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Car Crashes Aren't Always Unavoidable - The Atlantic
"The automobile took over because the legal system helped squeeze out the alternatives."

...

"Further entrenching automobile supremacy are laws that require landowners who build housing and office space to build housing for cars as well. In large part because of parking quotas, parking lots now cover more than a third of the land area of some U.S. cities; Houston is estimated to have 30 parking spaces for every resident. As the UCLA urban-planning professor Donald Shoup has written, this mismatch flows from legal mandates rather than market demand. Every employee who brings a car to the office essentially doubles the amount of space he takes up at work, and in urban areas his employer may be required by law to build him a $50,000 garage parking space.

For those who didn’t get the message from the sprawling landscape that zoning has created, the tax code sharpened it by lavishing rewards on those who drive and punishing those who don’t. On its own terms, the mortgage-interest tax deduction is neutral as to the type of home financed, but—given the twin constraints of zoning and mortgage lending—the deduction primarily subsidizes large houses in car-centric areas. Those who walk or bike to work receive no commuter tax benefit, while those who drive receive tax-deductible parking. Another provision of the tax code gives car buyers a tax rebate of up to $7,500 when their new vehicles are electric or hybrid; buyers of brand-new Audis, BMWs, and Jaguars can claim the full $7,500 from the American taxpayer. Environmentally, these vehicles offer an improvement over gas-powered cars (but not public or active transit). Even so, 85 to 90 percent of toxic vehicle emissions in traffic come from tire wear and other non-tailpipe sources, which electric and hybrid cars still produce. They also still contribute to traffic, and can still kill or maim the people they hit. Why are we taxing bus riders to pay rich people to buy McMansions and luxury electric SUVs?"

...

"
Tort law is supposed to allow victims to recover for harms caused by others. Yet the standard of liability that applies to car crashes—ordinary negligence—establishes low expectations of how safe a driver must be. Courts have held that a higher standard—strict liability, which forces more careful risk taking—does not apply to driving. Strict liability is reserved for activities that are both “ultrahazardous” and “uncommon”; driving, while ultrahazardous, is among the most common activities in American life. In other words, the very fact that car crashes cause so much social damage makes it hard for those who are injured or killed by reckless drivers to receive justice.

In a similar spirit, criminal law has carved out a lesser category uniquely for vehicular manslaughter. Deep down, all of us who drive are afraid of accidentally killing someone and going to jail; this lesser charge was originally envisioned to persuade juries to convict reckless drivers. Yet this accommodation reflects a pattern. Even when a motorist kills someone and is found to have been violating the law while doing so (for example, by running a red light), criminal charges are rarely brought and judges go light. So often do police officers in New York fail to enforce road-safety rules—and illegally park their own vehicles on sidewalks and bike facilities—that specific Twitter accounts are dedicated to each type of misbehavior. Given New York’s lax enforcement record, the Freakonomics podcast described running over pedestrians there as “the perfect crime.”"

...

"All of these laws can be reversed directly by the legislative bodies responsible for passing them in the first place. However, a growing body of academic research suggests that, even when most people favor less restrictive zoning, local officials will side with wealthy homeowners who favor the status quo. In these cases, state legislators can be called upon to help. Reformers have succeeded in doing so in Oregon and have shown promise in California. Far less attention has been paid, however, at the federal level. Recently, several Democratic candidates for president have released federal plans to prod states and cities to relax their zoning.

Congress could condition a small share (say, 5 percent) of federal funds on the adoption by states of housing-production goals or Vision Zero design standards calibrated for safety. Conditional appropriations, which are how Congress goaded states into raising the drinking age, are already in use for numerous transportation programs.

Litigation for dangerous street design is another promising way to hold public entities accountable. So far, plaintiffs have mostly sought money damages, but they can also seek design changes through injunctive relief, including by class action. This has the potential to move not only laws and budgets but the entire discourse around street safety.

Finally, reformers could seek recognition of the freedom to walk. The federal Americans With Disabilities Act and state and local counterparts, as well as case law recognizing a constitutional right to movement, suggest such a right to mobility.

Americans customarily describe motor-vehicle crashes as accidents. But the harms that come to so many of our loved ones are the predictable output of a broken system of laws. No struggle for justice in America has been successful without changing the law. The struggle against automobile supremacy is no different."
2019  cars  law  zoning  accidents  insurance  policy  government  taxes  publictransit  pedestrians  parking  cities  urban  urbanism  transportation  transit  speedlimits  california  us  design  safety  health  risks  tortlaw  negligence  oregon  housing  litigation  gregoryshill 
6 weeks ago by robertogreco
Shade
[via: https://twitter.com/shannonmattern/status/1122670547777871874

who concludes…
https://twitter.com/shannonmattern/status/1122685558688485376
"🌴Imagine what LA could do if it tied street enhancement to a comprehensive program of shade creation: widening the sidewalks, undergrounding powerlines, cutting bigger tree wells, planting leafy, drought-resistant trees, + making room for arcades, galleries, + bus shelters.🌳"]

"All you have to do is scoot across a satellite map of the Los Angeles Basin to see the tremendous shade disparity. Leafy neighborhoods are tucked in hillside canyons and built around golf courses. High modernist homes embrace the sun as it flickers through labor-intensive thickets of eucalyptus. Awnings, paseos, and mature ficus trees shade high-end shopping districts. In the oceanfront city of Santa Monica, which has a dedicated municipal tree plan and a staff of public foresters, all 302 bus stops have been outfitted with fixed steel parasols (“blue spots”) that block the sun. 9 Meanwhile, in the Los Angeles flats, there are vast gray expanses — playgrounds, parking lots, and wide roads — with almost no trees. Transit riders bake at unsheltered bus stops. The homeless take refuge in tunnels and under highway overpasses; some chain their tarps and tents to fences on Skid Row and wait out the day in the shadows of buildings across the street.

Shade is often understood as a luxury amenity, lending calm to courtyards and tree-lined boulevards, cooling and obscuring jewel boxes and glass cubes. But as deadly, hundred-degree heatwaves become commonplace, we have to learn to see shade as a civic resource that is shared by all. In the shade, overheated bodies return to equilibrium. Blood circulation improves. People think clearly. They see better. In a physiological sense, they are themselves again. For people vulnerable to heat stress and exhaustion — outdoor workers, the elderly, the homeless — that can be the difference between life and death. Shade is thus an index of inequality, a requirement for public health, and a mandate for urban planners and designers.

A few years back, Los Angeles passed sweeping revisions to the general plan meant to encourage residents to walk, bike, and take more buses and trains. But as Angelenos step out of their cars, they are discovering that many streets offer little relief from the oppressive sunshine. Not everyone has the stamina to wait out the heat at an unprotected bus stop, or the money to duck into an air-conditioned cafe. 11 When we understand shade as a public resource — a kind of infrastructure, even — we can have better discussions about how to create it and distribute it fairly.

Yet cultural values complicate the provision of shade. Los Angeles is a low-rise city whose residents prize open air and sunshine. 12 They show up at planning meetings to protest tall buildings that would block views or darken sunbathing decks, and police urge residents in high-crime neighborhoods to cut down trees that hide drug dealing and prostitution. Shade trees are designed out of parks to discourage loitering and turf wars, and designed off streets where traffic engineers demand wide lanes and high visibility. Diffuse sunlight is rare in many parts of Los Angeles. You might trace this back to a cultural obsession with shadows and spotlights, drawing a line from Hollywood noir — in which long shadows and unlit corners represent the criminal underworld — to the contemporary politics of surveillance. 13 The light reveals what hides in the dark.

