- Published: 01 December 2022
Survey of residents in London, Paris and New York reveals they want to see less cars in their cities and support more space to pedestrians and cyclists.
A survey reveals more than two-thirds of people living in London, Paris and New York would like to see fewer cars in their cities. In addition, more than half of those surveyed in London (51 per cent) support the city centre being completely car-free, with exemptions for car-sharing clubs, taxis and cars used by disabled people.
These were among the findings of a survey conducted by Survation on behalf of the Car Free Megacities campaign.
The Car Free Megacities campaign is calling on the mayors of each of the three cities to take bolder action to reduce car dominance in their cities. The campaign recently produced pedestrianised visions of heavily car-centric areas in each of their cities (Hyde Park Corner in London, Place de la Concorde in Paris, and Grand Army Plaza in New York) and are urging the mayors to meet these ambitions and take the action the climate crisis requires.
Across London, Paris, and New York, support for fewer cars being present in cities stood at 72 per cent, 66 per cent, and 72 per cent respectively while support for giving more space to pedestrians and cyclists on city streets stood at 68 per cent, 70 per cent, and 71 per cent respectively. Support for cities going completely car-free – with exemptions for car-sharing clubs and cars used by disabled people – stood at 51 per cent, 45 per cent and 49 per cent respectively.
A similarity arose across the three cities in the polling as their top three concerns about cars in cities all encompassed dangerous driving, carbon emissions, and air pollution. The polling also looked at concern over climate change and whether political leaders should be pursuing bolder action on the issue, all of which returned overwhelming support.
The majority of people involved in the polling across the cities also did not own cars with 66 per cent not owning a car in London, 70 per cent in Paris, and 65 per cent in New York. In addition, 61 per cent of people in London, 68 per cent of people in Paris, and 54 per cent of people in London said that if public transport were free, they would use it to replace either most or all of the journeys they currently take by car.
The Car Free Megacities is about creating more urban space for people and nature, clearing cities of air pollution and promoting healthy, active travel like walking and cycling. It is a collaboration between climate charity Possible, think tank the New Weather Institute, Paris sans Voiture, Brooklyn Spoke, Transportation Alternatives, Westminster University’s Active Travel Academy, and Glimpse, supported by the KR Foundation, and Brompton.
“And this isn’t a surprise. Cities free from car dominance are safer, healthier, happier and greener. Policymakers and political leaders need to make bold, transformative decisions to ensure that walking, wheeling and cycling, and public transport, especially buses, are top priorities. Then we’ll have cities that work for people and the planet.”
Cathy Lamri of Paris Sans Voiture, and project manager for Car Free Megacities in Paris, said: “This survey shows us, if traffic was radically reduced in London, New York and Paris, that the majority of city dwellers in our three major cities would be thrilled. They want to live in a peaceful city, where their children can move around safely, breathe clean air, and where nature and biodiversity have their place. All these things will help us build resilient cities that will be able to adapt to climate challenges – the need and the desire for traffic reduction are universal.”
Doug Gordon, a livable streets activist in Brooklyn, and project manager for Car Free Megacities in Paris, added: “Making areas of cities car-free or car-lite is often portrayed in the press as controversial, but when you actually ask people what they want it’s clear that having the option to enjoy spaces with fewer cars is popular. Creating places for people, not cars is not just good for health, or even a necessary part of fighting climate change, it’s also a political winner.”
Quelle/Source: Smart Cities World, 21.11.2022