Vox takes a look at Barcelona’s plan to boost pedestrian space and mobility by implementing superilles or superblocks to minimize the presence of cars in urban centers. The way a superille works is by taking nine city blocks and imposing very low speed limits (10 kilometers per hour) on the streets between them, taking out the street parking, and closing access to through traffic so that buses and freight goes around the outside. Those changes essentially turn the interior streets into pedestrian malls. One city that implemented superilles found that noise pollution, nitrogen oxide emissions, and particle pollution dropped and commercial activity increased.
We covered Barcelona’s superilles here at The Urbanist too so check out this article for more information.
Doug Trumm is the executive director of The Urbanist. An Urbanist writer since 2015, he dreams of pedestrianizing streets, blanketing the city in bus lanes, and unleashing a mass timber building spree to end the affordable housing shortage and avert our coming climate catastrophe. He graduated from the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Washington. He lives in East Fremont and loves to explore the city on his bike.