Pedestrian zones (also known as auto-free zones and car-free zones, and as pedestrian precincts in British English) are areas of a city or town reserved for pedestrian-only use and in which some or all automobile traffic may be prohibited. They are instituted by communities who feel that it is desirable to have pedestrian-only areas. Converting a street or an area to pedestrian-only use is called pedestrianisation.
Pedestrian zones have a great variety of attitudes or rules towards human-powered vehicles such as bicycles, inline skates, skateboards and kick scooters. Some have a total ban on anything with wheels, others ban certain categories, others segregate the human-powered wheels from foot traffic, and others still have no rules at all. Many of Middle Eastern casbas have no wheeled traffic, but use donkey-driven or hand-driven carts for freight transport. W
Streets designed primarily with the interests of pedestrians and cyclists in mind and as a social space where people can meet and where children may also be able to play legally and safely. These roads are still available for use by motor vehicles, however their design aims to reduce both the speed and dominance of motorised transport. This is often achieved using the shared space approach, with greatly reduced demarcations between vehicle traffic and pedestrians. Vehicle parking may also be restricted to designated bays. It became popular during the 1970´s in the Netherlands, which is why the Dutch word for a livingstreet (woonerf) is often used as a synonym.
Country-specific living street implementations include: complete streets (United States and Canada), home zone (United Kingdom), residential zone (ru:Жилая зона, Russia) shared zone (Australia / New Zealand), woonerf (Netherlands and Flanders) and zone résidentielle (France). W
An urban design approach which seeks to minimise demarcations between vehicle traffic and pedestrians, often by removing features such as curbs, road surface markings, traffic signs, and regulations. Typically used on narrower streets within the urban core and as part of living streets within residential areas, the approach has also been applied to busier roads, including Exhibition Road in Kensington, London. W
A transportation policy and design approach (United States and Canada), that requires streets to be planned, designed, operated, and maintained to enable safe, convenient and comfortable travel and access for users of all ages and abilities regardless of their mode of transportation. Complete Streets allow for safe travel by those walking, bicycling, driving automobiles, riding public transportation, or delivering goods. W
A bicyclist in a bike lane in Toronto