Nimble Cities

Slate asks its readers for suggestions on how to make transportation in and between cities more efficient, more pleasant, and just better.  One thing for sure is that nobody likes sitting in traffic, and modern American cities are all planned, unfortunately so, around the automobile.

Our life and the places we live are set up to frustrate us.  But our culture is changing like never before and there isn’t really a need to commute to an office, when so many of us can work from home.

“Transportation is such a complex problem—encompassing design, engineering, land use, politics, economics, and psychology—we’re expecting a vast range of proposals. Some will geek out on the transparency of transit data; others will gravitate toward the best bike locks; some will go the “supertrain” route; others may fixate on traffic-signal timings.”  And yet, it isn’t transportation that is the issue, it’s one small fragment of the overall picture; what’s really at stake is how transportation fits into modern city planning.

The ideal city in my mind is one you don’t have to walk very far to obtain basic survival items, one that strikes a balance between city and country (why don’t cities have farms that supply local food?), one that is easily navigable without a car, etc.  Can this be done?  I don’t know, but I also don’t see evidence of many cities trying.

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