Do cars kill cities?

The answer seems to be „yes“, based on an article published in Atlantic Cities, authored by Chris McCahill from the […]

The answer seems to be „yes“, based on an article published in Atlantic Cities, authored by Chris McCahill from the University of Connecticut. The article draws on a paper published by the same author.

 

In the early 1960s – when highway construction was at its peak and cars were just beginning to leave their mark – a handful of critics predicted there would be irreconcilable tensions between vibrant cities and their motorized inhabitants.

As it turns out, the amount of land used for parking is a key indicator of how seriously automobile infrastructure has impacted an urban environment

 

If the function of parking was to enable growth and development, the data suggests they were abysmal failures. The number of people and jobs dropped by as much as 15 percent and the median family incomes fell by 20 to 30 percent in some places.

 

The combined effects of improved convenience for drivers, a degraded walking environment, service cuts to public transit and the physical separation of residential and commercial areas were forcing city-dwellers into cars.

Today, in many cities, roads and parking facilities continue to grow, as though the problem for the last 50 years has been that the growth was not enough. These cities might be able to guarantee a parking space in front of every destination that still remains (or they might not), but they are likely doing so at the expense of those things that cities really need – namely, people.

About Heinrich

Promoting everyday cycling