Link: “Rewilding Cities” by Clive Thompson

Original post found at: https://clivethompson.medium.com/rewilding-cities-b654e8abf7fb

Talks about the need to reverse car-centric planning, starting with the example of Utrecht (which buried at least one canal under a motorway, then later changed it back into an attractive canal around which people can socialise). It adds:

In the same way that monocropping corn creates weaker, less resilient land, monocropping our streets with cars creates cities that aren’t as vibrant as they ought to be. We often don’t notice it, because we’ve trained ourselves to think of streets as “almost exclusively for cars”. But if you think of all the things you could do with streets, you realize how weird it is that we have, for decades now, used them mostly only for vehicles.

I totally agree! Cars should not be able to drive easily or efficiently through residential areas, or commercial areas, or pretty much any area where people are. They should have to go slow, to play second fiddle to pedestrian and cycle traffic, to duck and weave around pop-up parks and outdoor dining and extensive traffic calming. And most of all, there should be high-quality public transport options, so people go, “Ugh, who the hell would want to drive there? I’m going some other way.” In that way we can actually make cities, towns and suburbs desirable places to be.

a cartoony avatar of Jessica Smith is a socialist and a feminist who loves animals, books, gaming, and cooking; she’s also interested in linguistics, history, technology and society.