In recent years, the Centro has closed off three streets to vehicular traffic and has plans to convert more. Known for its museums, landmarks and busy markets, the area is now drawing more youthful crowds, thanks in part to shopping and nightlife on its pedestrian streets.
The street closure treatment has also deterred crime, according to local business owners. One of the zone’s biggest problems is residential vacancies. While Centro’s always bustling by day, it’s still desolate after dark in many spots.
The first walkway, Regina street, was inaugurated in 2008. Dubbed a “Cultural Pedestrian Corridor” by the government, it’s loaded with hip, laidback restaurants and mezcalerias.
Between new security cameras, a greater police presence and more nighttime activity, crime has diminished since the street’s transformation, say local businessmen and women.
Hopeful Footsteps in Mexico City’s Centro Histórico
Cutting Car Use at the Neighborhood Level
Getting people out of their cars is a common goal for many urban planners and even some developers. But the idea is not always so easy to achieve, especially in car-dependent places. Eight relatively new developments in Europe, however, offer insights into how small-scale projects can encourage alternate transportation options.