I came across this on Netflix. The focus is on Jan Gehl and his team building cities for humans rather than cars, read on for some key things I took from it or watch it at the link below.
Here are some key things I took from it:
- How do we measure happiness in the city? What is important for humans? Social opportunities.
- Highways killed city life, roads and obsession with car reduced number of people on the street, neighbourhood tightness disappeared, as city grows things separate and walking and cycling become less viable.
- Separated land uses isolated people, they remove activity from the street and place a reliance on the automobile. Tall buildings also result in less street activity as people are less likely to want to leave, low rise city (less than six stories) preferable.
- There are lots of techniques for measuring traffic but not for people. Copenhagen example shows when the car was removed, pedestrian activity increased, more space for people = more city life. City life creates connections, an appreciation and desire to care for the community.
- Sub-urban living creates a disconnect, it separates home from work and play and places become just somewhere to drive through. Suburbs are designed to make the car happy, with wide streets, completely different scale to what a pedestrian needs to be happy.
- Today we see and understand that cars have a negative impact on the environment, particularly their effect on cities. Times Square was not a square, 90% of people were pedestrians, 90% of space was for vehicles, needed reprioritized. Temporary pilot projects were used to test theory's and reallocate space to pedestrians, changes were largely supported by the public. Make the street important to the community rather than just a thoroughfare.
- Budgets continue to favour the automobile and road building. In planning for the future we should not exclude any parts of society, we must provide suitable facilities for pedestrians, cyclist and transit users. Ongoing increase in car ownership is not sustainable.
- Understanding what kind of city people want is important and consultation with all parts of society is critical to creating a city for the people. Don't tell the people, ask the people!
- We can't force people to do anything, but, we can invite them to by providing the means to do so.