Life in the Slow Lane

After decades of building for speed, cities are rediscovering the virtues of slow: walking, biking and streetcars are taking over from freeways.

Will Doig writing at Salon, considers how deliberately slowing down urban movement brings social, economic and psychological benefits.

"For generations, velocity has defined the urban experience: screeching subways, maniacal taxis, hustling crowds. Life in the fast lane.

But look around...and you might notice that a lot of the new ideas seeping into cities are aimed not at making them faster, but slowing them down. The buzziest mode of transport now is a bicycle. Streetcars, a pokey throwback, are returning. Walkable neighborhoods, traffic-calming measures and "slow zones" are catching on, and freeways are being torn down and replaced with lower-speed boulevards. Even things like sit-down pedestrian plazas and pop-up cafes seem to indicate a desire to slacken the pace.

But the slow-city movement isn't just about cars, nor is it always about safety. There's a growing sense that getting around - even if it is slower - can become a joy in itself."

Full Story: In the future, urban bikers go faster than cars

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