Barcelona plans to eliminate traffic from 60% of roads in 2017 with its new "superblocks", says Fast Company writer Adele Peters. The grids of superblocks, which will replace formerly high-traffic intersections, will be closed off to non-resident cars and will be converted into pedestrian-friendly squares.
A superblock is made up of several city blocks, and traffic will be re-routed around the square. Residents of the neighborhood will be able to drive at a slow speed, but pedestrians and cyclists will have priority on the roads. The plan will also bring more green space and parks to the urban areas and decrease pollution from cars.
"The superblocks are intended to put an end to the predominance of the car in the streets, taking away road space and returning it to pedestrians," says Irene Capdevila from the city's environmental agency. "They lead to a decrease in traffic that will certainly be visible in terms of air pollution or noise."