New strolling zones in Graz/Austria

By News Editor / Updated: 06 May 2015

The strolling zones in Graz present a new traffic solution: priority for pedestrians but not totally excluding car use. Four such zones were implemented in Graz. Citizens participation concepts were tested for the first time in Graz.Achievements were a boost in commercial activity and substantial reduction of car traffic and on street parking.

Objectives / Innovative Aspects

Various restrictions for cars have already been implemented during the last years. The city centre has many pedestrian precincts and the city administration put a lot of effort in the promotion of cycling. But there is still a lack of a special zone neither excluding car traffic totally nor a pedestrian precinct.
The new strolling zones present a good traffic solution for pedestrians - wider and more attractive pavements - whilst not totally excluding car use.

The Measure

Four strolling zones were implemented:
 

  • Freiheitsplatz:

A central spot around the monument is a “strolling zone” for pedestrians and includes a café with an outdoor garden, heavily frequented during summer months. The square was equipped with additional cycle racks.

  • Karmeliterplatz:

The square could be redesigned due to the fact that a new parking garage was built partly beneath it. The parking garage enables a major reduction of surface parking spaces on Karmeliterplatz and adjacent Freiheitsplatz.

  • Obere Neutorgasse:

For the first time in Graz the method of the “Bürgerbeteiligungsverfahren” was applied.>This is an intensive form of citizens participation, the result being a so-called “Bürgergutachten” - a citizens advisory opinion. It is the plan to put almost all of the recommendations from this opinion into practise, due to budgetary limitations only the first steps have been realised

  • Kunsthaus-area:

The opening of the new Kunsthaus involved the redesign of the urban space around the Kunsthaus. This connects directly with the redesign of the Neutorgasse and the opposing riverbank. These redesigns are integrated into one aesthetic concept.

Implementation Status

All four “strolling zones” along two axes were implemented: axe 1 Kunsthaus - Neutorgasse, axe 2 Karmeliterplatz - Freiheitsplatz.
There were also accompanying marketing campaigns and evaluations.

Results

The establishment of strolling zones boosted commercial activity (bars, shops etc.), whilst reducing noise and emissions in the strolling zones.

  • In the case of Neutorgasse shopowners were strictly against a pedestrian zone and residents strongly pro. With the help of the “Bürgerbeteiligungsverfahren” a good compromise could be found
  • On the Karmeliterplatz and Freiheitsplatz there was a longlasting conflict about blocking a street that was used to pass through the historical centre. It was resolved by introducing the strolling zone.
Topic: 
Walking and cycling
Traffic and demand management
Archive
Country: 
Austria
City: 
Graz
Contact: 
Fischer Thomas
Author: 
Fischer Thomas
Keywords: 
infrastructure
parking management
pedestrian zones
speed calming measures
traffic control management
22 Sep 2006
06 May 2015