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LIFE Living Streets

Reference: LIFE15 PRE/FR/000003 | Acronym: LIFE Living Streets



It is estimated that by 2050 two thirds of the worlds population will be living in urban areas. Road traffic is one of the key issues affecting the quality of the environment and the quality of life in urban areas (i.e. congestion, poor air quality and the impact of noise etc.). The sense of neighbourhood and local community is impacted as well. Increasingly cities are opting for a different approach where they work together with their citizens to ensure that they have access to the goods and services they need without having to depend on road traffic. The focus needs to be set much more on the public realm and not just the private. In 2013 the Living Streets initiative was trialled in Ghent, Belgium. This experience, which involved citizens, businesses, administrations and association, showed that a living street provides a forum on how to rethink the way streets are organised. Moreover, it highlighted that whether these living streets were small or large, they provided the opportunity to strengthen social cohesion. This experiment is to be extended to other cities and streets.


The Living Streets project aims to implement a system that enables inhabitants to temporarily transform their street into a sustainable place. One of the main strategic questions of this experiment is how we can organise citizens daily lives without using cars as much as we do today. By removing cars and finding other places for parking, new spaces become available and can be turned into places for community, interaction and support for example, playgrounds for children, picnic benches, pop-up bars, urban agriculture and business opportunities such as new ways of grocery shopping and electric car sharing. The real life city experiments will temporarily transform streets into living labs for tackling a range of issues, such as sustainable transport, improved and sustainable delivery of goods, local job creation, local food production, urban agriculture and opportunities for crowdfunding.

The main objectives of the project are to:

  • Set up living streets in seven European cities, which have been designed primarily with the interests of pedestrians and cyclists in mind and which serve as a social space where people can meet and children can play safely;
  • Develop action and reflection networks in partner cities to enhance the knowledge and experience gained by the Living Streets experiment;
  • Create an impact on the local urban policy-making process;
  • Replicate the concept of Living Streets in other European cities; and
  • Draw up policy recommendations to support Member States in implementing the Environment Action Programme (EAP).
  • Expected results: The Living Streets project aims to achieve the following results:

  • Seven Living Streets experiments organised;
  • Seven Action Plans for the Living Streets experiment (one in each local authority);
  • An action and reflection network created in each partner city;
  • Seven common vision documents about the local Living Street (one per city).
  • Seven local authorities trained on using methods and means for citizen and stakeholder involvement.
  • Seven bottom-up policy feedback reports;
  • Seven local policy objectives formulated (policy statements, programmes or projects);
  • A policy recommendation report at national and European levels related to the implementation of the EAP.
  • Seven local socio-economic surveys (one for each partner city) and one compiled socio-economic survey; and
  • At least 20 European municipalities interested in the uptake and implementation of the Living Streets initiative in their cities.


    Reference: LIFE15 PRE/FR/000003
    Acronym: LIFE Living Streets
    Start Date: 01/05/2016
    End Date: 30/06/2018
    Total Eligible Budget: 482,109 €
    EU Contribution: 249,936 €


    Coordinating Beneficiary: Energy Cities
    Legal Status: PUBLIC
    Address: 2, chemin de Palente, 25000, Besancon,

    LIFE Project Map



    • Air pollutants
    • Transport planning - Traffic monitoring


    • public awareness campaign
    • urban area
    • urban planning


    • COM (2013/0918) - A Clean Air Programme for Europe (18.12.2013)
    • COM(2013)913 - "Together towards competitive and resource-efficient urban mobility " (17.12.2013)


    Name Type
    Energy Cities Coordinator
    Municipality of Brussels, Belgium Participant
    Municipality of La Rochelle, France Participant
    Municipality of Zadar, Croatia Participant
    Municipality of Rotterdam, The Netherlands Participant
    Municipality of Turin, Italy Participant
    Municipality of Ivanic-Grand, Croatia Participant
    Municipality of Milton Keynes, United Kingdom Participant