Pontevedra, a city in northwest Spain, had a problem. As the capital of its province, county and municipality, Pontevedra was attracting a ton of automobile traffic. The solution? Eduardo Ares explains on the Polis blog that instead of constructing wider roads, “They widened sidewalks, established a free bike-lending service, installed speed bumps and set a speed limit of 30 kilometers per hour throughout the city,” adding that in some sections of the city any form of motor transport is prohibited. To further encourage walking, Pontevedra’s City Council created a map that visualizes the distance between key places in the city, complete with approximate travel times. Free parking areas are noted on the map, encouraging visitors to leave their cars away from the city center.
Source: Pontevedra City Council
Metrominuto and Pontevedra’s urban restructuring program have received a variety of accolades in Spain and Europe. Ares put it best: “Metrominuto reminds residents and visitors that many automobile trips can be made in a more convenient, environmentally friendly and healthy way by walking.”