Energy Cities proposition 33 - Design a street code to favour walking and cycling

Urban planning as a way of reducing energy use


Energy Cities

Energy Cities is a network of more than 1,000 cities in 30 different countries. Convinced that energy transition is more than a question of renewable energy or advanced technologies, Energy Cities proposes to use resources in a reasoned way, to strengthen local participation and to improve the quality of life in a democratic Europe. In 2014, the network presents 30 proposals for the Energy Transition of Territories.

They are a source of inspiration to think and act differently. To finally turn the page on unsustainable practices that lead us into energy, climate and perhaps economic and social dead ends.

To download : cahier_short_jan2014_en.pdf (6.8 MiB)

Energy Cities proposition 33 - Design a street code to favour walking and cycling

The problem at hand

Private cars have long been a symbol of urban dynamism and freedom for citizens, but their proliferation is now a problem. Cities have been organised around the car with fast, easy access to all areas, segregated urban functions and public space occupancy, thus leading to rocketing energy use.

This happened to the detriment of cyclists and pedestrians, conviviality and peaceful use of public space by children and the elderly. Once used as meeting points, streets have become almost insuperable walls separating the inhabitants.

Private cars are using a disproportionate amount of space in view of the service provided and the nuisances generated. Streets and parking areas, as well as many places and interstices, are not permanently occupied by cars but cannot be used for other purposes. We need multi-functional, balanced, intense and safe public spaces to reduce our energy use and improve quality of life.


The establishment of a Highway Code made it possible for cars to move around without causing too much damage.

A Street Code is a set of rules regulating public space sharing between users. It puts the most exposed people and the modes of transport presenting the highest risk factor first. This gives the following order of priority: playing in the street, going to the shops on foot, cycling to work, taking public transport, delivery fleets and private car traffic.

Conditions for success


To go further