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Rethinking roads as public spaces

05 June 2024

Aotearoa New سԹis highly car-centric, with bigger cities like Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland dedicating significant amounts of land to roads and parking.

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While roads and car parks are not often thought about as public spaces, New Zealanders pay to use them.

Professor of Human Geography, believes Barcelona’s “superblocks” model offers an alternative, where traffic is limited and space is repurposed for public use, leading to benefits such as reduced pollution and increased economic activity.

Key recommendations from the superblocks model include rethinking large infrastructure projects, optimising bus networks, better managing on-street parking, redirecting traffic to prioritise people, investing in public spaces and encouraging urban density. By implementing these changes, Aotearoa New Zealand’s urban landscapes could be totally transformed.

Professor Kingham discusses this concept further on The Conversation.

Disclosure statement

From 2018 to the end of May 2024, Simon Kingham was chief scientist at the NZ Ministry of Transport.


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