When I think of Los Angeles, I picture Glendale Boulevard in Atwater Village, a streetcar suburb converted into a ten-lane automobile moonscape. People say they like this street for its wall of low-slung, pre-war storefronts, home to record stores and restaurants. To me, it’s a never-ending, vertiginous tunnel of light. I squint to avoid the glare from the white stucco walls, bare pavement, and car windows. From a climate perspective, bright surfaces are good; they absorb fewer sun rays and lessen the urban heat-island effect. But on an unshaded street they can also concentrate and intensify local sunlight."



"At one time, they did. “Shade was integral, and incorporated into the urban design of southern California up until the 1930s,” Davis said. “If you go to most of the older agricultural towns … the downtown streets were arcaded. They had the equivalent of awnings over the sidewalk.” Rancho homes had sleeping porches and shade trees, and buildings were oriented to keep their occupants cool. The original settlement of Los Angeles conformed roughly to the Law of the Indies, a royal ordinance that required streets to be laid out at a 45-degree angle, ensuring access to sun in the winter and shade in the summer. Spanish adobes were built around a central courtyard cooled by awnings and plants. 15 As the city grew, the California bungalow — a low, rectangular house, with wide eaves, inspired by British Indian hill stations — became popular with the middle class. “During the 1920s, they were actually prefabricated in factories,” Davis said. “There are tens of thousands of bungalows, particularly along the Alameda corridor … that were manufactured by Pacific Ready-Cut Homes, which advertised itself as the Henry Ford of home construction.” 16

All that changed with the advent of cheap electricity. In 1936, the Los Angeles Bureau of Power and Light completed a 266-mile high-voltage transmission line from Boulder Dam (now Hoover Dam), which could supply 70 percent of the city’s power at low cost. Southern Californians bought mass-produced housing with electric heating and air conditioning. By the end of World War II, there were nearly 4 million people living in Los Angeles County, and the new neighborhoods were organized around driveways and parking lots. Parts of the city, Davis said, became “virtually treeless deserts.”"



"It’s easy to see how this hostile design reflected the values of the peak automobile era, but there is more going on here. The destruction of urban refuge was part of a long-term strategy to discourage gay cruising, drug use, and other “shady” activities downtown. In 1964, business owners sponsored another redesign that was intended, in the hyperbolic words of the Los Angeles Times, to finally clear out the “deviates and criminals.” The city removed the perimeter benches and culled even more palms and shade trees, so that office workers and shoppers could move through the park without being “accosted by derelicts and ‘bums.’” Sunlight was weaponized. “Before long, pedestrians will be walking through, instead of avoiding, Pershing Square,” the Times declared. “And that is why parks are built.” 19"



"High-concept architecture is one way to transform the shadescape of Los Angeles. Street trees are another. Unfortunately, the city’s most ubiquitous tree — the iconic Washington robusta, or Mexican fan palm — is about as useful in that respect as a telephone pole.

Palm trees have been identified with southern California since 1893, when Canary Island date palms — the fatter, stouter cousin — were displayed at the Chicago World’s Fair. On the trunk of one of those palms, boosters posted the daily temperatures at a San Diego beach, and the tree itself came to stand for “sunshine and soft air.” In his indispensable history, Trees in Paradise, Jared Farmer traces the palm’s transformation from a symbol of a healthy climate to a symbol of glamour, via its association with Hollywood. 26

Despite that early fame, palm trees did not really take over Los Angeles until the 1930s, when a citywide program set tens of thousands of palms along new or recently expanded roads. They were the ideal tree for an automobile landscape. Hardy, cheap, and able to grow anywhere, palm trees are basically weeds. Their shallow roots curl up into a ball, so they can be plugged into small pavement cuts without entangling underground sewer and water mains or buckling sidewalks. As Farmer puts it, palms are “symbiotic infrastructure,” beautifying the city without making a mess. Plus, as Mary Pickford once pointed out, the slender trunks don’t block the view of storefronts, which makes them ideal for window-shopping from the driver’s seat. The city’s first forester, L. Glenn Hall, planted more than 25,000 palm trees in 1931 alone. 27

Hall’s vision, though, was more ambitious than that. He planned to landscape all of Los Angeles’s roads with 1.2 million street trees. Tall palms, like Washingtonia robusta, would go on major thoroughfares, and side streets would be lined with elm, pine, red maple, liquidambar, ash, and sycamore. A Depression-era stimulus package provided enough funds to employ 400 men for six months. But the forestry department put the burden of watering and maintenance on property owners, and soon it charged for cutting new tree wells, too. Owners weren’t interested. So Hall concentrated his efforts on the 28 major boulevards that would serve the 1932 Olympics — including the now-iconic Ventura, Wilshire, Figueroa, Vermont, Western, and Crenshaw — and committed the city to pay for five years of tree maintenance. That may well have bankrupted the tree planting program, and before long the city was urging property owners to take on all costs, including the trees themselves.

This history partly explains the shade disparity in Los Angeles today. Consider the physical dimensions of a major city street in Hall’s time. Between the expanding road and narrowing sidewalks was an open strip of grass, three to ten feet wide, known as the parkway. Having rejected a comprehensive parks system, Los Angeles relied on these roadside strips to plant its urban forest, but over time the parkways were diminished by various agencies in the name of civic improvements — chiefly, road widening. 29 And the stewardship of these spaces was always ambiguous. The parkways are public land, owned and regulated by the … [more]
losangeles  trees  shade  history  palmtrees  urbanplanning  electricity  inequality  2019  sambloch  mikedavis  urban  urbanism  cars  transportation  disparity  streets  values  culture  pedestrians  walking  heat  light  socal  california  design  landscape  wealth  sidewalks  publictransit  transit  privacy  reynerbanham  surveillance  sun  sunshine  climatechange  sustainability  energy  ericgarcetti  antoniovillaraigosa  environment  realestate  law  legal  cities  civics 
april 2019 by robertogreco
Superblocks: How Barcelona is taking city streets back from cars - YouTube
"Modern cities are designed for cars. But the city of Barcelona is testing out an urban design trick that can give cities back to pedestrians."
cities  cars  transportation  pollution  2016  airpollution  noise  noisepollution  urban  urbanism  superblocks  urbanplanning  air  pedestrians  ildefonscerdà  classideas 
may 2018 by robertogreco
25 small ways to make SF a better place - Curbed SF
"When it comes to making change at the local level, sometimes the tiniest actions can spark the biggest changes—and in San Francisco, where the options for helping the greater good can seem overwhelming, starting with small daily tasks is the best place to start. As more wealth pours into the city and the economic divide grows wider than ever before, it’s important to help out your fellow San Franciscan, zip code and tax bracket be damned.

For San Franciscans looking to make their hometown a better place, we present these small, but substantial, ways that you can help make a difference.

