from the Norwegian Public Roads Administration (Statens vegvesen) and the Nordic Road Association (Nordisk vägforum), and builds on the TOI report "European Cities with pedestrianised centre" published in 2016.

The new report is written in English, but you can read more in an English summary.


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