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Car Free Oslo

Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

Car Free Oslo

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Old 01-27-19, 10:12 PM
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jon c. 
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Car Free Oslo

Interesting article on changes in Oslo:

https://www.fastcompany.com/90294948...cally-car-free
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Old 01-28-19, 09:02 AM
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Oslo's Vice Mayor -- “I think it is important that we all think about what kind of cities we want to live in. I am certain that when people imagine their ideal city, it would not be a dream of polluted air, cars jammed in endless traffic, or streets filled up with parked cars.”

Exactly.

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Old 01-28-19, 10:40 PM
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Unfortunately, many American cities lack the compact centers needed to make this work to any real advantage.
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Old 01-30-19, 04:34 PM
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I actually used the same link to boost an old thread on the topic, but a new thread is maybe better. Here is the old thread: https://www.bikeforums.net/living-ca...-car-free.html but in my latest post I now recommend this thread
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Old 01-31-19, 11:46 AM
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But while business owners initially worried about the city creating a ghost town that no one would visit, the opposite seems to be true; as in other cities that have converted some streets to pedestrian-only areas, the areas in Oslo that have been pedestrianized are some of the most popular parts of the city, Marcussen says.
That's actually not good news in the sense that the idea that it's bad for business has been disproven decades ago and it keeps popping up.

Originally Posted by jon c. View Post
Unfortunately, many American cities lack the compact centers needed to make this work to any real advantage.
Yes, but cities will only get denser and therefore in a way more compact, so in the long term the advantage wil get bigger.
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Old 01-31-19, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Stadjer View Post
Yes, but cities will only get denser and therefore in a way more compact, so in the long term the advantage wil get bigger.
What makes you think so? Do you have (m)any U.S. cities in mind that are getting "denser" or more "compact" as measured by any credible set of metrics?
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Old 01-31-19, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
What makes you think so? Do you have (m)any U.S. cities in mind that are getting "denser" or more "compact" as measured by any credible set of metrics?
No. Urbanization will continue so cities will grow and most cities will meet some natural barriers if they keep spreading out. There's also the nature of cities, they work because travel distances/times are limited. Otherwise buildings would be much more evenly spread out over the land.
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Old 01-31-19, 08:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Stadjer View Post
No. Urbanization will continue so cities will grow and most cities will meet some natural barriers if they keep spreading out. There's also the nature of cities, they work because travel distances/times are limited. Otherwise buildings would be much more evenly spread out over the land.
It hasn't worked that way in much of the US. Small to mid sized cities, especially those that grew in the post war era, became very decentralized. The city I live in was substantially built after 1970. Residential and commercial areas are spread over a wide area. The central city is largely populated with lawyers and lobbyists. There's little retail and no night life. The city planners have always wanted to make the area more vibrant and there's a longstanding plan to make one street car free for a couple of blocks. They haven't pulled that off in 30 years.
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Old 02-01-19, 11:52 AM
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My area definitely has been seeing an increase in population density. As for "more compact," I don't know how that's measured. It's not like people are fleeing the surrounding areas, but the overall population is rising, and lots of new housing is going into the downtown area, which has become the desirable place to live. I'm pretty sure that population is rising downtown a lot faster than it is rising in surrounding areas. When I moved here almost 20 years ago, downtown was kind of weird. Government buildings, and places for the workers to get lunch, but it kind of felt like a ghost town, moreso in the evenings when everyone went home. But there has been a resurgence in interest in downtown. We've gone from a scattering of bars and small music venues to a pretty big nightlife scene, and several condos and apartment buildings have gone in and are commanding more rent than I'm willing to pay. We still live on the outskirts, about 7 or 8 mile bike ride to the city center. Meanwhile the city government is trying to cope by trying to establish better transit and make the city more safe for biking and walking, but car culture is strong here, and there is a lot of pushback on every bit of non-car infrastructure. It's an uphill battle, but at least the government seems aware that to achieve real density downtown, they have to allow for people living there and coming and going without a car. I get by without one out in outskirts, but if I lived downtown, it'd be a cinch. Even my bike would get less use because 90% of the places I frequent are within a 2 mile circle.
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Old 02-06-19, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
What makes you think so? Do you have (m)any U.S. cities in mind that are getting "denser" or more "compact" as measured by any credible set of metrics?
THey're doing both actually: spreading out but getting denser at the core - see eg.How Can Cities Get Denser and Sprawl at the Same Time?
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Old 02-11-19, 08:03 PM
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But the center is generally where the political and business elite live, where amenities are located, and where good jobs are concentrated. It’s where most innovation occurs.

That really isn't true in a lot of American cities. The largest cities may fit this mold, but many small and mid sized cities do not. The city I live in is the state capital. A newer city in terms of significant growth, it has a small residential population in the center city. Outside of the governor, the elite haven't lived near the central city in many years. The majority of the state workforce is now housed in an office park built a decade ago to anchor a new housing development located 4 or 5 miles from the city center. It is closer to the center than much of the new residential housing built in the last 30 years, so in a sense the intent is to revitalize the city but it's still too far away to facilitate combined high density infrastructure.

Amenities? They increase the further away you get from the center. Although there is now a small supermarket in the area. It's just a very decentralized city. And that's not simply because most of the growth has come in the last 50 years. The city I grew up in was an older and once more centralized city. But the central city for collapsed as a retail center and severely shrank as a business center. As the suburbs grew, more and more businesses moved to the outer ring. There are now some areas that are being revived as hip residential sections, but never again will the majority of workers head toward the city center every day.

The idea of a traffic free city center like Oslo is a delightful dream, but to create even a pale imitation of that in many US cities would take a tremendous investment and a great deal of cooperative effort. We have enough money invested in construction in recent years that something interesting could have been created. But there wasn't the sort of leadership and cooperative effort necessary to pull together something grand and amazing. In retrospect I can envision how it could have been done, but I can't imagine leadership dynamic enough to have ever pulled it off.
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Old 02-12-19, 09:27 AM
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In some instances personal car ownership is impractical-- e.g., in its high-flying heyday, purchasing a parking space in Tokyo was $1M. In NYC you may be limited to taking an elevator to work and home. Otherwise, many are better off both financially and psychically having options, such as owning a automobile... even if it doesn't run on unicorns and gumdrops.
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Old 02-18-19, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by jon c. View Post
Interesting article on changes in Oslo:

https://www.fastcompany.com/90294948...cally-car-free
Good post.

I created the original one about carfree in Oslo. I didn't realize they are continuing development on the dream.

I like the fact they are giving grants for those looking to purchase and use electric bikes! I'm impressed since I don't know of any city that's subsidizing costly e-bikes. The city is also adding new trams instead of buses! Again, I'm impressed they are spending hundreds of millions on a costly street level rail network. I've been saying for years if you want car freedom to explode build trams with a 15 minute headway 7 days a week and charge 50% of the current bus fare.

From the article:
To help support the shift, the city made “massive improvements in public transport and making cycling safe and comfortable,” says Rune Gjøs, Oslo’s head of cycling. The city is adding new trams and metro lines and more frequent departures, and lowering the cost of tickets. For the last few years, the city has also been quickly building out a better-connected bike network, converting parking to bright-red bike lanes. It handed out grants to help citizens buy electric bikes. The city bike-share system has quickly grown, tripling to nearly 3 million trips a year between 2015 and 2018.
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