Are ‘superblocks’ the future for safe and clean cities?

Many cities are now ruled by traffic jams but Barcelona has come up with an ingenious plan to give the streets back to the people. 

It plans to roll out the idea of ‘superblocks’, which will cut down on pollution and create areas where kids can safely play in the street. This plan really excites me as I am always pushing for more car-free spaces in cities and innovative ideas on ways we can cut pollution.

It’s a wonderful place to try out the idea – it’s a city I’ve been to many times and there’s nothing more enjoyable than strolling around and taking in the stunning architecture. 


Their idea is to square off sections of the city and only allow the majority of the traffic, including buses, to use routes around the perimeter.

Only local vehicles travelling under 10mph will be allowed to drive inside the section and all these streets will be one way loops – so no one would want to use them as a cut-through.

If that’s a bit tricky to grasp – this picture did the job for me! 

The idea has the potential to create a city centre which is more fun, social, safe and sustainable. 

I would love to see ideas like this reimagined for other cities around the world. It’s just one idea for making cities better, more sustainable places to live and work.

Take a look at the Carbon War Room-Rocky Mountain Institute’s work for more ideas ranging from super-efficient buildings to mobility transformation. 


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