The United States is currently 4th in the world in terms of vehicle ownership (measured by vehicles per capita)—a statistic that is reflected in contemporary cities’ car-dominated infrastructure. Urbanism website Urb-i however, is intent on changing that, giving cities back to the people. To show that change is possible, the group compiled before and after photos of dozens of amazing street transformations from across the globe.
Noordwal, The Hague, Netherlands. (Courtesy Urb-i)
In an article by Time, car ownership hasn’t even reached its peak yet with sales still growing, however, research by Schroders Quartz indicates that car usage in the U.S. and indeed worldwide is on the decrease.Graph: Kilometers driven per capita Source: OECD, Schroders, 2014. (Courtesy Schroders)
In collecting these streetscape transformations, Urb-i demonstrates how public space can be opened up, views created, and a sense of urban democracy restored back to the areas where vehicles once ruled the roost. On its website, the group claims its mission is to “open the eyes” of people to transform streets: “sharing our knowledge of what it means good urban planning and how it influence on our experience.”
“Our goal is to design improvement ideas, generate interventions, play with people’s imagination, sweeping and provoking reactions and show that simple changes, you can change dynamics, perceptions, enhance and bring quality to the public spaces”
For more information on vehicle ownership in the U.S., here is an interactive map on cities that have the most vehicles per capita.