Strøget District

Copenhagen, Denmark

Contributed by Project for Public Spaces

This network of streets in Copehagen is a pedestrian paradise.

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Why It Works

The remarkable network of pedestrian streets in the Strøget District of Copenhagen offers a valuable primer in how to reclaim urban space from traffic. Beginning in 1962, at the urging of local architect and planner Jan Gehl, a few center-city streets were given over to pedestrians.

Though initially met with skepticism by car-loving Danes who claimed that public street life was strictly for southern Europeans, the pedestrianized area soon became very popular with Copenhagers of all ages. Gradually, over the years, the pedestrian network has expanded, offering an important lesson according to Gehl. Big changes all at once fuel a backlash; small changes over a period of time are much better accepted.

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