How can our streets become living streets ?

By Béatrice Karas on 6 September 2018

Are you rethinking public space in your city? Get inspired by 8 European cities where collaborating citizens, businesses, local authorities, associations enable inhabitants to temporarily transform their streets in the place they have always dreamed of.

Cities are vast and powerful. They are highly resource intensive but they are also melting pots of ideas and experiences. In order to create more sustainable cities, we need to make sure that the challenges they bring with them are met with creative solutions. Ideas must come from the streets and be co-created by the municipal bodies and the residents. This is an essential element of the concept of Living Streets and the reason why you will find so many inspiring examples in the pages of this guidebook.

One of the main strategic questions of this experiment is how we can organise our daily lives without using our cars as much as we do today. By removing cars and finding other places for parking, new space becomes available for other functions. Other diverse aspects are taken into account such as: socialising, risk of exclusion, avoiding isolation, safety, street prostitution, noise pollution, urban agriculture, pedestrianisation and the environment at large.

In the case studies presented in the guidebook, you will find examples of projects that not only put people first but also influenced them in a very practical way. We have heard stories of growing local economies, sprouting of businesses, increased security and better infrastructure.

So we are inviting you to read this guidebook to get inspired by the diverse strategies, initiatives, stories of cities and people.

Living streets - from citizen engagement to citizen ownership Living streets - from citizen engagement to citizen ownership

A guidebook for municipalities
Today, European cities face challenges in urban planning and other societal issues, such as job creation, climate change, land use, immigration and so on, but are also the best placed to find solutions. At the same time local authorities are no longer perceived to be the only actor to solve complex issues faced in cities. Local authorities, businesses and residents more than ever need each other to find creative solutions to challenge their way of thinking, acting and learning. We believe that in every city there are many people from different backgrounds, from companies, local associations and municipalities ready to join forces and search for these solutions. Through the Living Streets we bring the energy and creativity of people together and are making the city of tomorrow visible today.

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