The Streets Will Never Be the Same: The Future of Car-Free Roads
Giving the streets back to folks for whom they were originally designed: pedestrians.
Major cities are giving cars the boot. By 2050, it's estimated 66 percent of the world's population will be living in cities. This level of urbanization will be a challenge for city planners to design sustainable infrastructures to support such a population boom. (Unless we want our cities to be like Beijing.)
“We can’t thrive if the communities where we operate don’t thrive,” says Executive VP of Corporate Responsibility at JP Morgan Chase Peter Scher.
The Norwegian capital of Oslo plans to ban all cars by 2019, doubling-down on bicycle infrastructure and public transportation. Likewise, the city of Aarhus in Denmark is taking a more passive-aggressive approach to discourage car traffic in its city by prioritizing bicycles at stoplights.
When Paris held a “day without cars” in late September, the mayor's office reported a huge drop in air and noise pollution in the city. The Guardian reports that some parts of the city saw nitrogen dioxide levels drop by up to 40 percent — proof of the huge impact a car-less city could have on the health of its citizens.
A report done by the French Sénat found the health, economic, and financial consequences from air pollution costs France €101.3 billion ($111.4 billion) a year. In America, air pollution has been linked to the illnesses and premature deaths of tens of thousands of Americans each year.
But an analysis by researchers from the Lund University has shown that “investments in cycling infrastructure and bike-friendly policies are economically sustainable and give high returns." The cities of the future may have to be ones without cars if we want them to be places we can live in.
“What cities are, are a sort of intricate layering of the work of many generations, one on top of another, and so, it’s subtle transformation and inflection of cities rather than whole scale transformation that’s really important,” says William J. Mitchell, one of the members of the MIT Smart Cities research group.
Natalie has been writing professionally for about 6 years. After graduating from Ithaca College with a degree in Feature Writing, she snagged a job at PCMag.com where she had the opportunity to review all the latest consumer gadgets. Since then she has become a writer for hire, freelancing for various websites. In her spare time, you may find her riding her motorcycle, reading YA novels, hiking, or playing video games. Follow her on Twitter: @nat_schumaker
Photo Credit: LUDOVIC MARIN / Getty Staff
Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.
No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.
A NASA astronomer explains how astronauts dispose of their, uh, dark matter.
- When nature calls in micro-gravity, astronauts must answer. Space agencies have developed suction-based toilets – with a camera built in to ensure all the waste is contained before "flushing".
- Yes, there have been floaters in space. The early days of space exploration were a learning curve!
- Amazingly, you don't need gravity to digest food. Peristalsis, the process by which your throat and intestines squeeze themselves, actually moves food and water through your digestive system without gravity at all.
The Harvard psychologist loves reading authors' rules for writing. Here are his own.
- Steven Pinker is many things: linguist, psychologist, optimist, Harvard professor, and author.
- When it comes to writing, he's a student and a teacher.
- Here's are his 13 rules for writing better, more simply, and more clearly.
A growing body of research shows promising signs that the keto diet might be able to improve mental health.
- The keto diet is known to be an effective tool for weight loss, however its effects on mental health remain largely unclear.
- Recent studies suggests that the keto diet might be an effective tool for treating depression, and clearing up so-called "brain fog," though scientists caution more research is necessary before it can be recommended as a treatment.
- Any experiments with the keto diet are best done in conjunction with a doctor, considering some people face problems when transitioning to the low-carb diet.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.