Major metropolitan cities in Europe step up their efforts to adjust inner city mobility to the people living in the centre of cities. Rather than priviliging commuters by fast entry and exit to inner cities through cars more and more cities privilege a slow down of transit speed (30 km/h) in residential areas or block roads to transit altoghether. Berlin is the first German city to enact a “mobility law” favouring bicycles through more bicycle lanes, more parking facilities for bikes or fast cycling networks. English summary
Brussels will introduce an interesting approach to mobility in inner cities by blocking car access to a central street during 7 a.m and 7 p.m (except for neighours and deliveries) and extend around this shopping and living area a 30 km/h zone. Residents of these areas will enjoy the main benefits of such moves. In July the reforms will take place.
Similar to Berlin and many other cities such changes should be carefully evaluated (before and after the changes ideally) to what extent they increase residents satisfaction, health as well as commercial impacts for these areas. Reducing stress levels of commercial drivers, commuters and more delivery services as well as health and safety in general in these areas has also a monetary value.
Road traffic is a good examle to analyze the overlapping areas of mobility, health and diversity. My course on “society and technology” covers this issue among others.
For the social science reader the work by Saskia Sassen is a good start for an introduction into the literature about the “Global City”. Just as an apetizer follow the link.