From your home

1. Stay informed about local news. It’s hard not to be aware of national news these days, but to get a sense of what’s changing in your immediate surroundings, soak in some local news by making local papers and blogs a part of your daily media diet. The San Francisco Chronicle is, of course, important, but other SF outlets can help you stay informed—from hyperlocal blogs (Richmond SF Blog, Mission Local, etc.) to established sources (Hoodline, San Francisco Magazine, etc.) and even more. Oh, and don’t forget Curbed SF.

2. Compost. Don’t believe the malodorous lies! Composting is easy and a great way of helping the environment from your kitchen. If your building or home does not yet have a green composting bin, the city will send you one free of charge.

3. Follow these pro-housing advocates and journalists on Twitter: Kim-Mai Cutler, Liam Dillon, Victoria Fierce, SF YIMBY, Laura Foote Clark, and YIMBY Action will keep you abreast of both anti-growth hypocrisy and action items that will help abate the California housing crisis.

4. Remember reusable bags. They’re easy to compile, but difficult to remember once you’re at Whole Foods. The cost of plastic and paper bags, both environmental and economical, are too much to bear. Stick a few reusable bags by your front door so you remember to bring them to your next shopping trip.

5. Donate, don’t discard, your old clothes. For those of you who simply cannot bear the thought of wearing last year’s jeans (perish the thought!) or want to whittle down your wardrobe to a minimalist offering, don’t trash your old clothes. Shelters like the St. Anthony Foundation can redistribute clean clothing to homeless San Franciscans. If you have professional women’s attire to toss, consider give them to Dress for Success. And Larkin Street Youth accepts gently worn clothing for at-risk, runaway youths.

In your neighborhood

6. Learn about your neighborhood’s history. Did you know the Castro used to be an Irish-American working-class neighborhood? Or that South of Market used the be called South of the Slot, which later became a novella by Nobel Prize-winning scribe Jack London? And who knew that Presidio Terrace was originally designed as a whites-only neighborhood? Take a deep dive into your neighborhood’s past, good and bad. After all, the city isn’t a blank slate.

7. Donate old books. Grab a handful (or trunkload) of books from your home library and add some inventory to the nearest Little Free Library. There are dozens in San Francisco and hundreds in the Bay Area. If you’d rather donate to the library, take your books to the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library. It’s a tax write-off!

8. Take care of a neighbor’s pet at PAWS. For some people, especially those who are chronically ill, frail, and isolated by disease or age, animal companionship is crucial to their health and well-being. Volunteer with PAWS (Pets Are Wonderful Support) to get paired one-on-one with members of the community (who may be LGBT seniors or people living with HIV, Hepatitis C, or cancer) who need help caring for their pet. Ideal for animal lovers with no-pet rental agreements!

9. Attend neighborhood meetings. The best way to find out about what’s up in your neighborhood is to attend public meetings organized each month by your local community association. Here’s a good place to start.

10. Wave to tourists when they pass you on cable cars or tour buses. They freakin’ love that.

Along your route

11. Take public transit. It’s the best way to get to know your city. Learn Muni and BART routes along your most-traveled roads and hop on. And you’d be surprised how convenient the cable cars and F lines are.

12. Put foot to pedal. San Francisco is one of the most bike-friendly cities in the country. Here’s a beginner’s guide to help you get started.

13. Be kind to the homeless. It’s going to take great leaps and bounds from the city to solve its chronic homeless problem. In the meantime, there are small things that you can do to empower those who need help. For starters, remember that people become homeless for a number of reasons—so leave the stereotyping or judgmental attitudes behind.

14. Document your city. One of the best ways to get to know the city is to shooting photos. Better yet, post them on Instagram. You will discover thousands of photographers also share your love of the city’s many neighborhoods. It’s a great way of take a closer look at your hood and getting to know your neighbors. Just don’t forget to geotag.

15. Be a conscientious pedestrian. From moving over to the right when using your phone to helping fellow pedestrians with strollers, there are a lot of ways to improve your two-foot mode of transportation around town. Because it’s 2018 and there’s no excuse for blocking a sidewalk. Here’s a pedestrian etiquette guide to help sharpen your two-step game.

In your community

16. Say hello to people/ask people how they’re doing. San Francisco can feel like a big small town, and its residents know it. If you’re walking around a neighborhood, or stopping into a local store, say, “Hello.” Stop being rude to service industry workers. Do not order with your phone attached to your ear. It’s dehumanizing. Be friendly.

17. Be a poll worker on election day. Looking for a way to up your voting game? Become a poll worker. It takes roughly 3,000 workers on election day to bets all the ballots processed. And with this upcoming June election being a crucial one, the city could use your help. (Psst, you will also get a $195 stipend.)

18. Fight hunger in the community. The uptick in foodie trends and prices have made nourishment seem like a privilege for the lucky and well-to-do. Not so. People are still starving in the city. Get involved with groups like San Francisco Food Bank, GLIDE Church, and Project Open Hand to make sure everyone in the community has food on the table.

19. Volunteer with the San Francisco Office of Civic Engagement and Immigrant Affairs. The department’s Pathways to Citizenship Initiative program always needs volunteers, interpreters, and legal professionals to assist with their bi-monthly naturalization workshops.

20. Get off Nextdoor. Beginning with good intentions, Nextdoor has turned into a cesspool of racism and bigotry for a lot of San Francisco residents.

With a group

21. Hook up with the Friends of the Urban Forest. See how you can help add foliage to San Francisco’s streets with this choice nonprofit. They organize everything from neighborhood tree plantings to sidewalk landscaping.

22. Dedicate your time to volunteering at one of the two Friends of the San Francisco Public Library bookstores. All proceeds benefit the public library system in San Francisco.

23. Host a letter-writing party. Written letters get more traction than email or @’ing your local lawmaker. If there’s an issue you feel strongly about, it’s more than likely you’re not the only one, and a letter-writing party is a great way to organize your community for a positive cause. Best of all, you can add a few bottles of wine and turn it into a real party.

24. Volunteer at Animal Care and Control. ACC receives roughly 10,000 animals every year and rely on volunteers to help out. These pets don’t get the luxe treatment found at nearly SF SPCA, so they could use all the love they deserve.

25. Show up. When people come together—especially in times of great need—they can do amazing things. This was especially true during the AIDS crisis and of the moments following the Loma Prieta earthquake. Go to protests. Attend rallies. Fight for others’ rights. Relish the fact that you live in a city that, in one way or another, however dim it seems at times, seeks for the betterment of all humans."
classideas  sanfrancisco  civics  community  activism  engagement  pedestrians  2018  etiquette  publictransit  transportation  bikes  biking  nextdoor  volunteering  animals  pets  nature  trees  protests  friendliness  elections  neighborhoods  environment  composting  recycling 
january 2018 by robertogreco
The Future of Cities – Medium
[video (embedded): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOOWk5yCMMs ]

"Organic Filmmaking and City Re-Imagining

What does “the future of cities” mean? To much of the developing world, it might be as simple as aspiring to having your own toilet, rather than sharing one with over 100 people. To a family in Detroit, it could mean having non-toxic drinking water. For planners and mayors, it’s about a lot of things — sustainability, economy, inclusivity, and resilience. Most of us can hope we can spend a little less time on our commutes to work and a little more time with our families. For a rich white dude up in a 50th floor penthouse, “the future of cities” might mean zipping around in a flying car while a robot jerks you off and a drone delivers your pizza. For many companies, the future of cities is simply about business and money, presented to us as buzzwords like “smart city” and “the city of tomorrow.”

