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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Why Isn’t My City More Like Copenhagen?

"It’s really wonderful to live in a city where every day when you wake up in the morning you realize that today the city is a little bit better than yesterday. I’ve had this feeling now for almost 40 years.”
-Danish Urbanist Jan Gehl

Shouldn't you be able to say that your city is a little better every day? Does your city really need another parking lot? Another strip mall? Another lane of freeway? Is most of the energy of urban planning where you live simply trying to facilitate the automobile and make traffic move faster? Or would you prefer that the automobile become a diminishing presence in your life? Would you rather spend even more time in your car or more time around people? To me these seem like ridiculously easy questions to answer but it seems that they are also questions that few people are asking.

Many cities have been built completely out of scale to the human beings living there. As I have said on many occasions, the domination of the automobile was a tremendous mistake of the 20th century and a mistake that we must work diligently to rectify in this century. This isn’t just a matter of increasing problems with energy consumption, it’s about human happiness.

Here's how they do it in Paris:

1 comment:

If you can't say something nice, say it here.