Selected quotes from each chapter in Charles Montgomery’s new book – Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design.  happy-city

Today: Mobilities 2: Freedom.’

To depend on just one technology for urban mobility would be to deny human nature itself.  Each of us has a unique set of abilities, weaknesses, and desires.  Each of us is compelled and thrilled by a unique set of sensations.  Each trip demands a unique solution.

Cities should strive to embrace complexity, not just in transportation systems but in human experience.  … merely banning cars is just as simplistic as depending on them entirely – Eric Britton.

…improving the experience of moving by transit … depends on a matrix of predictability, comfort, and the perception of passing time. … Innovations tend to take place where policy makers actually ride public transit.

… the shared bicycle is the ultimate postconsumer machine … “We don’t take shopping carts home after using them at the supermarket.  We don’t cart around our own elevators or restaurants or airplanes.  Why should we be forced by urban design to own cars and bicycles?” – Denis Baupin.

“The bottom line on all these changes is more choice, less cost for those who can forgo car ownership, less car traffic, more exercise, safer streets, and liberated garages” – Peter Ladner.

If we really care about freedom for everyone, we need to design for everyone – not just the brave. … And there is a vast difference between safe travel and travel that feels safe. … You must go beyond accident statistics to consider how people feel about moving.

… congestion is an entirely natural feature of any vibrant city.  So we should differentiate between types of congestion.  It is not moving vehicles per se that nourish the city, but people and goods.  Traffic that delivers the highest volume of people and goods for every square foot of infrastructure is clearly best for the city – and arguably best for travellers themselves.

… an ethical question.  Should a public resource like city streets be reserved primarily for people who can afford to pay a premium for it?

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