I started shooting the “The Future of a Cities” as a collaboration with the The Nantucket Project, but it really took shape when hundreds of people around the world responded to a scrappy video I made asking for help.

Folks of all ages, from over 75 countries, volunteered their time, thoughts, work, and footage so that I could expand the scope of the piece and connect with more people in more cities. This strategy saved me time and money, but it also clarified the video’s purpose, which inspired me to put more energy into the project in order to get it right. I was reading Jan Gehl, Jane Jacobs, Edward Glaeser, etc. and getting excited about their ideas — after seeing what mattered to the people I met in person and watching contributions from those I didn’t, the video gained focus and perspective.

If I hired a production services outfit to help me film Mumbai, it would actually be a point of professional pride for the employees to deliver the Mumbai they think I want to see. If some young filmmakers offer to show me around their city and shoot with me for a day, we’re operating on another level, and a very different portrait of a city emerges. In the first scenario, my local collaborators get paid and I do my best to squeeze as much work out of the time period paid for as possible. In the second, the crew accepts more responsibility but gains ownership, hopefully leaving the experience feeling more empowered.

Architect and former mayor of Curitiba Jaime Lerner famously said “if you want creativity, take a zero off your budget. If you want sustainability, take off two zeros.” It’s been my experience that this sustainability often goes hand-in-hand with humanity, and part of what I love about working with less resources and money is that it forces you to treat people like human beings. Asking someone to work with less support or equipment, or to contribute more time for less money, requires a mutual understanding between two people. If each person can empathize for the other, it’s been my experience that we’ll feel it in the work — both in the process and on screen.

Organic filmmaking requires you to keep your crew small and your footprint light. You start filming with one idea in mind, but the idea changes each day as elements you could never have anticipated inform the bigger picture. You make adjustments and pursue new storylines. You edit a few scenes, see what’s working and what’s not, then write new scenes. Shoot those, cut them in, then go back and write more. Each part of the process talks to the other. The movie teaches itself to be a better movie. Because organic is complicated, it can be tricky to defend and difficult to scale up, but because it’s cheap and low-resource, it’s easier to experiment. Learning about the self-organizing, living cities that I did on this project informed how we made the video. And looking at poorly planned urban projects reminded me of the broken yet prevailing model for making independent film in the U.S., where so many films are bound to fail — often in a way a filmmaker doesn’t recover from — before they even begin.

Jane Jacobs said that “cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.” I’ve worked on videos for companies, for the guy in the penthouse, for nobody in particular, in the developing world, with rich people and poor people, for me, for my friends, and for artists. I’m so thankful for everybody who allowed me to make this film the way we did, and I hope the parallels between filmmaking and city building — where the stakes are so much higher — aren’t lost on anyone trying to make their city a better place. We should all be involved. The most sustainable future is a future that includes us all.

“The Future of Cities” Reading List

(There’s a longer list I discovered recently from Planetizen HERE but these are the ones I got into on this project — I’m excited to read many more)

The Death and Life of American Cities by Jane Jacobs
The Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Happier by Edward Glaeser
Cities for People and Life Between Buildings by Jan Gehl
The Well-Tempered City: What Modern Science, Ancient Civilizations, and Human Nature Teach Us About the Future of Urban Life by Jonathan Rose(just came out — incredible)
Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time by Jeff Speck
The City of Tomorrow: Sensors, Networks, Hackers, and the Future of Urban Life by Carlo Ratti and Matthew Claudel
Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design by Charles Montgomery
Dream Cities: Seven Urban Ideas That Shape the World by Wade Graham
Connectography: Mapping The Future of Global Civilization by Parag Khanna
Delirious New York by Rem Koolhaas
Low Life and The Other Paris by Luc Sante
A History of Future Cities by Daniel Brook
Streetfight: Handbook for the Urban Revolution by Janette Sadik-Khan and Seth Solomonow
Tactical Urbanism: Short-term Action for Long-Term Change by Mike Lydon & Anthony Garcia
Living In The Endless City, edited by Ricky Burdett and Deyan Sudjic

“The Future of Cities” Select Interviewees:
David Hertz & Sky Source
Vicky Chan & Avoid Obvious Architects
Carlo Ratti: Director, MIT Senseable City Lab Founding Partner, Carlo Ratti Associati
Edward Glaeser: Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics, Harvard University Author of The Triumph of the City
Helle Søholt: Founding Parner & CEO, Gehl Architects
Ricky Burdett: Director, LSE Cities/Urban Age
Lauren Lockwood, Chief Digital Officer, City of Boston
Pablo Viejo: Smart Cities Expert & CTO V&V Innovations, Singapore
Matias Echanove & Urbz, Mumbai
Janette Sadik-Khan: Author, Advisor, & Former NYC DOT Commissioner
Abess Makki: CEO, City Insight
Dr. Parag Khanna: Author of Connectography
Stan Gale: CEO of Gale International, Developer of Songdo IBD
Dr. Jockin Arputham: President, Slum Dwellers International
Morton Kabell: Mayor for Technical & Environmental Affairs, Copenhagen
cities  urban  urbanplanning  urbanism  bikes  biking  cars  singapore  nyc  losangeles  janejacobs  jangehl  edwardglaeser  mumbai  tokyo  regulation  jaimelerner  curitiba  nantucketproject  carloratti  vickchan  davidhertz  hellesøholt  rickyburdett  laurenlockwood  pabloviejo  matiasechanove  urbz  janettesadik-khan  abessmakki  paragkhanna  stangale  jockinarputham  slumdwellersinternational  slums  mortonkabell  urbanization  future  planning  oscarboyson  mikelydon  anthonygarcia  danielbrook  lucsante  remkoolhaas  dayansudjic  rickyburdettsethsolomonow  wadegraham  charlesmontgomery  matthewclaudeljeffspeck  jonathanrose  transportation  publictransit  transit  housing  construction  development  local  small  grassroots  technology  internet  web  online  communications  infrastructure  services  copenhagen  sidewalks  pedestrians  sharing  filmmaking  film  video  taipei  seoul  santiago  aukland  songdo  sydney  london  nairobi  venice  shenzhen  2016  sustainability  environment  population  detroit  making  manufacturing  buildings  economics  commutes  commuting 
december 2016 by robertogreco
Avoiding the crush - Future Tense - ABC Radio National (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
"Put simply, the time-to-collision law suggests that all individuals make subconscious calculations whenever they move, working out in advance who or what is likely to bump into them.

According to the theory, those calculations are made simultaneously and constantly; but, says Guy, the only assessments that are acted upon are those where a person or object is determined to be within two to three seconds of collision.

‘If two people are going to collide very imminently you feel really strong discomfort from that interaction, whereas if they are walking close to you but in the opposite direction there's almost no effect.’

The theory’s veracity, says Guy, is based on an examination of a vast amount of visual data.

‘Thanks to surveillance cameras, thanks to advances in computer vision, we can get hundreds and hundreds of trajectories of people walking in different kinds of environments. Something that's nice about living in the 21st century is there's lots of data.

‘We had data from previous researchers who studied people in bottlenecks, people on college campuses, people just outside of shopping malls, and what we can see is we have lots of trajectories, lots of paths that these people are taking, and we look for patterns in these paths, patterns in the trajectories.’

