Victor Gruen as architecture and urban planner living in postwar America and dedicated his life to making cities more liveable that have “been invaded by a metal hoards”. He concludes, “planning for the renewal of our languishing cities must emanate from the realisation that cities are for people and not vice versa, and that therefore, technology has to serve people and the city and can never be allowed to tyrannised settlements. Cities that enslave and degrade humanity are not cities.”
What can be done here is to present the transcript of three gems from Australian commentators in the Step away from the car 2.0 podcast, recorded at Australia Walking and Cycling Conference. One of my favourites is Getting There Faster by Slowing Down, featuring Paul Tranter, an academic, here in Canberra.
Our memory is very short, so we quickly lose perspective of what was, and take the new as the natural order of things, as though it always was, but there is nothing normal about it. This article relates to the environment but it can be applied to our culture and seen in politics.
Minister Steels statement in the ACT Legislative Assembly, 3 June 2021, provided little new information, but confirmed of further transport investment in improvement and duplication of roads. Cycling projects were not mentioned except one, the long awaited bridge over Weston Creek.
Three strategic document were released within a year. One for climate change mitigation, one for transport and one for urban planning. The ACT Planning Strategy 2018 sets the goals but not necessarily how to get there.
In the next 20 years, Canberra is expected to grow radically. The growth of Gungahlin is slowing but the Molonglo Valley has just begun.
Urban sprawl has many costs but in Australian cities, it is still the norm, so we tend not to think about the alternatives.
The joy of a house in the suburbs can be short-lived should public transport and cycling infrastructure be lacking. The financial and health costs of car dependence and long commute times can push a household to the edge. Urban sprawl can entrench disadvantage.