Architect Says 'Stop Planning For Cars'

Columnist and architect Arrol Gelner comes to grips with the end of the automobile era.

"(C)ars in their present form are no more a permanent fixture of our built environment than were the oxcart, the chariot, or the horse and buggy. We happen to live in the historical apogee of the internal-combustion automobile, but even the smallest degree of historical perspective makes plain that it's merely a temporary visitor -- and an increasingly troublesome one -- on planet Earth.

Now, for those staunch car defenders getting ready to fire off e-mails calling me a deluded idealist, a car hater or a clueless academic -- don't bother. The fact is I've been an incurable gearhead since childhood. I can still happily spend a long evening jabbering about cam grinds and axle ratios with my car-crazy buddies, and I still own a number of Detroit's most venerable old gas guzzlers in honor of a grand old era that's now passed into history. If anything, though, this personal obsession makes it all the more obvious to me that our autocentric society, and the vast traffic and petroleum supply infrastructure that goes along with it, will one day be no more than a curiosity to future historians.

Full Story: Urban planning's future: people, not cars

Comments

Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
AICP CTP Storefont Display

The first online AICP* CTP exam prep class

Are you ready to take the AICP* Certified Transportation Planner exam?
Priced at $245 for May exam!

Stay thirsty, urbanists

These sturdy water bottles are eco-friendly and perfect for urbanists on the go.
$19.00
Woman wearing city map tote bag

City Shoulder Totes - New Cities Added!

Durable CityFabric© shoulder tote bags available from 9 different cities.
$22.00