→ The Boston Globe: As cycling gains popularity, an anti-cyclist bias remains
No matter one’s opinion of cyclists or their riding habits, they are practically defenseless against the smallest sedan, never mind an SUV or a truck. Drivers simply have to take the high road — not only around cyclists who abide by the rules of the road, but even around selfish cyclists who don’t. Shaving a few minutes along the way can’t possibly outweigh the risk of maiming or killing a fellow human being.
During the era of interstate highway construction, and the resulting demographic shift from city to suburb, municipalities worked to provide auto access to their downtowns, hoping this access would support economic growth. However, mounting evidence shows that greater automobile access came at the expense of the very economic vibrancy cities sought and does not help reduce roadway congestion. Costs associated with accommodating cars, particularly for parking, are outweighed by the long-term economic costs.
→ The International: The Death of the American Mall and the Rebirth of Public Space
The link between this New Urbanist development and a mall REIT is significant. It points to a danger raised by city planner Ann Satterthwaite: that post-mall neighborhoods will simply become outdoor malls, as controlled and sterile – and state subsidized – as indoor shopping centers. The return of Main Street is an undeniable trend, Satterthwaite writes in The Encyclopedia of Community. “But the mall Main Street is more a privately controlled theme park than a public street with its diverse people and activities and freedoms.” If Satterthwaite is right, we haven’t yet found a way to live beyond the mall.
→ Planetizen: The Most Important Urban Design Decision Vancouver Ever Made
When it came to my turn, my answer took a big picture and perhaps surprising approach, depending on your definition of urban design. In Vancouver, a city often referred to as “a city by design”, the most important urban design decision we ever made, the decision I loved most, is actually usually referred to as a transportation decision.
In 1997, the city approved its first influential Transportation Plan.