The Impact of Making a City Centre Car-Free
Szarata et al. (2017) defined a car-free city as introducing legislative restrictions by city governments on car traffic and/or parking to increase the economic vitality and attractiveness of the city centres. Consequently, Wylie (2019) defined the same concept as an area within a city centre where the utilisation of private cars is significantly limited and movement by public transport, walking, and cycling is prioritised. Ideally, car-free city centres emerged in response to the increasing understanding of the need to limit the utilisation of cars in the city centres (Wylie, 2019). Specifically, car-free city initiatives are implemented for various reasons, including the declared global aim of lowering greenhouse gas emissions to benefit public health, among other short- and long-term sectors.
Nonetheless, according to Garling
(2007), the implementation of car-free cities is one of the most controversial
and sensitive concepts in implementing various transport policies across cities
in the globe. For instance, in the case of Oslo City, Norway, this type of
initiative is equally supported and rejected among the stakeholders, with the
government agencies, municipalities, climate, and health groups supporting
while the society as a whole rejecting (Rydningen et al., 2017). The protesting
groups are car users and owners of commercial and restaurant services, among other
city entrepreneurs who fear a decline in business activities and the related
income. They believe that motorised consumers are wealthier than pedestrians
and public transport users and have a higher purchasing power than their later counterparts
(Szarata et al., 2017).
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