Here’s one for Louis le Francais: “Paris Leads With Innovation in the Streets.”


It now appears we need a little more Frenchness downtown; photo from the Louis le Francais Facebook page

Think of it as a corrective for those who insist that automotive rights come before quality of life. Livability in the whole city? What a concept.

Taking the Next Step: Paris Leads With Innovation in the Streets, by Stephane Kirkland (Project for Public Spaces)

In a 180-degree change from previous decades, during which public space was thought of mainly in terms of facilitating automobile circulation, the City of Paris has been implementing an ambitious strategy to rethink the role of the car in the city. The new approach, which puts the quality of the urban experience at the heart of urban policy, has led to a complete redefinition of Paris’s urban spaces …

… The City administration feels that Paris’s current default speed limit of 50 kilometers per hour (31 mph) is simply not compatible with shared use of public spaces. So it has set its sights on a major milestone: the implementation of a 20 kilometer per hour (12 mph) speed limit within the entire city limits, except for a small number of designated major arteries. Already it has started an aggressive expansion of the existing 20 kilometer per hour zones.

The City has started implementing a new “shared space” concept. Several streets have been given this new status, in which vehicle traffic does not have the right of way and all users are expected to share the space equally.