The architect and professor of Urbanism at the Polytechnic University of Barcelona, Joaquín Sabaté, has warned that “we must limit the space for cars in cities” and in relation to the problems of Tenerife assured that the island “has clearly exceeded its carrying capacity, but that only means that, even more so, it must adopt more radical measures“.
The professor, who lived in Tenerife and gave a lecture at the ‘Mobility, Transport and Decarbonization Cycle’, organized by the Royal Economic Society of Friends of the Country of Tenerife in collaboration with the Canary Islands Cultural Foundation of Engineering and Architecture Betancourt y Molina, analyzed the future of mobility in cities, and pointed out that the current growth “occurs throughout the territory, where activity and population are dispersed and, therefore, mobility increases notably ”.
This poses different challenges in different cities and “projecting the territory in times of uncertainty forces us to work with different scenarios, where the only stable thing is continuous change,” he commented.
In his opinion, “mobility, the environment or housing policy are absolutely fundamental issues to ensure a better city and, fortunately, they are increasingly on the public agenda, although they are often approached from sectoral perspectives and the important thing is that they are try with an overview ”.
Sabaté also cited parking and loading and unloading of goods as fundamental issues.
Thus, he said that parking should be redirected at origin whenever possible, restricted on the surface, and in areas such as the historic center penalize it by paying and limiting hours.
On the other hand, he advocates eliminating loading and unloading in the center and, if possible, taking it to the periphery.
In addition, it proposes requiring sufficient parking spaces in the new buildings so as not to overload the public space and, in those of a commercial or industrial nature, provide loading and unloading areas within the building itself.
“The fundamental conclusion is that we must limit the space for the car because it tends to occupy everything that is allowed to occupy, in the future it is possible that in the central city only taxis, distribution and electric vehicles will be allowed,” he said.
“YOU HAVE TO BE MORE AMBITIOUS”
According to Sabaté, “it has been verified that in most cities 30% of the street surface is enough for road traffic and that would mean that the remaining surface could be reused for other functions and with other modes of movement”.
In this sense, he insisted that it is necessary to be “more ambitious” and face a global mobility plan that includes different modes of travel at the same time, prioritizes public transport, walking itineraries and fluidity and safety in road traffic.
From his point of view, to develop a mobility plan for cities, “obviously, one must begin with a diagnosis of the needs of each population group and the capacity of current networks, and then propose future scenarios. ”.
As he described, it is necessary to analyze “the spatial organization of the city and the uses that generate mobility, the accessibility of the network to detect which streets are necessary for a more balanced distribution of the route, the coverage of collective transport, the mobility of pedestrians and the capacity and characteristics of the road network ”.