Fixing American Cities

Cities in America underestimate the value of greenery and the value of high-quality public transportation.

Instead, they emphasize cars and various shades of gray: sidewalks, asphalt, cement, and concrete.

If we are not improving this situation, we are declining.

High-quality public transportation takes people out of their isolated motion pods, and puts them in contact with one another.

A high-quality environment helps people actually enjoy being present to each other’s company instead of being afraid of one another.

We cannot allow cities to remain the way that they are — that will lead to rot and decay.

We must actively rejuvenate them instead of waiting for a multi-century decline and revival.

Do you know how long the Dark Ages lasted for? Longer than you & your children will live.

Instead of making Central Park and Golden Gate Park the exception, New York and San Francisco can make them the rule. Take what’s there and expand outward with that theme. Remove roads and connect the city together with a beautiful public transit system.

3 thoughts on “Fixing American Cities”

    • That’s a great question! If you have ever visited a foreign city with a fantastic public transit system you will notice a meaningful difference in the quality of your interaction with the city.

      In America we spend our time isolated from one another, and some of the powers that be want to increase that isolation. To strap a screen to your face, while you are living in a box. Then from one box you enter another to get somewhere. You barely interact with your neighbors anymore. And when you drive through your cities, you see that they have a growing homeless population. You feel like you must isolate yourself more, away from the harsh world out there. Nothing good will come from this downward spiral.

      The public transit systems of America are terrible. People associate them with examples of government inefficiency. But this is not true everywhere. A great, well-maintained public transit system is the lifeblood and circulatory system of a city. If it is healthy, the city is healthy. It puts you in contact with the others around you while both of you share an awe-inspiring space. It brings out the good in people, makes them *want* to keep the place clean and tidy. It makes them proud of where they live, and increases the amount of time you spend outdoors. A beautiful public transit system is a shared public commons that everyone, rich or poor, can enjoy equally. It puts everyone on the same footing, literally speaking, and incentivizes everyone to take care of, and be proud of, their city.

    • The simple answer to this is that private vehicles take up lots of space, are dangerous, and are noisy. This is true of some public transit too, but you need less of it per person.

      So the less private transportation you have, the more space you have to create quiet, safe, human-scale urban environments.

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