Social planners, ecologists look to exploit pandemic as golden opportunity to permanently remove cars from the road — hope "to save city dwellers … from the auto-centric culture" and "remake cities." https://t.co/TrLmGxQaif
— Craig Rucker (@CJRucker) April 15, 2020
The Pandemic Could Be an Opportunity to Remake Cities
By Alex Davies
Excerpt: Cities from Bogota to Oakland are closing streets to make room for pedestrians and bikers. Urbanists think we’d be healthier if such changes were permanent….
The problem with curtailing the supply of open space, though, is that it doesn’t reduce demand. People still need to go outside, some to work, others to play, all to keep their sanity intact. Now, though, the demand comes chiefly from people on foot, rather than in vehicles.
In that shift, urbanists see a chance to save city dwellers not just from the sweep of a pandemic, but from the auto-centric culture that has dominated urban life for decades. They want to prioritize the movement of people—pedestrians, cyclists, transit users, and their ilk—over cars. This isn’t just opportunism, a shot at grabbing street space while most cars are parked. A range of tactics long demanded by urbanists can make life outside more pleasant and practical amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. And depending on how much life goes back to “normal” once the pandemic has passed, the moves could change cities for the better, and for the long term.