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Urban Design

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Poll Question: Cars or Pedestrians/Transit?
Poll Choice Votes Poll Statistics
1 [33.33%]
1 [33.33%]
1 [33.33%]
0 [0.00%]
0 [0.00%]
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Captain Vancouver View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Captain Vancouver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Urban Design
    Posted: 24 Feb 2014 at 23:28
In the mid-twentieth century, everyone was to own their own car, and that would lead to the acme of modern, convenient, futuristic living. A half century later, what seemed good in theory has not worked out in practice. Everyone and his dog do indeed have have cars, and they often want to occupy the same bit of urban space as their fellows, at the very same time. No problem, said the engineers, we'll just keep building out- mega-cities of concrete and asphalt.

What we have ended up with now bears little resemblance to human habitations of the past. All is about utility and movement, producing stress, anger, health and environmental issues, and a general lowing of one' quality of life. Our futuristic thinking has actually led to fuming motorists sitting stationary on freeways in Atlanta, and citizens choking on smog in Beijing and New Delhi.

In a kind of Twilight Zone twist, millions will pay out good money to go on vacation somewhere to relax- somewhere with no, or at least strictly controlled, cars and traffic. What a paradise, some of these travelers will say, wish home was more like this.

But that's my take. What's yours? On a scale of 1-5, what do you think of the balance (some would say conflict) between facilities for the movement of private autos, and the need or desire for alternative streetscapes? How much for utility, how much for esthetics? What is the value of a quality, livable environment?



"...Experts say our love affair with the automobile is ending, and that could change much more than how we get around – it presents both an opportunity and an imperative to rethink how we build cities, how governments budget and even the contours of the political landscape..."

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/are-we-reaching-peak-car/article2210139/page1/

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/26/opinion/the-death-of-the-fringe-suburb.html?_r=2&hpw&

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-debate/cities-should-worship-the-ground-we-walk-on/article17028062/


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toyomotor View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Feb 2014 at 01:38
As you say, every man and his dog wants to be on a particular piece of roadway at a particular time. The air pollution around major cities is incredible.

Take for example Bangkok and Tokyo where Traffic Police are regularly seen wearing masks against the pollution.

Let's look at the infrastructure required to house those cars when their (often) single occupant reaches their place of work-unattractive concrete towers.

Obviously, in most cities around the world, more focus has been put on vehicular traffics needs rather than human needs, those cities get a rating of about 2/10 for forward planning and futuristic thinking.

Two things must happen, imo.

1) Reduction in private commuter transport; and
2) Force people onto environmentally friendly public transport.

And.........GOOD LUCK!!!
It's not that I was born in Ireland,
It's the Ireland that was born in me.
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Omar al Hashim View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Omar al Hashim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Feb 2014 at 09:53
This entirely depends on where we are talking about.

In my opinion, what is important is green space and vegetation. It's better to be quiet and small than busy. I am not a city person, and I believe cites are better with more grass than concrete.

In areas of low population density this strongly favours cars. Simply put there is no alternative. In areas of high population density there are just too many cars and public transport is the only way.
Generally I support decentralisation. Many medium centres are better than one big one.

The problem, generally is not cars vs public transport, but rather one of planning a city around transportation and greenery.
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Northman View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Northman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Feb 2014 at 10:58
In Denmark we are taking another route - or rather an additional route.
We have a great wide spread network of public transport throughout the country and of course in the cities and towns as well.
But when it comes to present and future urban design, the planning includes vast areas designed for bicycles. For every road planned, there is a bicycle lane on the side. 

Bicycle lanes offering more space than the space for cars are often seen ex. in Copenhagen which actually serves as a model for many city-planners worldwide.


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   If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.    (Albert Einstein)
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toyomotor View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Feb 2014 at 12:21
North

From what I've read, it seems that Scandinavian countries are leading the way in Urban Design, including architecture.

In order for other countries to catch up, they must start to find alternatives for urban commuter traffic, forcing people onto other alternatives.
It's not that I was born in Ireland,
It's the Ireland that was born in me.
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