Park or Parking: Rethinking Urban Designs

Cities today have ballooned into near-uncontrollable masses of cement and cluster. If you live in a car-centric metropolis of some significant population, you know what I'm talking about (if not, then you're one of the lucky ones). The question is clear: What do we do about cities that are becoming unlivable?

Grist has a post that discusses the issues of the modern city, what is currently being done, and what can be done to curb these horrid conditions. Here's an excerpt:

The world’s cities are facing unprecedented challenges. In Mexico City, Tehran, Kolkata, Bangkok, Beijing, and hundreds of other cities, the air is no longer safe to breathe. In some cities the air is so polluted that breathing is equivalent to smoking two packs of cigarettes a day. Respiratory illnesses are rampant. In many places, the number of hours commuters spend sitting in traffic-congested streets and highways climbs higher each year, raising frustration levels. ??In response to these conditions, we are seeing the emergence of a new urbanism, a planning philosophy that environmentalist Francesca Lyman says “seeks to revive the traditional city planning of an era when cities were designed around human beings instead of automobiles.”


Maybe the time for traditional urbanism has come to an end. Maybe cities should focus less on industrialization and commercial development in favor of making themselves more habitable for their greatest resource: their inhabitants. And if that means more parks and less parking lots, why not?

Photo (cc) flickr user david55king