When Oslo decided to be the first European city to ban cars from its centre, businesses protested. So the city did the next best thing: it banned parking.
In 2015, when Oslo decided to be Europe’s first city to ban cars from its center, there was a strong backlash from local businesses and car owners. A year later, the City has a new solution: to ban parking. To be rolled out in three phases, this more gradual but equally radical plan holds that by 2019, all 650 downtown parking spots will be transformed into shared public spaces such as playgrounds, bike lanes, and seating areas.
But there was backlash.
The council changed its stated ambition to have a car-free city centre. It now wants the “fewest possible vehicles”. Drivers are by no means off the hook. “The goal is that people with cars will feel like they’re visitors, rather than owning the streets,” says Berg. “We’ll make it difficult for people to want to drive or get around by car.”