Time-to-collision isn’t a complete answer to how people move in a crowded environment. Dr Guy acknowledges that cultural differences can also play a part, which is why foreign tourists often find themselves instinctively walking on the wrong side of the footpath, but he argues the theory has enormous potential benefits for future urban planning and design.

‘It's a nice, simple law,’ he says. ‘It automatically suggests a new way to simulate crowds. When you have more accurate simulations you are able to better utilise your space. You are able to make buildings that have more effective hallways and more effective layouts of how people will flow.’

‘As we have more people sharing less space, understanding these movements better is going to allow us to have more efficient utilisation.’

A case of watch this space."
urban  urbanism  crowds  people  2015  via:alexismadrigal  antonyfunnell  stephenguy  time-to-collision  navigation  cities  pedestrians  trajectory 
march 2015 by robertogreco
What if the Police Treated Murder Victims Like Pedestrians? — SD YIMBY
"Given that the fourth San Diegan this year was killed by a car while walking in San Diego yesterday, the San Diego Police Department has decided it is about time to do what they can to halt this disturbing upward trend in deaths. To avoid further deaths, SDPD issued the following tips:

Taking Steps for Pedestrian Safety
A reminder for pedestrians and drivers
• Cross streets at a corner, using traffic signals where available and crosswalks
• Always look left, right, and left again before crossing a street and keep watching as you cross. Be aware that drivers have differing levels of eyesight and skill in operating motor vehicles.
• Pedestrians should be especially careful at intersections, where drivers may fail to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians while turning onto another street
• Make sure you are seen: Make eye contact with drivers when crossing busy streets, wear bright colors or reflective clothing if you are walking near traffic at night, carry a flashlight when walking in the dark.
• Walk on the sidewalk
• Walk defensively and be ready for unexpected events. Know what is going on around you and don’t allow your vision to be blocked by clothing, hats or items you are carrying.
• Watch the pedestrian signals, not the traffic signal and follow the “walk/don’t walk” lights.
• Watch out for parked vehicles. Parking lots can be dangerous
• Avoid alcohol and drugs as they can impair your ability to walk safely
• When crossing, use all of your senses and don’t use your cell phone for calls and texting
• Use particular caution when crossing driveways and alley entrances. Drivers may not expect you to be there or see you
• Adults should supervise children when crossing streets or walking in parking lots. Smaller children may be difficult for drivers to see and young children may not be able to judge whether it is safe to cross
• Walk dogs on short leashes
• MOTORISTS NEED TO BE VIGILANT OF PEDESTRIANS AND PEDESTRIANS NEED TO BE VIGILANT OF MOTORISTS. Although motorists have more responsibility under the law when operating a motor vehicle on city streets, pedestrians have more at stake

Whatever means of transportation, please travel safely.

Because obviously, when one group of people is killing the other, the best police tactic is to blame the victim. Luckily, SDPD has decided to take the same approach to murder in the City. Below is a dispatch from SDPD:

CITIZENS: Recently, the fourth San Diego resident was murdered this month. Shortly after the shooting, the murdered told us that he just didn't see his victim until the last minute and was so tired after working a long day at work that he couldn't suppress his anger. Makes sense, so we let him go. To help avoid more murders, SDPD offers the following advice. If everyone can follow these easy tips, no one will get murdered and life will be great in San Diego.

Taking Steps to Not Get Murdered

• MURDERERS NEED TO BE VIGILANT OF CITIZENS AND CITIZENS NEED TO BE VIGILANT OF MURDERERS. • Although murderers have more responsibility under the law, citizens have more at stake.
• Only walk during the day, as murderers tend to come out at night.
• Be especially careful walking during the day, because murderers will know you have your guard down.
• Small children won't be able to recognize murderers, so it's best to leave them inside until they turn 18. But if you're elderly, you're also probably not fast enough and can't see far enough to avoid murderers. If you are elderly and venture outside, you're basically asking to be shot.
• While living your life, focus solely on not getting murdered. Don't eat or drink, talk on a phone, listen to music, talk to friends, or do anything that will impair your ability to see a murderer.
• Live defensively and be ready for unexpected events. Murderers can come from anywhere, so don't do anything that may block your vision. Don't wear clothes, hats, or carry anything.
• Make sure you are not seen. Wear camouflage, avoid eye contact, dart between bushes and large objects.
• Every now and then, we will flash signs when it looks like the coast is clear. But this is also the most likely time you'll get murdered, because it's easy to pick off unsuspecting prey.
• Always look left, right, and left again before leaving the house. Be aware that murderers have different anger levels before they snap, so you can't trust them not to shoot you even if you are nice.
• Watch out for people with guns, knives, and clubs. But also be vigilant for people with none of these things, because they might be concealing their weapons. Concealed weapons are especially dangerous because you don't see it coming.
• Use particular caution when outside a building. Murderers will not expect to see you there and may get trigger happy.
• if you fail to do any of these things, be ready for the newspapers to say, "Sure, Jane got murdered, but it was her fault for trying to walk during the day and not wear camouflage." Also, SDPD will assume you were asking for it if you don't follow our tips. We really wish there was something we could do to protect citizens against murder and prosecute murderers, but murder is just a fact of life, ya know?
• Maybe the best bet is to just stay inside your house and not get murdered. Unless a family member is a murderer. I guess there is nothing to be done. Sorry!"
sandiego  sdpd  motorists  cars  safety  victimblaming  pedestrians  walking 
february 2015 by robertogreco
Pedestrians As Safety Hazards - John P Anderson
"Enough anecdotes about the incredible amount of land we dedicate to vehicles only, which is a constant and physical reminder of what we place value on. On to the seemingly well-intentioned note from the SDPD to help keep pedestrians safe which is shown in full below. What are we keeping pedestrians safe from? Other pedestrians? I don't recall the last pedestrian killed by another person walking. Of course the danger that is obliquely referred to is the motor vehicle. For some reason the onus is put on the pedestrian - the most vulnerable and least detrimental form of transport known to humankind.

So what advice does the SDPD have for pedestrians to keep themselves out of harms way? Essentially to dress like a traffic cone and give vehicles priority whenever possible; this is also known as 'defensive walking'. Pedestrians should dress in bright colors, carry a flashlight, look thrice before crossing the street and do so only at corners. Pedestrians should also not assume a car will stop - aka wait on the curb until there are no cars in either direction. These sort of instructions make walking seem dangerous, inconvenient and unpleasurable. Walking is great exercise, safe, and healthy - we should be encouraging it as much as possible! Repeat after me: "Motorists are dangerous, pedestrians are not". Again, no one is being killed or injured by pedestrians. Our neighbors and friends are being maimed and killed by motorists every single day of the year. Pedestrians are not the problem, they are a key part of making where we live safer and more enjoyable.

If we were serious about keeping our neighborhoods safe for pedestrians we would take effective action against the biggest danger, motorists, and not penalize and scare people that might otherwise walk. Lower speed limits would be a great start. Another powerful tool would be penalizing drivers that kill people. Running over an old man crossing the street in an unmarked crosswalk should not be chalked up to 'oops, my bad'. Running over an elderly woman walking on the sidewalk should not result in no ticket. These are real tragedies happening right where we live. The same police department that is scolding pedestrians for their flippant and unsafe ways is letting motorists walk away from a dead body without even a basic traffic citation. There is no clearer example of how much we will prioritize the car over all, we don't even take killing someone seriously when it is done with a car.

