Street reclaiming is the process of converting, or otherwise returning streets to a stronger focus on non-car use - walking, cycling and active street life. It is advocated by many urban planners and urban economists, of widely varying political points of view. Its primary benefits are thought to be:
- Decreased automobile traffic with fewer automobile accidents and less smog
- Reduced summer temperatures due to less asphalt and more green spaces
- Increased pedestrian traffic which also increases social and commercial opportunities
- Increased gardening space for urban residents
- Better support for co-housing and infirm residents, e.g. suburban eco-villages built around former streets
Some consider the best advantages to be gained by redesigning streets, for example as shared space, while others, such as campaigns like "Reclaim the Streets", a widespread "dis-organization", run a variety of events to physically reclaim the streets for political and artistic actions, often called street parties. David Engwicht is also a strong proponent of the concept that street life, rather than physical redesign, is the primary tool of street reclamation.