Re: [carfree_cities] The 7th Int.'l Expo. of Architecture, Venice, Oct. 2000
- T.J. responded (eloquently, I thought) to a question in Hillel's book:
>I can't resist responding to the question you pose on page 32:Planners of the 20th century, in many places, also lost the 40-70% of
>"...what have the planners of the 20th century lost that enabled previous
>generations of planners to create such lively and meaningful urban spaces?"
space in the urban cores that were devoured by the automobile over the
course of the century.
- Dear T.J.,
Thank you for taking the time to look at my book and for your
For your consideration:
> CITY= a fixed place that maximizes the opportunity for multitudes
> strangers to choose their own communitiesThis is interesting but I feel it already presupposes the knowledge
of the term "community" and the fact that people ought to form
communities. I believe that although people mostly do form
communities, these are not ends but means. People form communities in
order to further their chances for survival, in fact, to satisfy
their natural instinct for eternal survival. I believe that if people
could survive eternaly they would not form communities or cities.
As long as the car
> is the primary means of travel in cities, the success of publicspaces will
> depend on proximity to roads well-traveled. However, while thebest
> pedestrian streets may have suffered a few decades of automobiletraffic
> before being pedestrianized, they were all carfree a hundred yearsago;
I realy don't believe you are suggesting a return to the pre car
period. I'm just reading a wonderful book "The Gospel According to
Jesus Christ" were there is an account of a visit of Joseph, Jesus's
father, to Jerusalem which was Carfree at that time obviously. His
description is of a buisy noisy stinking city, a place were i'm sure
you wouldn't like to walk through.
> the mix of traffic then present moved at a pace that was much lesshostile
> to the large number of pedestrians that defined that mix. What ifthe
> primary traffic that you want to keep pedestrians in touch with wasnot
> automobile traffic?I think people should be in touch with all kinds of traffic,
pedestrian, scootrs, bicycles, motorcycles, cars, light trains etc.
The mix is important and I agree that for too long the car has been
given prority which should be reduced, not elliminated.
> I can't resist responding to the question you pose on page 32:
> "...what have the planners of the 20th century lost that enabled
> generations of planners to create such lively and meaningful urbanspaces?"
> Nothing much more, or less, than the collective memory of how
> vibrant and socially relevant public streets can be when they'refilled
> with people instead of cars.See my note about Jerusalem above. Also, some of my favourit streets
in Paris cater for both cars and pedestrians. I don't find any
problem with this.
> following as an alternate to your ninth point ("Never entirelyseparate
> pedestrians from vehicular traffic..."):I must disagree. The chief design problem of modern cities is zoning
> Transportation is the chief design problem of modern cities.
and low densities. The second problem is the modern view of buidings
as free standing sculptures instead of the tools for the definition
of urban space.
> will be successful only to the extent that they are an integralpart of the
> circulation network that a city's inhabitants use on a daily basis.Agreed.
> there is a growing awareness that the needs of automobile traffic,for
> space and for speed, are in direct conflict with the needs of non-motorized
> traffic for human densityTame the car then, don't kill it.
> I found it interesting that you seemed most pleased (in your
> page 45) with the proposal put forth by Plesner Architects, theconclusion
> of which reads like a sales pitch for carfree development: :^]nearly
> "...Transport we have not mastered. It has mastered us, and has
> destroyed the wonderful human qualities of most cities of theworld... We
> can create a public and private urban transport infrastructure,which
> leaves the surface of the earth free for people on foot, and freefrom the
> tyranny of the wide, traffic-engineered, noisy, smelly, dangerous,ugly and
> boringly straight streets."You are right. This was my favoured scheme. But for the fact that
during our discussions with the Plesners I criticized what seemed to
me their over reaction to the car.
> I also found it interesting that you compared this scheme to a
> city, and compared contemporary "real human needs" tothose "catered for by
> the medieval city". I seem to recall you stating something (in aprevious
> message) to the effect that you felt it was inappropriate to lookto
> medieval cities for insight into how to create better citiestoday. Please
> explain.Yes, I think the problem which is central to my criticism of "New
Urbanism" is that new urbanists react to the failure of modern
planning by phisicly copying styles of the past. believing in shapes
and materials rather then undrstanding human needs. I believe that
with the rules set by "Intimate Anonymity" you can plan good cities
using modern technology. The city will not look like a medieval city
but will function for it's inhabitants like one.
> Once again, thanks for the book. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.
> forward to your reply. I also look forward to having an informedseveral
> discussion with someone with your insight and experience about
> aspects of the reference design described in "Carfree Cities".Could you help me get a copy of Carfree Cities? I'm certainly
interested in reading and commenting.
- Hi Doug,
Please read my response to T.J.'s remarks.
--- In carfree_cities@y..., Doug Salzmann <doug@t...> wrote:
> T.J. responded (eloquently, I thought) to a question in Hillel's
> >I can't resist responding to the question you pose on page 32:
> >"...what have the planners of the 20th century lost that enabled
> >generations of planners to create such lively and meaningful urban
> Planners of the 20th century, in many places, also lost the 40-70%
> space in the urban cores that were devoured by the automobile over
> course of the century.
- Hi Hillel,
>I realy don't believe you are suggesting a return to the pre carCorrect. I'm quite fond of many of the collective acheviements
>I'm just reading... an account of a visit of Joseph, Jesus'sI'm especially grateful for modern plumbing and sewage systems. :^] Do
>father, to Jerusalem which was Carfree at that time obviously. His
>description is of a buisy noisy stinking city, a place were i'm sure
>you wouldn't like to walk through.
you imagine that Jerusalem was ever busier, or noisier, than it is right now?
>... new urbanists react to the failure of modernI hear this accusation levelled against the New Urbanists quite
>planning by phisicly copying styles of the past. believing in shapes
>and materials rather then undrstanding human needs.
frequently. I'm curious, which human needs have they neglected, or failed
>I believe thatWhat are some of your favorite examples of modern technological
>with the rules set by "Intimate Anonymity" you can plan good cities
>using modern technology.
improvements over the sort of building done in say, 19th-century Paris?
>The city will not look like a medieval cityIsn't it interesting that so many people have so much affection for "the
>but will function for it's inhabitants like one.
look" of the old medieval sections of many cities? Why do you think that is?