Will the SDPD be posting safety tips for motorists to Nextdoor as well? I won't be holding my breath but hope so. I would suggest posting safety tips for each mode of transport in proportion to the amount of people killed by that mode in the past year. Obviously this would result in an incredibly high amount of safety tips for motorists as compared to pedestrians, bicyclists, and bus riders. This would be appropriate because motorists are the biggest danger by a very, very wide margin to others. The safety tips below are like addressing second smoking by advising non-smokers to wear masks, avoid areas where smokers may be, and at the same time granting the majority of public land to smokers. It's farcical and year, in regards to transport it is exactly what we are doing over and over in nearly every facet of our society.

It's time to stop stigmatizing safe transport and giving dangerous transport a free pass. Motorists are dangerous, pedestrians are not."
sandiego  cars  safety  2015  sdpd  pedestrians  walking  motorists  johnanderson  victimblaming 
february 2015 by robertogreco
Paul Piff: Does money make you mean? | Video on TED.com
"It's amazing what a rigged game of Monopoly can reveal. In this entertaining but sobering talk, social psychologist Paul Piff shares his research into how people behave when they feel wealthy. (Hint: badly.) But while the problem of inequality is a complex and daunting challenge, there's good news too. (Filmed at TEDxMarin.)

Paul Piff studies how social hierarchy, inequality and emotion shape relations between individuals and groups."

[A summary, in GIFs: http://stoweboyd.com/post/74281156067/invisibleeverywhere-tedx-does-money-make-you ]

[Related: "Rich People Just Care Less" http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/10/05/rich-people-just-care-less/ ]
paulpiff  wealth  privilege  2013  danielgoleman  success  ego  behavior  self-interest  entitlement  compassion  empathy  monopoly  money  research  inequality  emotion  hierarchy  hierarchies  advantage  society  status  greed  morality  cheating  sharing  helpfulness  moralizing  self-importance  ethics  legal  law  effort  pedestrians  achievement  accomplishment  capitalism  socialmobility  growth  trust  lifeexpectancy  health  economics  cooperation  community  egalitarianism  poverty  inequity 
january 2014 by robertogreco
Walk [Your City]™
"What? An online pedestrian empowerment tool for any citizen to become an engaged stakeholder in their community. The W[YC] platform will allow anyone to auto-magically create their own guerrilla wayfinding sign to export, print and install.

Why? Walk Raleigh, our initial guerrilla (unsanctioned & self initiated) wayfinding project, has resonated with so many people, both home and away (even the BBC came to town!), we had to make it accessible for more people to use. Walk Raleigh has even been adopted as a pilot educational program in Raleigh, N.C. Wait, whats guerrilla or tactical urbanism anyways?

How? By using existing digital resources and the newly released “google maps” walk tool, we will develop a simple point and click sign-making experience for even the most novice of computer-user. Anyone will be able to auto-magically download their own sign."
walkability  googlemaps  signs  guerillawayfinding  wayfinding  mapping  maps  signalization  transportation  urbanism  urban  walking  pedestrians  empowerment  cities 
july 2012 by robertogreco
Los Angeles Walks | Everyone Walks in L.A.
"Mission Statement

Los Angeles Walks is a volunteer-driven organization dedicated to promoting walking and pedestrian infrastructure in Los Angeles, educating Angelenos and local policymakers concerning the rights and needs of pedestrians of all abilities, and fostering the development of safe and vibrant environments for all pedestrians.

Vision

Los Angeles is a vibrant city in which people can and do walk regularly for transportation, exercise, or fun. Policymakers and residents appreciate walking as a valuable form of transportation, and Angelenos of all ages, ethnicities, incomes, and abilities are able to walk or move safely through their neighborhoods."
urbanism  urban  policy  transportation  pedestrians  losangeles  walking 
april 2012 by robertogreco
“…than the evening of an Etruscan grove”: Soho in the bones « Adam Greenfield's Speedbird
"we are all of us making and remaking the places we live in on a constant basis, speaking them into reality through the things we say and the comments we leave on blogs, knitting them into being with bicycles and cars and our own two feet. We bring them to life with our custom and our traffic, our peregrinations and the exercise of our habits. And if we want to leave legends behind, we’d better get busy. These particular streets, richly shrouded in story as they are, demand no less."
adamgreenfield  memory  place  meaning  meaningmaking  soho  london  2011  subcultures  bike  biking  cars  cities  atemporality  change  evolution  urban  urbanism  pedestrians  walking  persistence  persistenceofmemory  legacy  living  life  reinvention  making  remaking  markmaking 
september 2011 by robertogreco
Europe Stifles Drivers in Favor of Mass Transit and Walking - NYTimes.com
"While American cities are synchronizing green lights to improve traffic flow and offering apps to help drivers find parking, many European cities are doing the opposite: creating environments openly hostile to cars. The methods vary, but the mission is clear — to make car use expensive and just plain miserable enough to tilt drivers toward more environmentally friendly modes of transportation."

"“In the United States, there has been much more of a tendency to adapt cities to accommodate driving,” said Peder Jensen, head of the Energy and Transport Group at the European Environment Agency. “Here there has been more movement to make cities more livable for people, to get cities relatively free of cars.”"
us  europe  cities  urban  urbanism  urbanplanning  mobility  cars  walking  publictransit  pedestrians  livability  carfree  carfreecity  2011  london  stockholm  zurich  vienna  sanfrancisco  traffic  priorities  nyc  bikes  biking  sustainability  health  parking 
june 2011 by robertogreco
Woonerf - Wikipedia
"A woonerf (Dutch plural: woonerven) in the Netherlands and Flanders is a street where pedestrians and cyclists have legal priority over motorists. The techniques of shared spaces, traffic calming, and low speed limits are intended to improve pedestrian, bicycle, and automobile safety."
woonerf  woonerven  netherlands  streets  urban  urbanism  safety  bikes  biking  traffic  pedestrians  cars  motorists  priority  transportation 
march 2011 by robertogreco
CITYterm: Admission » Admitted Students » Outside Lies Magic
"Get out now. Not just outside, but beyond the trap of the programmed electronic age so gently closing around so many people at the end of our century. Go outside, move deliberately, then relax, slow down, look around. Do not jog. Do not run. Forget about blood pressure and arthritis, cardiovascular rejuvenation and weight reduction. Instead pay attention to everything that abuts the rural road, the city street, the suburban boulevard. Walk. Stroll. Saunter. Ride a bike, and coast along a lot. Explore.

Abandon, even momentarily, the sleek modern technology that consumes so much time and money now, and seek out the resting place of a technology almost forgotten. Go outside and walk a bit, long enough to forget programming, long enough to take in and record new surroundings.

