Melbourne: A Pedestrian's Paradise

From Bogota to Istanbul to LA (LA!?), StreetFilms have been a great source for accessible yet detailed films that outline lessons in making streets more pedestrian, bicycle and mass-transit friendly, and in greening the cities that so many of us live in. Now their latest installment takes a look at Melbourne, and finds that many of today's most congested cities could learn a thing or two:

"Melbourne is simply wonderful. You can get lost in the nooks and crannies that permeate the city. As you walk you feel like free-flowing air with no impediments to your enjoyment. For a city with nearly 4 million people, the streets feel much like the hustle and bustle of New York City but without omnipresent danger and stress cars cause.

There is an invaluable lesson here. In the early 90s, Melbourne was hardly a haven for pedestrian life until Jan Gehl was invited there to undertake a study and publish recommendations on street improvements and public space. Ten years after the survey’s findings, Melbourne was a remarkably different place thanks to sidewalk widenings, copious tree plantings, a burgeoning cafe culture, and various types of car restrictions on some streets. Public space and art abound. And all of this is an economic boom for business."

The ever productive and insightful Clarence also points out another salient fact - Melbourne is a New World city, built around the motorcar, and provides ample evidence that those who say it can't be done in Indianapolis, Detroit or LA may be selling their cities short.

::StreetFilms::via a tip from our friend Clarence::

Tags: Air Quality | Australia | Bikes | Buses | Cities | Fuel Efficiency | Pollution | Trains

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