20 Good Reasons for Street Transformations in Neighbourhoods

EU Metamorphosis Project
Publication date: 
April 2019
Document file: 

Document types:

Document weight:

Document geography:

Geographical spread:


The concept of roads has been around for a long time, much longer than we have had cars. In the past, the space between the houses in our cities has been used for a variety of activities and purposes, including work, entertainment, communication, as a marketplace and for transport. Of course, our streets were also the perfect place for children to develop – to play, to argue, to fraternise, to grow up, and to become better adjusted to society. This has been the case for many centuries, but the situation changed radically over the last 60 years. The colourful multifunctionality of the street space became the monoculture of cars and other traffic, which is dominated by motor vehicles. The human city space has become a room full of combustion-energy machines. In this transition, children were left behind; like everything else that interfered with the free flow of motorised traffic, they were cleared out of the way. Instead, special reservations for children were built. We call them playgrounds! Because playing and lingering in their living environment was no longer possible. The street had become a hostile space, full of fear and danger, and it still is today. Children are even trained on how to survive in this environment. We call this traffic education! However, there are small glimmers of hope pointing to a way out of this motorised dead-end street. Step by step, ‘living streets’ make play on the street possible again, parklets (converted parking lots) turn machine compounds into friendly communication spaces, and school environments can be freed from car traffic and returned to children. These are just some examples, and this brochure will tell you about the 20 good reasons for giving back the street space to people, and above all to children!