On The Importance Of Congestion
"Sydney's downtown was never going to be sun-drenched or verdant in any way that might let it compete, as a sunny day people-magnet, with beach or harbour. But, despite all that, Sydney's is no dead-heart downtown. It is itself, a flawed but intricate and interdependent ecology that deserves our understanding before we meddle."
"Take congestion, probably the commonest city complaint. Traffic congestion, pedestrian congestion; buses and taxis congestion. It sounds bad, very bad. The very word implies a medical model, like hearts or lungs or liver, where any sclerotic impediment is a bad thing. But cities are not organs and city-type congestion is just an extreme case of a condition that is the very essence of urban life: crowding."
"Cities, unlike hearts, are not improved by zero congestion. Pretty much the whole of Australia has zero congestion (unless you count the flies). Cities are designed to concentrate - or congest - human energy. They are less about moving through than being there; they thrive on bustle, busy-ness and friction, creative and otherwise."