Design cities for people instead of cars by 2030

What will our cities look like in 2030 when we’ve run out of oil? The Our Cities Ourselves exhibition (June 24-Sept 11, 2010), a program of the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy provides an intriguing answer to that question by matching ten of the world’s top urban designers with ten of the world’s most dynamic cities. The general theme? From the exhibition…

“In the middle of the 20th century, cities across the U.S. were redesigned to accommodate the car. As people flocked to the suburbs, cities were retrofitted with highways and parking lots. Roads expanded, public transit declined and so did our cities. In the decades that followed, cities around the world imported this auto-dominant urban design and began to suffer from its devastating impact.

Our Cities Ourselves proposes an exciting alternative path. Underpinning the images on show are ten principles developed with Jan Gehl, the noted Danish urbanist (see Copenhagen the birthplace of the pedestrianization movement?). With these as foundations, the architects produced visions of iconic sites projected to experience at least a doubling of residents by 2030.”

Check out a quick slideshow of the ten proposals via Fast Company magazine’s How to Design Cities for People Instead of Cars presentation (or click on the image above). Here’s a quick recap highlighting what makes these proposed designs so darn pedestrian-friendly:

1. Ahmedabad, India – Pictured above, I believe this is the first image associated with India on this site. Pedestrian-only plaza; textured streets which bikes share equally with cars (and horses!); arcades, awnings, and outdoor dining areas shaded by trees providing a transition from building to street/plaza; a culture that supports micro cars and electric vehicles. HCP Design, India.

2. Budapest, Hungary – Underground roads and parking allowing a pedestrian-only waterfront. Varos-Teampannon and Kozlekedes, Budapest, Hungary.

3. Buenos Aires, Argentina – Redeveloping train tracks into a bicycle way fronted by human-scaled shops and housing. PALO Arquitecture Urbana, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

4. Dar Es Salam, Tanzania – Combining the previous two ideas, redeveloping train tracks into a pedestrian-only waterfront. David Adjaye, Adjaye Associates, born in Tanzania, offices in New York, London and Berlin.

5. Guangzhou, China – Redeveloping an elevated highway into a pedestrian promenade lined by shops/office/housing. Urbanus Architecture & Design, Shenzhen, China.

6. Jakarta, Indonesia – Redeveloping dirt roads into bike promenades, building roofs become park space. Budi Pradono Architects, Jakarta, Indonesia.

7. Johannesburg, South Africa – Mixed-use buildings, public market plazas at transit hubs. Osmond Lange Architects and Ikemeleng Architects, South Africa

8. Mexico City – Underground streets for cars, above ground streets for pedestrians, bikes, buses. Arquitectura 911sc, Mexico City.

9. New York City – Pedestrian-only park below Brooklyn Bridge. Terreform ONE and Michael Sorkin Studio, New York City.

10. Rio de Janiero, Brazil – Tree-lined pedestrian-only promenade; BRT and bike avenue. Fabrica Arquitetura and CAMPO CAMPO aud, Rio de Janiero, Brazil.

Thanks to Michelle Hoffman of The Burning Desire for the reference!

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