"We have had cities for more than 6,000 years. Until very recently, a
child could walk without fear anywhere in them. In 1900, nobody was
killed by a car in the United States. . .because there were no cars.
Just 20 years later, as Peter Norton, a professor at the University of
Virginia, found in his book "Fighting Traffic," more than 200,000 people were killed by cars. In 1925 alone, cars killed
about 6,000 children. Cities and life in cities had changed. We should
have started to make cities different to accommodate cars, where every
other street would be for pedestrians only, for example. But instead we
just made the streets bigger and bigger.
It is a truism to say
that cities are for people. The urban challenge for the next few decades
is to truly make them so, by doing things like turning half of every
road into pedestrian-and-bicyclists-only space, or making every other
street usable only by walkers and cyclists.
Much of the
discussion about our urban future will probably refer to the
distribution of that most valuable physical urban resource: road space.
Democratically, every citizen has an equal right to road space,
regardless of whether he or she has a car or not. How should road space
be distributed between pedestrians, bicyclists, public transport and