Wednesday, November 24, 2010
...gets it right again:
As mayor, Norquist tore up more than a kilometre of freeway through Milwaukee, liberating 10.5 hectares of prime land for mixed-use development, with an estimated value of more than $US250 million.
He told the conference that urban freeways rarely relieve congestion, and, when they do, it is at a huge cost, scarring streetscapes, razing neighbourhoods and diverting income from main streets to malls and business parks. ''Building roads so cars do not have to slow down does not work.''
The Century Freeway in Los Angeles, for example, is 20 lanes at its widest. ''But it still grinds to a halt in rush hour,'' Norquist says. ''Building freeways in cities is like loosening your belt to deal with obesity.''
So the city of the future can be a dystopia of rumbling, choked motorways, main street stores abandoned for shopping centres, gated estates for the wealthy, and where blackouts from coal-fired power are increasingly common.
Or it can be a compact, if occasionally chaotic, place with lots of public transport, short streets on a grid pattern, corner shops, flats and townhouses, markets and even Middle Eastern-style souks.
And, while you're at it, consider attending the next Congress for the New Urbanism this June in Madison, Wisconsin. Details can be found here.
Chad Emerson, Faulkner U.
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