Vitoria-Gasteiz is a city where everything revolves around humans. It’s been walking since the very beginning of democracy and has focused on increasing its public space in order to keep it accessible for pedestrians. Vitoria-Gasteiz was recently hit with an issue – the threat of losing its human scale due to development – but what could have been a challenge turned into an opportunity for change, and Vitoria-Gasteiz responded by introducing a tram in 2008 and changing its bus system. One of the most impressive things about this city is that 16% of trips are made by bike or on foot. There are no shared electric cars or scooters because they’re not needed!
It’s the reality that Vitoria-Gasteiz’s delegation to the Gijón Mobility Sector Council came here to test a set of keys that led to Vitoria-Gasteiz becoming an international city.
When Raymond Ruiz Escudero, Mobility Advisor, and hello from the mayor Gorka Urtaranthe group visited Vitoria-Gasteiz they hit the road with expert guidance and commentary from Juan Carlos Escudero, the city planner at the Vitoria-Gasteiz Environmental Research Center.
In the first part of the walking tour, Escouby showed what strategies he has for implementing this city model on a human scale. This project was made possible by a close participatory process in which all social, economic, and political actors reached a strong consensus for the city they want.
Vitoria-Gasteiz boasts a high-quality and convenient public transportation system. All our journeys begin and end on foot, so when you’re in a city where “walkability” can be achieved, such as Vitoria-Gasteiz, a flexible and convenient public transportation system is essential.
Superblocks in Vitoria-Gasteiz
Gijón is a city that has taken a ground-breaking approach to developing its future, and the Vitoria-Gasteiz Sustainable Mobility and Public Spaces Plan were one of its key milestones.
Supporting urban cells in which only certain types of vehicles are allowed to pass through, the green nature of Barcelona is able to flourish. Within this model, with a superblock idea originally credited to the Urban Ecology of Barcelona, cars and public transit have priority. Slowly reducing pedestrian space from 31% all the way down to 71%, amazing changes are made in Vitoria-Gasteiz. All of a sudden, the city has been able to achieve the “Green Infrastructure Strategy” that includes plants and trees that cover every inch and someone piece of it.
But how did they achieve 16% of bike trips?
The bicycle is only 1% of the share of modal transport in Gijón, but Vitoria is a cycling paradise. There are several bike paths that connect every corner. The network also has a number of bike racks so you can lock your bike to any nearby pole or fence. A budget-friendly shared system called Vitoria & Company was started in 1996, with 10 local centers providing monthly check-ups and maintenance on their fleet of bikes locked at more than 400 locations around the city.