A City Without Cars
"The automobile ban goes back to 1898, when residents of the 4.4 square-mile island (the name of which is pronounced Mackinaw) voted to keep the place car-free. Other laws are in place keep out fast food chains (and, of course, drive-thrus) and franchises-with the exception of a lone Starbucks-and ensure that new buildings adhere to a rigid, era-specific aesthetic. You can see it on the walls of the island's Grand Hotel-one of the only remaining all wood-beam structures in the United States-which boasts an innovative, energey-efficient heating and cooling system, and whose owners are working toward LEED certification and the incorporation of wind turbines. It represents an overall effort to embrace the technologies that improve the quality of life and eschew those that compromise it. And, strangely close to Detroit, it might offer a vision of a hyper-local, post-automobile world, one that seems eerily unchanged by the apparition of cars."