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9 Reasons the U.S. Ended Up So Much More Car-Dependent Than Europe

9 Reasons the U.S. Ended Up So Much More Car-Dependent Than Europe | PROYECTO ESPACIOS | Scoop.it
Understanding mistakes of the past can help guide U.S. transportation policy in the future.

Between the 1920s and 1960s, policies adapting cities to car travel in the United States served as a role model for much of Western Europe. But by the late 1960s, many European cities started refocusing their policies to curb car use by promoting walking, cycling, and public transportation. For the last two decades, in the face of car-dependence, suburban sprawl, and an increasingly unsustainable transportation system, U.S. planners have been looking to Western Europe.


Via Lauren Moss
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Brittany Ortiz's curator insight, October 27, 2014 2:44 PM

This is very true and fascinating to read. It's obvious how technology and cars can change the way we view the world. When in DR this past summer, there were so many people driving a motorcycle. I didn't really get the reason why other than hearing my dad say "porque no cuesta mucho" which in English is saying "because it doesn't cost as much." It made sense, seeing the conditions outside of the resort and also having the opportunity to visit an elementary school and seeing how many students either walked or went 3 to 4 on a motorcycle to get to school. It makes sense how having a car and paying the taxes contributes in a state fixing something. It's obvious how car dependent United States is. Were so lazy to walk up the street to get milk, that we'll prefer to drive our car there. Its the realization we must all unfortunately come to.

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Public Transportation: An Alternate View

Public Transportation: An Alternate View | PROYECTO ESPACIOS | Scoop.it

We’ve all heard the stats of pollution and we know that the built form being designed around the car has destroyed a walkable environment based on nuclear neighborhoods.


We’ve abandoned the charm and livability of almost all of our cities, and it will take centuries to get back. The car does take a lot of the blame...


'Urban designers and planners strive for perfect development: walkable, tree-lined streets, beautiful public spaces, and a car-free lifestyle. We search for this in our own personal lives, and in most cases we come up shorthanded. Unless you live in New York, Chicago, Portland, Seattle and San Francisco (our country’s gems) we often feel unsatisfied. However, I believe you can stay in your car (gasp!) and choose just as valuable of a sustainable lifestyle.'


Read the complete article for an urban designer's first-hand perspective on the value and benefits of living in a higher-density community, including those related to commute and neighborhood, as well as reasons why land use must be considered along with transportation, when planning for sustainability and new development.


Via Lauren Moss
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