- a collection of notes and reflections on urban living from the perspective of a family of five in Tokyo. My epiphany was many years ago, but being hit by a motorbike and seeing my life flash before my eyes caused a sudden change that slowly made me reflect on whether American style auto-centric urban transportation of the Roosevelt era really is a capital G "Good Idea" for civilized modern cities in the 21st Century. This blog explores the good and the bad in urban planning and design, here and elsewhere. The goal is simple - not "death to all cars," just more walkable communities, quiet tree-lined streets, good public transport, traffic calming, Velib style bicycle sharing and a bit of common sense. The bolg is mostly theraputic, so I don't go wanting to throttle every dangerous driver I come across, but partly also out of a real desire to see positive change. This blog explores how it can be done, the people who do it, and how, in many small ways, this very old idea may at last have found its zeitgeist. Comments and suggestions welcome.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

New Urbanism

Found a very upbeat article "Suburbs a Mile Too Far for Some" in the WSJ discussing the promising future of "New Urbanism" in the United States, and how this process is already well underway. Three cheers for high gas prices. I find it fascinating that in the US the statement "I only fill a tank once a month" is still something to be wondered at. I cannot even remember the last time I filled a tank. I may have done it in 2007 for a rental car. Certainly not yet in 2008 (it is almost July now). I love reading these stories - and stories about trucking companies struggling to improve efficiency.

I wonder if the WSJ has been found PPS lately. It really is all about the streets and public places - not about the home castle. I've never felt all that cramped even living in a small Japanese shoebox - because my home is much more than the dwelling I live in, it is the town around me - the shops, restaurants, library, public hall, park, shrine, children's playground, coffee shop, university etc etc. My house is just a place to sleep and clean and get a bit of private time. Most of the real fun takes place outside - on the streets. But of course, you cannot have a chat with the neighbors while watching your children play soccer in the street if (like in the USA, Australia, Canada etc) your streets are sterile places reserved for speeding vehicles.

1 comment:

Robert J Miller said...

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