Cities of Future Sans Cars?

Background Reading

Summary

Sorry, it's just Photoshop for now: Chaudière Island Master Plan in Ottawa. The city has mixed-use, pedestrian-oriented neighborhoods. (Perkins+Will / © Chris Foyd.

Sorry, it’s just Photoshop for now: Chaudière Island Master Plan in Ottawa. The city has mixed-use, pedestrian-oriented neighborhoods. (Perkins+Will / © Chris Foyd.


TakeAways

Much of this sort of thinking is centered around a city-centric view of the world. But most cities, especially here in the United States are unsafe, impoverished and losing their clout to the suburban areas that they once held hostage. In fact the current crop of Millennials is moving out of Chicago at an alarming rate to settle in safer suburbs with better family services.

Cities as a rule are often shown in what I call the gentrified state that many bicycle-centric people view as appealing. But where are all the poor and vagrants in these Photoshop-ed images? They are non-existent.

Right now our inner city youth are having a march to ask for an end to gun violence here in Chicago. Before cities can claim to have a handle on how their transportation infrastructure should look they need to figure out how to keep from losing the few whites who have moved into their faltering neighborhoods.

It is not a myth that the wealthier celebrities like David Mancow have left Chicago. Why stay in the city limits when you can live a short distance away and take a bicycle into the city? Or better yet drive your car or take mass transit to the city limits and then use Divvy for the rest of the day?

Cities like Chicago are struggling to find ways to pay the pensions of their retired police, fire fighters and teachers. They do this by putting up red light, speed and whatever other kinds of cameras that might be available to try and raise revenue. How then are they going to justify transforming their streets into carless corridors which have no financial benefits being derived from over-priced parking?

Besides these problems you have summer weekends with shooting that climb well past 50 for a single three day period. And you are trying to convince yourselves that a bucolic European-style street scene is going to work in that sort of environment. Come on, folks!

Whatever you are smoking, please share.