Reducing Car Traffic in Cities: Comparing Peri-urban and Suburban Examples in Switzerland and France

Special Report: The Road, between Networks and Territories
By Marc Dumont, Dominique von der Mühll

For more than three decades, European urban planning has sought to reduce the car traffic in urban centres, based on a whole range of instruments.
Gradually, these practices resulted in a general model for the creation of a new urban quality that we have now come to call “the pacified city.”
Currently these models are exported from city centres and implemented in peri-urban and suburban contexts of more diffused urbanization. This trend is exemplified by the rise of urban boulevards or open sky commercial malls.
At the same time, other specific street configurations developed directly or indirectly as a result of these specific transport policies (by-pass roads and loop lines, for instance).
Based on studies carried in Swiss and French contexts, this article is aimed, on the one hand, at elaborating a typology of the main characteristics and dysfunctions of those configurations and, on the other hand, at clarifying the essential urban and social issues raised by those streets as regards the territorial development of these spaces.

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