Flex the mind, a little at first, then a lot. Savor something special. Enjoy the best-kept secret around--the ordinary, everyday landscape that rewards any explorer, that touches any explorer with magic."
architecture  books  via:britta  johnstilgoe  pedestrians  walking  biking  bikes  psychogeography  noticing  learning  landscape  classideas  openstudio  classtrips  fieldtrips  bighere  exploration  looking  cities  urban  urbanism  builtenvironment  visibility  meandering  deliberate 
february 2011 by robertogreco
Don'ts: walking while texting
"If you run into me on the sidewalk while you are heads-down texting, emailing, IMing, reading, sexting, Angry Birdsing, or whatever elseing on your mobile device, I get to slap that fucking thing out of your hands a la Alex Rodriguez slapping the ball out of Bronson Arroyo's glove in game six of the 2004 American League Championship Series, except way less milquetoasty. And you do the same for me, ok?

Addendum: If you're heads-down texting on your phone accompanying a young child in a crosswalk with lots of traffic turning through it, I get to slap the phone out of your hands, punch you in the face, and take your child away from you forever. Seriously, what the fuck is wrong with you people?"
jasonkottke  kottke  etiquette  attention  mobilephones  mobile  parenting  texting  walking  pedestrians 
february 2011 by robertogreco
this is a456: Utopia For Sale
"somehow rings familiar. During early 20th century, art & architecture never existed wholly isolated from popular culture, consumerism, or corporate interests. This was the case in Europe as it was in US. As Le Corbusier’s Plan Voisin or various Reynolds Aluminum ads that would appear in US in 1940s demonstrate, corporate interests sometimes found an unlikely alliance w/ avant-garde. But with Bel Geddes & “The City of Tomorrow,” something slightly different was in order. The author of Horizons did see himself primarily as artist, but never in the same vein as would Le Corbusier, Frank Lloyd Wright, or Erich Mendelsohn. As a person who always wore his commercial aspirations on his sleeve, Bel Geddes became a figure willing to leverage artistic inclinations not only as a kind of expertise, but as vehicle for transmitting ideas about contemporary urbanism to mass audiences. He was…person who popularized utopia by giving it its most tangible & visibly-appealing manifestation…"
design  culture  politics  history  theory  streamlining  stanleyrestor  henrydreyfuss  modernism  raymondloewy  walterdorwinteague  nomanbelgeddes  advertising  lecorbusier  thecityoftomorrow  architecture  art  commercialism  shelloil  gm  pedestrians  utopia  utopian  transportation  cars  broadacre  millermcclintock 
february 2011 by robertogreco
Amazon.com: Wanderlust: A History of Walking (9780140286014): Rebecca Solnit: Books: Reviews, Prices & more
"Walking, as Thoreau said and Solnit elegantly demonstrates, inevitably leads to other subjects. This pleasing and enlightening history of pedestrianism unfolds like a walking conversation with a particularly well-informed companion with wide-ranging interests. Walking, says Solnit, is the state in which the mind, the body and the world are aligned; thus she begins with the long historical association between walking and philosophizing. She briefly looks at the fossil evidence of human evolution, pointing to the ability to move upright on two legs as the very characteristic that separated humans from the other beasts and has allowed us to dominate them. She looks at pilgrims, poets, streetwalkers and demonstrators, and ends up, surprisingly, in Las Vegas--or maybe not so surprisingly in that city of tourists, since "Tourism itself is one of the last major outposts of walking." …"
rebeccasolnit  flaneur  walking  books  toread  history  pedestrians  philosophy  evolution  science  anthropology  culture  thoreau  waltwhitman 
november 2010 by robertogreco
Transportation Nation
"Transportation Nation combines the work of public radio newsrooms and their listeners as the way we build, rebuild and get around the nation changes. Listen and stay tuned for more. Learn more about some of the reporters on the project."

[See also: http://marketplace.publicradio.org/projects/project_display.php?proj_identifier=2010/05/27/transportation-nation ]
transportation  us  urban  design  transport  publictransit  buses  trains  airplanes  airports  cargo  freight  busrapidtransit  cars  sustainability  cities  economics  highspeed  pedestrians  privatization  taxis  subways  technology  transit  tricks  trucking  planning  journalism  highspeedrail  rail 
november 2010 by robertogreco
Car Capacity Is Not Sacred | PubliCola - Seattle's News Elixir [via: http://bettyann.tumblr.com/post/1102798385]
"The crucial point is that car infrastructure not only encourages driving, it also sabotages mobility by any other means. It’s a vicious cycle: roads beget sprawl begets car dependence begets roads, and so on. And the result is an ever-expanding built environment in which walking, biking, and transit are not viable options.

The only way to break the vicious cycle is to invest our limited transportation dollars in infrastructure that will help make walking, biking, and transit more attractive than driving. And here’s where we need to start being honest with ourselves: If we are serious about creating a city in which significant numbers of trips are made by modes other than cars, then we will have to accept that driving will become less convenient than it is today."
cars  bikes  pedestrians  walking  biking  transit  transportation  energy  cities  policy  money  infrastructure  capacity  seattle  pugetsound  washingtonstate  convenience  change  cardependence  carcapacity 
september 2010 by robertogreco
Shareable: Can We Design Cities for Happiness?
"Happiness itself is a commons to which everyone should have equal access.

That’s the view of Enrique Peñalosa, who is not a starry-eyed idealist given to abstract theorizing. He’s actually a politician, who served as mayor of Bogotá, Colombia, for three years, and now travels the world spreading a message about how to improve quality-of-life for everyone living in today’s cities.

Peñalosa’s ideas stand as a beacon of hope for cities of the developing world, which even with their poverty and immense problems will absorb much of the world’s population growth over the next half-century. Based on his experiences in Bogotá, Peñalosa believes it’s a mistake to give up on these cities as good places to live."
enriquepeñalosa  bogotá  colombia  cities  happiness  transportation  sustainability  urbanplanning  urban  economics  government  bikes  architecture  design  socialjustice  qualityoflife  cycling  commons  antanasmockus  jaimelerner  buses  biking  pedestrians 
august 2010 by robertogreco
Near Future Laboratory » William H. Whyte Revisited: An Experiment With An Apparatus for Capturing Other Points of View
"There had been a project in the studio this time last year with things placed high for observational purposes (high chairs, periscopes, etc.) and it was filed away in the “lost projects” binder, so this seemed perhaps a way to revive that thinking. Over the course of a week, I made four trips to Home Depot, Simon jigged a prototype bracket on the CNC machine, and I had a retractable 36 foot pole that I imagined I was going to hang a heavy DSLR off of — it scared the bejeezus out of me and required two people to safely raise up. Too high, too floppy.

Another pole — 24 feet. Daunting but serviceable. It retracts to 8 feet, which is still quite high, but the range made it worth the embarrassment. After a brief bang around the reputation and suggestion networks, a wide field of view camera was identified and two ordered. Two cameras, secured to the pole produced a fair resolution, very wide field of view for displaced observations from a peculiar point of view. Good enough."

