08 April 2008

Cities for People not Cars

The latest Neal Peirce article:


...beyond global warming and poverty afflicting urban masses of the developing world, there's a threat we Americans actually modeled. It's how we grew in the age of the automobile — separating where people live, work and buy, separating classes economically, then investing first and foremost in highways and disinvesting in cities where humans can mix and relate. The threat now: that new and growing cities across Africa, Asia and Latin America are too easily drawn to thoughtless mimicry of our "motors first" model.

That's the dire warning of "The Endless City," a 500-page tour de force of six major world cities' development issues, published this month .... the book is based on an "Urban Age" project of city experts comparing the metropolises of New York, London, Berlin, Shanghai, Mexico City and Johannesburg.
.....
more compact development — mixed-use, transit-connected, democratic cities — is the only sustainable answer to global urban growth. And not just because less sprawl translates to less energy use and pollution (cities already contribute 75 percent of the world's carbon emissions). Investment in public transportation, the authors write, is also "a form of social justice, providing millions of people with access to jobs and amenities."

6 comments:

Matt Hunter Ross said...

Nice research - very good post.

distracted by shiny objects said...

Help!! I’ve been tagged for the six word memoir game and need five friends. Tag. You’re it…Please come out and play. It’s easy, schmeezy. For the lowdown please check my blog (entry posted 4/8/2008). Thanks, and enjoy the heck out of today!! AnnieH

dave said...

Mike -
Are you seeing any interesting analysis regarding the recent defeat of NYC Mayor Bloomberg's proposal to charge drivers $8.00 every time they enter Manhattan?

I read one article that suggested a less than 1% tax increase on those city residents earning over a million/year would generate more
revenue than the $8.00 fee, camera's, collection meter installation/maintenance and ticket enforcement expenses would earn.

CityKin said...

^ I have been reading the headlines on that, but not the detials. NYC is a totally different world than the rest of this country, and I am not sure how relevant it woud be to the midwest.

However, I think more and more driving fees or tolls are a way of the future. With technology making it easier to collect those fees without tollbooths, I am certain tolls will become more and more common.

dave said...

It will be interesting to see if/how the Tourist Industry lobbies against new driving fees/tools.

For states like Michigan and Florida these costs will reduce tourism, which is growing as their major industry.

New England requires a lot of bridge and road tolls, but I suspect the independent small-government spirit of folks living out West won't tolerate it well.

catherine said...

I was rather shocked that NYC did not enact the driver's fee as London has done. NYC being probably the most public transit oriented city we've got I was hoping they would lead the way on this. Conversely, the other strategy that the article points out is growth boundaries, which is an important factor in the success of the transit system in Portland. I wonder if there is any research on the relative effectiveness of these tools,(growth boundaries vs. user fees) to help build density and promote mass transit? Would that we had either here....