The city of Pontevedra in northwest Spain has become a leader in walker-friendly urban policy over the past 15 years. As the capital of its province, county and municipality, Pontevedra attracted enough automobile commuters each day to overwhelm its antiquated streets.
In response, instead of razing old buildings and constructing bigger roads, the city council widened sidewalks, established a free bike-lending service, installed speed bumps and set a speed limits of 30 kilometers per hour. They even banned motorized transport in sections of Pontevedra. Walking zones now extend from the historic center to streets and squares in newer neighborhoods. Although the driving ban initially faced resistance, it is now broadly supported and has become an essential part of the city's identity as an attractive place to live...
To further improve walkability, Pontevedra's city council produced a map that visualizes the distances and travel times between key places on foot. Known as Metrominuto, the map has color-coded lines that resemble those of a subway guide. Free parking areas are marked to encourage visitors to leave their cars outside the city center. Metrominuto reminds residents and visitors that many automobile trips can be made in a more convenient, environmentally friendly and healthy way by walking.
Via Lauren Moss