[http://www.nearfuturelaboratory.com/2010/05/31/apparatus-at-the-habitar-exhibition/ ]
anthropology  perspective  camera  photography  flow  urbanism  urban  pedestrians  perception  observation  2009  julianbleecker  video  research  cities  williamhwhyte 
june 2010 by robertogreco
Mythogeography
"This is a website for walkers, artists who use walking in their art, students who are discovering and studying a world of resistant and aesthetic walking, urbanists, geographers, site-specific performers, town planners and un-planners, urban explorers, entrepreneurs and activists who don’t want to drive to the revolution."
art  geography  mythogeography  cities  books  drifting  walking  urban  urbanism  landscape  pedestrians  un-planning  urbanexploration  activism  derive  dérive  philsmith 
april 2010 by robertogreco
Imagine: L.A. bicyclists in the driver's seat, one day a week -- latimes.com
"A group called cicLAvia wants to close major L.A. thoroughfares to cars and open them to bicyclists on Sundays. City officials are looking for ways to support the plan, which originated in Colombia."
losangeles  colombia  bikes  biking  cities  transportation  pedestrians 
november 2009 by robertogreco
sit down man, you're a bloody tragedy: Brutalism, friend of the Pedestrian
"While for Banham the autopia of LA was Progressive, we can't be so sure. Signified in the UK by the point in the '70s related in Joe Moran's On Roads when, to the horror of the motoring lobby, the InterCity trains surpassed the motorways in speed, the car is no longer 'progressive'. In any sensible society it would be all but obsolete, a privatised mode of motion which not only carries rates of death in its wake that would never be accepted on any other kind of transport, but which carries in its train a landscape of endless sheds, retail parks and malls which, for all its cold fascination, is not one which even its defenders can be bothered to make a serious case for. Brutalism's most retrograde element, its attempt to 'recreate' a city for the pedestrian, must now strike us as its most progressive aspect - especially as it is precisely in these pedestrian spaces that Brutalism created a genuinely new space, a new way of moving around the city."
via:cityofsound  brutalism  trains  cars  transportation  cities  urban  urbanism  progress  mobility  transit  pedestrians 
july 2009 by robertogreco
Walk San Diego - Enhancing the livability of communities through promotion, education, and advocacy
"We envision San Diego communities that invite walking as a preferred choice for transportation and recreation for all people. We are dedicated to enhancing the livability of communities through promotion, education, and advocacy, by making walking a safe and viable choice for all people."
sandiego  urban  urbanism  walking  pedestrians  planning 
february 2009 by robertogreco
Obama as an Experiment in Urban Form - Dwell Blog - dwell.com
"How ironic would it be, however, to find that, for all of our calls to pedestrianize parts of the city, it takes the security of a president to make such urban interventions finally happen? In other words, what if Obama's most immediate impact on urban policy in the United States is simply to make people realize that pedestrianization isn't such a bad idea, after all?"
geoffmanaugh  politics  barackobama  landscape  chicago  security  urbanism  urban  cities  change  pedestrians  streets  cars  parking  bldgblog 
january 2009 by robertogreco
EconLog, Libertarian Misanthropes, Arnold Kling: Library of Economics and Liberty [quote from the comments]
"attitudes will all change when gas inevitably hits $10/gallon & millions of people have no choice but to park their cars & bike. Bikers will get plenty of respect when it's god fearing Americans out there & not just poor Mexicans & whiteboy enthusiasts."
bikes  cars  traffic  law  transportation  cities  pedestrians 
july 2008 by robertogreco
I (heart) Public Space: "We make the city and the city makes us" --<em>Jan Gehl</em>
"In Copenhagen, 40% of city residents commute to work by bike. 70% of these commuters continue to bike in the winter, because when it snows, the city's bike lanes are plowed first -- then sidewalks, and finally, roads."
bikes  denmark  cities  copenhagen  via:cityofsound  design  urban  planning  policy  commuting  transportation  pedestrians  safety 
february 2008 by robertogreco
Crosscut Seattle - Seattle's pedestrian attitude toward pedestrians
"What keeps us planted on the corner, waiting for that little light to tell us to "walk"? Frankly, we're a bunch of walking wussies, and if the city's going to call itself foot-friendly, it's time step up to the challenge."
cities  walking  pedestrians  traffic  planning  urban  seattle  washingtonstate  cascadia  us  transportation  trails  culture  society  jaywalking  via:cityofsound 
january 2008 by robertogreco
Crosscut Seattle - Seattle's pedestrian attitude toward pedestrians
"What keeps us planted on the corner, waiting for that little light to tell us to "walk"? Frankly, we're a bunch of walking wussies, and if the city's going to call itself foot-friendly, it's time step up to the challenge."
cities  walking  pedestrians  traffic  planning  urban  seattle  washingtonstate  cascadia  us  transportation  trails  culture  society  jaywalking  via:cityofsound 
january 2008 by robertogreco
CTheory.net: Urban Meanderthals and the City of "Desire Lines"
"Whether he/she is chatting on a cell phone, standing on the wrong side of an escalator, cycling on the sidewalk, or dangerously jaywalking, the Meanderthal obliviously causes that most frustrating of urban traffic jams: the pedlock."
cities  urban  society  etiquette  technology  traffic  meanderthal  foot  pedestrians  walking  mobile  phones  flow 
december 2007 by robertogreco
Pruned: Modeling Urban Panic
"Paul Torrens is someone after our hearts, for he has developed a realistic computer 3D model that can predict crowd behavior in various spatial configurations."
visualization  space  social  pedestrians  population  public  simulations  behavior  urban  architecture  crowds 
june 2007 by robertogreco
Hedonics, aka Happiness Economics
"From the Globe and Mail comes Bogota's urban happiness movement. It's a long article that packs a punch, here summarized."
happiness  hedonics  traffic  vars  walking  pedestrians  community  environment  transportation  bogotá  colombia  urban  planning  bikes  buses  public 
june 2007 by robertogreco
globeandmail.com: Bogota's urban happiness movement
"From living hell to living well: A radical campaign to return streets from cars to people in Colombia's largest city is now a model for the world"
happiness  hedonics  traffic  vars  walking  pedestrians  community  environment  transportation  bogotá  colombia  urban  planning  bikes  buses  public 
june 2007 by robertogreco
BLDGBLOG: Great streets, campuses, and pedestrian nostalgia
"What was genuinely never discussed, though, was not the idea that we need more highways and parking lots and one-way express lanes because everyone owns a car, but that everyone owns a car because they're surrounded by highways and parking lots and one-w
architecture  culture  landscape  nostalgia  oil  space  urban  colleges  universities  street  losangeles  local  design  urbanism  cars  transportation  environment  pedestrians  us  europe  walking  bikes  pollution  public  society 
may 2007 by robertogreco
LA Downtown News Online - Lessons From Colombia
"Ex-Bogotá Mayor Enrique Peñalosa Lectures City Officials On How to Steer a Car-less Future"
cities  transportation  design  urban  planning  urbanism  policy  space  people  culture  society  parks  colombia  latinamerica  cars  pedestrians  bikes  local  losangeles 
november 2006 by robertogreco
Podcast - Enrique Peñalosa Discusses The Importance Of Public Spaces | Planetizen
"In this podcast, we present excerpts from a recent speech by Peñalosa in which he discusses the importance of public spaces in creating great cities."
cities  transportation  design  urban  planning  urbanism  policy  space  people  culture  society  parks  colombia  latinamerica  cars  pedestrians  bikes  local  losangeles  enriquepeñalosa 
november 2006 by robertogreco
Treehugger: Traffic Lights Replaced By...Courtesy?
"Drachen, a small Dutch city with around 50,000 residents has removed almost all of its traffic lights. Major intersections have been converted to roundabouts, smaller intersections just let drivers work make decisions on their own. Basically, it's anarch
cities  transportation  traffic  energy  sustainability  cars  bikes  pedestrians  people  society  light 
november 2006 by robertogreco

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