A serious attempt should be made by both politicians and urban planning advocates to implement permanent changes in cities’ infrastructure, if we are to eliminate air, noise and visual pollution that have drastically compromised our health and quality of life. It is a people-friendly urban environment that creates social cohesiveness and a liveable city.
The predominant emphasis solely on economic development has warped our priorities and values at the expense of public concerns and deteriorated infrastructure. Debilitating smog and gridlock and an ever expanding sprawl is the result of unrestrained automobile and truck transport. A resident of a typical dense Dutch city produces half the CO2 as a resident of a typical sprawling Canadian city, Japan Times, 8 May 2003. Levels considered acceptable for PCBs, dioxins and other pollutants in Canada are several times higher than US., European Union and World Health Organization standards.
European cities and around the world have successfully implemented car-free areas demonstrating an innovative and progressive vision. The contribution of renowned architect Jan Gehl of the Copenhagen Group: Jan Gehl, Lars Gemzoe and David Yenken to Copenhagen’s infrastructure, has been recognized as the best environmental design in improving public life and alleviating congestion without limiting mobility. Car-free zones or pedestrianization, figure prominently in the city.