What we desperately need is more people living in dense areas and traveling in ways that don’t burn fossil fuels, as Edward Glaeser explains in the Triumph of the City:
Manhattan and downtown London and Shanghai, not suburbia, are the real friends of the environment. Nature lovers who live surrounded by trees and grass consume much more energy than their urban counterparts. …. If the environmental footprint of the average suburban home is a size 15 hiking boot, the environmental footprint of a New York apartment is a stiletto-heel size 6 Jimmy Choo. Traditional cities have fewer carbon emissions because they don’t require vast amounts of driving.
Bike commuting can also tackle another American woe — obesity. Between office jobs and commuting via cars, American lives are sedentary. Embracing bike commuting would make the country more active and healthier."
RECENT COMMENTS R. Hamm 10 days ago
Since Portland is mentioned in the opening line, I can’t help but respond. Before we had our family we bought in the countryside. Now that…
RoadKill 10 days ago
No matter how hard I try, I simply cannot slap the label “utopian” on the author’s vision of a population forced into densely populated…
Prgmtst 10 days ago
Prof. Chakrabarti makes an important argument here, but readers should be careful not to misinterpret his GDP factoid. He writes, “A…
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By contrast, urban mass transit, school systems, parks, affordable housing and even urban welfare recipients receive crumbs relative to the vastness of government largess showered on suburbia. Is it any wonder that in bustling, successful American cities, our subways remain old, our public housing dilapidated and our schools subpar? I am not arguing that people should not live in suburbs. But we shouldn’t pay them to do so, particularly now that our world and the desires of our population are evolving. This need not be a divisive debate. With millions of Americans already gravitating toward cities, the real question is what it means for our collective future, and how we respond."
This wonderfully researched and well-written history, explores the making of Boston by focusing on the social and environmental factors that shaped the city, its human ecology. There are five sections of the book:
A city planner by trade, Speck is aware of what works and doesn’t work in creating and maintaining thriving…
Restore a ton of parkland currently cordoned by ramps.
Connect the Esplanade more closely to the city, increasing accessibility and safety.
Connect more of the street grid to Storrow Drive, easing access for all modes.
Save a boatload of money not rebuilding the $300 million separation structures.
Reduce construction nightmare that rebuilding the Storrow tunnel would entail.
What’s the catch? Well, it might take a little bit longer to drive to your destination via the same route you used in the past. On the other hand, you might also save a lot of time by not having to go around and around in loops on one-way streets. I know that some traffic engineers will be screaming that this represents a “downgrade” but they can take that attitude back to the 1950s where it came from. For the rest of us, this would represent an upgrade: a better city. Plus, $300 million saved! Heck maybe more. I suspect that any attempt to replace the Storrow tunnel will quickly turn into it’s own “little Big Dig” with rapidly inflating costs. That’s a lot of money that could be put into so many other, better, actual improvements. Like making the MBTA an attractive option for people who currently feel like they have no alternative but to drive along this way. How MassDOT approaches the impending dilemma of the Bowker Overpass and the related Storrow Drive tunnels will tell if they are really serious about their “GreenDOT” proposal or not."
Over 50% of the world’s population lives in cities. By 2050, this is widely expected to reach 70%. Cities are undergoing unprecedented change and urbanism is one of the most crucial issues of our time.
Here at This Big City we think the important and exciting issue of urbanism should be brought to the attention of Tumblr users by promoting the urbanism tag to featured status.
Featured tags are selected based on volume of content and engagement with content, which is why we need Tumblr’s fantastic urbanism community to support this campaign. Please reblog this post and add the urbanism tag whenever you share content related to the topic!
This is no short-term goal. It will take a consistent increase in the level of content for Tumblr to promote the urbanism tag.
Together we can build an engaging catalogue of content on the crucial issue of urbanism, hopefully resulting in the promotion of the urbanism tag to featured status. If we achieve this, the crucial issue of urbanism will land in the dashboard of millions of Tumblr users across the globe.
If you want to back our Urbanism Campaign and be added to the list below, reblog this post then drop us a message including your email address. We’ll be in touch! Most importantly, add the urbanism tag to all relevant content you share.
Supporters of This Big City’s Urbanism Campaign:
GOOD | The Atlantic Cities | This City Life | Sound Bite City | City Breaths | Failed Architecture | 3Space | Secret Republic | Fuck Yeah Brutalism | In Public Space We Trust | Studio630 | Aeon Magazine | Future Cape Town | The New Urbanist | Urban Funscape | Human Scale Cities | Urban Bricolage | Small Spaces | Urban Launchpad | Reinforced Natures | Urbn Futr | Cairobserver | Fuck Yeah Urban Design | ATL Urbanist | Urbnist | Megalopolis | Urbalize | Citymaus | Office for Urban Scenarios | Yurbanism | Transatlantic Urbanism | Berlin Farm Lab | Urban Excursion CPH | Urban Resolve | Transicoesurbanas | The Urban Blueprint | Imagining Cities | | DeeAnn Marie | The Green Urbanist | Mass Urban | Arch Atlas | Modernizing | Voyagings | Ryan Panos
The recent and important “complete streets” movement has made a terrific contribution to getting our streets right, by insisting that they be designed so as to accommodate all users, from motor vehicles to pedestrians to transit users and bicyclists. Thanks to the movement’s efforts, this is now the law of the land in an increasing number of jurisdictions. It’s an important start."
Streets are by definition public spaces.
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