The "war on cars" and its pushback has a achieved a singular pitch in Belgium, where the national rail service has canvassed the country with a satirical ad campaign excoriating the country's horrible congestion.
"A national advertising campaign is in motion [in Belgium] to make a novel addition to the World Heritage List, a collection of humanity’s greatest cultural treasures that includes the Taj Mahal and the Acropolis," according to an article by Tom Fairless. The extremely tongue-in-cheek candidate proposed for this list of luminary examples of architecture: "the Belgian traffic jam."
Fairless provides data to describe the congestion issue in Belgium: "Belgium’s traffic holdups are truly monumental. The nation’s biggest cities, Brussels and Antwerp, were the most traffic-choked in Europe and North America in 2012, ahead of Los Angeles, according to U.S.-based traffic information firm INRIX."
It's those conditions that have prompted a commercial shown on national television, billboards, and petitions to declare that the country's traffic jams "An untamable beast…so magnificent, so overwhelming." Adds the campaign: "This great merger of rubber and metal, give it the chance it deserves!"
Now for the kicker—the campaign is funded by the country's national rail service, the SNCB, "which wants to lure the roughly two-thirds of Belgians who drive to work," writes Fairless.
Chicago Red Line Extension Could Transform the South Side
The city’s transit agency is undertaking its biggest expansion ever to finally bring rail to the South Side.
Planetizen’s Top Planning Books of 2023
The world is changing, and planning with it.
Why College Campuses Make Ideal Models for Cities
College campuses serve as ideal models for cities, with their integrated infrastructure, vibrant communities, sustainability initiatives, and innovation hubs inspiring urban planning and development for a brighter future.
Study: Homeless People Face Higher Mortality Risk
Unhoused adults are more than three times as likely to die in any given year as their housed counterparts, research shows.
Study: Equity in Car Share Programs Requires Low Cost, Broad Coverage
Data from a Los Angeles car share program showed its impact on underserved communities was ‘limited by its small footprint.’
The Largest U.S. City Lacking Mass Transit
Arlington, Texas has the dubious distinction of being the largest city in the nation with no fixed-route public transit system.
University of New Mexico - School of Architecture & Planning
San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC)
HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research
Chaddick Institute at DePaul University
Arizona State University, Ten Across
Park City Municipal Corporation
National Capital Planning Commission
City of Santa Fe, New Mexico
This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.