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Conference_programme: 14.1 - Knowledge and research gaps for a better implementation of the Environmental Noise Directive

Lecture: New urban structures, dream and reality

Author(s): Wolfert Henk

Urban design plays an important role. Not only in how people experience the liveability of their city or district but also how it interacts with mobility. As mobility, especially transport of goods and passengers, is still the dominant contributor to noise and other environmental pollutants in urban areas it is not enough to work on new mobility patterns solely. Also, the urban structure should be considered when planning new districts or re-considered in existing situations. Shape and structure of cities usually have a purpose. In medieval times, concentric cities were built. This due to the fortress that was built to protect the city from attacks. The circle is the shape with the smallest circumference relative to surface area. It was chosen for economic reasons. Enlargements were made in the same way. Examples of this structure can be found in the city centres of Amsterdam, Utrecht and Cologne. However, in those times cars and trucks were not seen as a threat or enemy affecting human health. On the contrary, Haussmann's renovation (1853-1870) restructuring Paris gave the city its present form with long, straight and wide boulevards. Haussmann's restructuring made Paris popular throughout the world. The wide roads meant that the army and police could travel quickly throughout Paris in order to quash the riots that often took place at that time. On the other hand, the Haussmann’s plan has – probably unintentionally - opened Paris up for cars and another kind of motorised vehicles. The city now faces many problems such as noise, poor air quality, congestion, fragmentation of the city, et cetera. Many European cities have road structures that are inviting to cars; some examples are Belfast, Rotterdam and Gothenburg. These traffic arterials should be re-built into more spacious and attractive veins, offering space for pedestrians, bikers, green and public transport.

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Corresponding author

Name: Mr henk wolfert

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Country: Netherlands