The Street: An Urban Ecology, TEDx talk by Dr. Vikas Mehta
TEDx talk by urbanist professor Vikas Mehta on the organized complexity of the city street and why we should get back to it.
“Witness the transformation of Ghent, Belgium, who instituted the Traffic Circulation Plan in April 2017, which completely changed the way nearly every resident gets around the city and has inspired unheard of mode shifts. It encourages less car use, more bicycling and more transit use by splitting the city into seven distinct zones: a mostly car-free city center core surrounded by six zones which have been cordoned off with concrete or controlled by cameras. The only way to reach them is to travel to the ring road on the city outskirts, thus making it not impossible to use a car but motivates those shorter trips to be done via human power or mass transit. Bike mode share in 2012 was 22%, now it is 35% and growing!”
“Though already a very good city for bicycling, in recent years Utrecht has decided to go a step further and reduce the number of cars in the city’s center. How? Eliminating roadways, reaching nearly 33K bike parking spots downtown, making transition to get to the train easier and safer for people bicycling in their new bike parking facility and hosts of other ways. See it all here. I guarantee you if you live in a city that doesn’t have good bike planning or infrastructure this film will equally inspire and depress you!”
To help address a housing shortage, Minneapolis became the first large American city to end single-family zoning, the rules that restrict certain neighborhoods to single-family homes. Now, buildings with up to three units can be built on any residential lot. Leaders hope this, and other plans, will add new units, create density and remedy segregation.
Peter Calthorpe TED Talk: Calthorpe, the father of “transit oriented development,” shares seven universal principles for solving sprawl and building smarter, more sustainable cities.
Jeff Speck TED Talk (1): Urbanist Jeff Speck shows how we can free ourselves from dependence on the car — which he calls “a gas-belching, time-wasting, life-threatening prosthetic device” — by making our cities more walkable and more pleasant for more people.
Jeff Speck TED Talk (2): Speck shares his “general theory of walkability” — four planning principles to transform sprawling cities of six-lane highways and 600-foot blocks into safe, walkable oases full of bike lanes and tree-lined streets.
Janette Sadik-Khan TED Talk: Former NYC Transportation Commissioner talks about quick delivery, low cost experimentation to rethink the streets of New York City into more people-friendly places.
Vox: The High Cost of Free Parking featuring parking guru Donald Shoup
Dan Durden TEDx Talk: Burden presents the case for creating communities that are centered on people and not cars. He identifies the benefits to the community in terms of both vitality and economic well-being.
James Howard Kunstler TED Talk: In James Howard Kunstler’s view, public spaces should be inspired centers of civic life and the physical manifestation of the common good. Instead, he argues, what we have in America is a nation of places not worth caring about.
Video on Jane Jacobs, the 20th Century’s premier urbanist warrior against mid-century city planners like Robert Moses.
And another great Jane Jacobs video, excerpted from the Ken Burns series on NYC.