New Urbanism Is Gaining Momentum

The Economist:

Campaigners detect a sea change. Even a few years ago “there was a sense that we were the weirdos,” says Doug Gordon, a founder of “The War on Cars”, a podcast based in New York. Now, he says, “more and more elected officials are adopting positions that were [until recently] on the fringe.” After a century in which the car remade the rich world, making possible everything from suburbs and supermarkets to drive-through restaurants and rush-hour traffic jams, the momentum may be beginning to swing the other way.

Not my usual focus here but a trend I very much appreciate — a renewed emphasis on long-ignored urban policies is welcome news. In Calgary, we are getting more permanent bike lanes, wider sidewalks, and better lighting. While this city is still frustrating to navigate without a car, it has changed dramatically in only the last ten years.

Update: Craig Mod, reflecting on his nomination of — and the media frenzy that ultimately surrounded — Morioka, Japan, as a New York Times city worth visiting in 2023:

The headline for the print edition of the Times piece was, “Morioka, a city that ‘enables its residents to thrive’.” To which you might think: Don’t all cities enable their citizens to thrive? Absolutely not. So many cities actively subvert the thriving of their citizens.

We can change that. We should.