In Salamanca, pedestrian space is taken a bit too far

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pedestrian space

With flourishing tourism and increased attention to the environment, more and more Spanish cities are choosing to become friendlier to pedestrians. In historic centres, one street after another turns into a pedestrian zone. However, an example from Salamanca caused some commotion on social media.

One of the biggest challenges for municipal authorities is to give back to citizens the streets they have lost to cars. But there seems to be one detail that some seem to forget about this. Pedestrians must also be able to walk easily. Something that should be self-evident does not seem to be so in this example in Salamanca.

Pedestrian street in Salamanca

A Twitter user pointed out a street in Salamanca that has been made car-free but is now completely occupied by the terrace of a catering establishment. The image shows that even the former sidewalk is blocked by a fence. No pedestrian can pass here anymore, not to mention disabled people.

Cogesa Expats


In Spain there is a nice word for turning streets into pedestrian areas: ‘peatonalizar’. Someone on X (former Twitter) aptly writes: “En España no se peatonaliza, se terraliza.” Another asks: “Is this street made pedestrian-friendly or privatised?” Given the above, it seems that citizens will need to develop wings in some areas to be able to walk. This must be the freedom some people talk about.

“If after making a street car-free, pedestrians have less space than before, something has been done terribly wrong,” writes yet another. All ‘twitterers’ tag the municipality of Salamanca. Maybe it will help.

World Heritage City

In 2023, Salamanca, with almost 144,000 inhabitants, received a total of 718,533 travellers. Together they made 1.2 million overnight stays. These are historic figures above the last record of 2019. The university city attracts thousands of language students every year. Moreover, Salamanca has a very beautiful historic centre that was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988.

Baycrest Wealth

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