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
Reclaim the 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.