Corrupt.org recently interviewed Michael E. Arth (New Urban Cowboy; Labors of Hercules) who has recently converted a Florida slum formerly known as ‘Cracktown’ to a new area now known as “The Garden District”. His New Pedestrianism ideas revolve around changing zoning laws in order to create a more pedestrian-friendly town where cars are thought of as secondary to walking. Additionally, businesses would always be in the center of town with houses & neighborhoods on the periphery, and with nature and bodies of water bordering these communities instead of concrete jungles and highways. I found his ideas to be a bit idealistic, but grounded in practical reality. The man definitely knows he has an uphill battle ahead to quite literally change the world, but he is up to the task and believes that we can change the way we live if we put forth the effort – from corrupt federal officials attempting to pacify 320 million-plus Americans to localized, mostly autonomous small communities.
Here are some links to check out:
Here’s a snippet that Corrupt.org recently published:
The world’s 800 million cars could be reduced by 90% or more with the application of pedestrian-oriented urban design, and two technologies that are already in their infancy. Urban designer and futurist, Michael E. Arth, presenting a paper on the future of urban design at the Congress of New Urbanism (CNU) in Austin, Texas, on April 5th, and in various publications and interviews, says that self-driving public taxies, virtual reality, and the application of pedestrian-oriented urban design, could eliminate most cars within 20 years.* A newly released feature documentary, New Urban Cowboy: Toward a New Pedestrianism, tells the story of Arth’s revival of a former crack slum and demonstrates an idealistic form of urban design he calls New Pedestrianism.
Michael E. Arth writes: “Ninety percent of the time, cars are parked somewhere taking up resources. If we traded private cars for efficient, zero emission, self-driving public taxis, we can have any type of vehicle we want, when we want it, for a fraction of the cost of owning a vehicle, and we would take a huge step toward solving a wide range of problems, including global warming. Almost all of the world’s annual 1.2 million deaths** and 48 million injuries, resulting from motor vehicle accidents, are human-caused, so smart autonomous cars should be able to prevent most of those casualties too. Doubters need look no farther than existing car sharing programs, and GM’s 2008 Opel Vectra, which will have ‘Traffic Assist’ and will reportedly be capable of driving itself on the highway in heavy traffic. Insurance companies, automobile makers, lawmakers under control of industry lobbyists, and the minority of drivers not wanting to be chauffeured, may resist replacing so many private cars with so few self-driving public cars, but the environmental, safety, and economic reasons for doing so are utterly compelling.
“The third component of this reduction in cars is the imperative to make our physical world attractive, livable, safe, and sustainable. In order to build for the future, we should make our inner cities more pedestrian friendly—as is already happening in various town centers around the world. New developments should follow the tenets of New Pedestrianism to create vibrant, compact villages, where cars are kept on a separate network at the rear of all buildings, with pedestrians and cyclists traveling on a peaceful, tree-lined, front lane. This will further reduce automobile dependency and improve our environment. With more and more time spent in cyberspace, physical activity will become even more important for the health.”