Find out how Porto is redesigning urban space

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A new urbanism is on the way in Porto, and Saturday was the first day that pedestrians got to enjoy urban car free zones. From 8am on 20th June to 8pm on 21st June, public space was just that, in sixteen streets in Downtown Porto and in the Historic Centre of the city. Public thoroughfares invited to added quality of life, and this demand for city districts to be made pedestrian is ever more relevant under the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. 

To borrow from Jane Jacobs, it means that "urban renewal" is respecting "the needs of city-dwellers".

These streets in Porto offer comfort and enjoyment as streets are congestion car free and lanes are reserved for bicycles and scooters. These zones in town work as coexistence zones for residents, who can access parking lots at a maximum speed of 20 Km/hour. Loading and unloading are permitted but only between 6.30am and 11am on Saturdays and Sundays.

These temporary pedestrian areas display detachable street furniture, with specific colouring on the pavement, highlighting wellbeing areas as well as gardens and bike parking spots.

This measure was implemented by Porto City hall and it will become effective on weekends at the city centre in the Invicta.

This experiment is in line with some of the best urban sustainability practices in Europe. Its goal is also to boost the quality of street life, both for leisure and shopping, with people being able to reach shops, restaurants, esplanades in car-free neighbourhoods, while complying with the necessary pandemic control measures.

Temporary pedestrian areas

Between 8am Saturday and 8pm Sunday, these are the following temporary pedestrian areas:

Zone 1


- Rua de Cedofeita, between Rua de Álvares Cabral and Rua do Breiner;

- Rua do Breiner, between Rua de Cedofeita and Rua do Rosário;

- Rua de Miguel Bombarda, between Rua do Rosário and Rua de Diogo Brandão.


- Rua de Conde de Vizela, Rua da Fábrica and Rua de Santa Teresa;

- Rua de Avis, between Rua de Santa Teresa and Praça de D. Filipa de Lencastre (south end of the street).


- Rua do Almada, between Rua do Dr. Ricardo Jorge and Rua de Ramalho Ortigão;

- Rua da Picaria.

Passos Manuel

- Rua de Passos Manuel, Rua do Ateneu Comercial do Porto, and Rua do Dr. António Emílio de Magalhães.

Zone 2

- Passeio das Virtudes and Rua do Dr. Barbosa de Castro.

Zone 3


- Rua dos Caldeireiros, between Rua de S. Bento da Vitória and Rua da Vitória.

Avenida Rodrigues de Freitas

- Avenida Rodrigues de Freitas, between Rua de D. João IV and Rua do Duque de Saldanha.

Some of these new temporary pedestrian areas coincide with existing pedestrian areas, as is the case of Rua de Cedofeita, between Rua do Breiner and Praça de Carlos Alberto, which is already pedestrian.

It is worth highlighting that notwithstanding the permission to access inside temporary pedestrian areas, parking is not allowed.?