Museumplein in Amsterdam shows how a public space can work for walking and cycling

This photo of the Museumplein (below) looks remarkably like our street view of Parliament Square, with acres of green space, world heritage buildings and people relaxing away from motor traffic.

Motor traffic was removed from this central Amsterdam square in 1999, and it now houses the top four tourist attractions in the Netherlands. 

Not only that, but the space is being reworked to make it even more people-friendly, with the aim of increasing visitors by 50%.  

As you can see below, the Museumplein sits at the heart of their city, just as Parliament Square does ours.

However, this didn't stop the Dutch planners seeing the benefits to tourists and locals of having a motor traffic-free central square.

There's a danger London will lose out commercially to other European cities if we don't aim for the highest-quality public realm, building places that make people want to savour their experiences, not just pass through.    

Parliament Square at present (below) is all about space for motor traffic, with people on foot squeezed on to narrow pavements, with nothing to protect or encouraging cycling.