Jeff Speck talks about the impact urban planning can have on our pocket, waistlines and carbon footprint.
Our cities have developed in recent times around the needs and functions of cars rather than of humans. This has allowed for the expansion of cities from a human, walkable scale to a size that requires cars to get around. This growth of structure around vehicles create cities and urban dwellings that are unsuitable for walking and therefore ensure the continued use of cars. This co-dependant development has be central to our reliance on personal transportation and if, in an age of lower environmental impact, we are to move away from cars we shall have to redesign and adapt our cities to encourage walking and public transportation.
Within the design of our cities lies the cure.
Jeff believes that this will have positive impacts on our lives in two ways. Firstly that the reduction in reliance and need for cars has the potential to reduce your financial outgoings (using Portland, Oregon as an example) allowing you to spend the money on more important things such as the enjoyment of life and our personal well-being. Secondly the strong correlation between exercise and weight loss means that a more active lifestyle, revolving around walking rather than driving, would naturally have beneficial impacts on your health. There are many other nock on effects that he goes on to briefly explore but i’m sure the positive outcomes are fairly clear not only on a personal level but on a wider more environmental level. What would you think about a city without cars?
Article from Envirocene