How would your everyday life change if you turned the street in front of your house into a park, picnic area, and playground? For 10 weeks this summer, 22 streets in Ghent, Belgium became “Living Streets” and put astroturf and picnic tables in the place of busy streets and parking spaces. Through the experiment, which was first held in the summer of 2013, neighbors saw more opportunities to connect with each other and entertain outside, children had more space to play, and residents were allowed a break from concerns with traffic on the busy streets. Initiated as a way to support car free streets, the program also allows people to consider how much they really need their cars.
Climate Protection: Allows people to reconsider how much they drive their car, potentially decreasing use and emissions
Health, Well-Being, & Safety: Lowers emissions in areas where people live and children play, decreases nearby traffic safety concerns, and encourages residents to get outside and slow down
Connection: Increases socialization between neighbors and helps to bring people outside into nature
This post is part of a series on examples of multisolving, or climate-smart policies that simultaneously work to mitigate climate change while providing co-benefits such as the ones described above. The multiple benefits analysis was done using the FLOWER framework.