March 14, 2022

Some Good News?

By admin

This article about how the South Koreans convereted 20 kilometres of dead space over the course of a highway reminds me that if we REALLY WANT TO, we can find solutions.

What they did was convert the median space into a series of bike lanes, covered by solar panels, protected by barriers. I wouldn’t necessarily place it in the middle of a highway, but at least they’re trying.

Instead, I would start to ask all city planners and designers to think in terms of life without cars.

Life WITH cars includes:

  • dependency
  • vast parking lots built at the expense of forests
  • highways instead of walkways
  • houses that have garages for a face rather than porches and conversations
  • refueling stations every couple of kilometres
  • houses being built that still don’t possess the basic steps needed to push us away from carbon dependency (eg. no solar, no wind, no geothermal, no grey water, all gas, minimal insulation, etc).
  • no adaptation to integrating life, work, shopping and play together (it’s very possible – look at Bloor West in Toront)
  • Shopping with massive carts that … need bigger cars and extra freezer spaces for storage

Until then, it seems like we won’t make progress as long as we continue to only make excuses.

The solution to everything seems to be intrinsically tied to design. If we DESIGN our cities and neighbourhoods to be more independent, the obvious logical conclusion is that we won’t need globalization to disturb and disrupt other cultures for our benefit.

It’s a leap in logic, but what’s happening in the Ukraine and Russia is all about interdependency. Europe has not responded because it’s dependent on Russia for 40% of its oil resources. NATO is equally impotent and incompetent and doesn’t deserve another penny taxpayer dollars because they obviously don’t want to respond as they are supposed to.

I know my thoughts seem scattered this morning, but here’s the reality: we have to do MUCH better right away.

It’s possible.