#cities

sootmann asked:

So are you (and lefsetz) saying that existing automakers will be replaced by appliance-like Tesla-type makers, or that people will just start not driving? I get that kids today don't care about getting their licenses at 16-years-and-one-day like we used to, but if you think people will quit buying cars altogether, I doubt it. Kids will want cars once they have kids. What, you think you're gonna use Lyft to go school-practice-practice-store-home? That 300M people will move into walkable cities?

Yes, I believe we’re entering a time of decline for driving itself — certainly amongst the younger generations. It may be hard to see now because our world (especially in the U.S.) is so car-centric. But the pieces are coming into place that makes owning a car not only less attractive, but often unnecessary. 

Sure, it will hit dense urban areas first. But again, I see no reason why this doesn’t spread to all but the most remote reaches of the country. Things tend to sound crazy before they’re suddenly reality.

Charles Montgomery:

In the third year of his term, Peñalosa challenged Bogotáns to participate in an experiment. As of dawn on 24 February 2000, cars were banned from streets for the day. It was the first day in four years that nobody was killed in traffic. Hospital admissions fell by almost a third. The toxic haze over the city thinned. People told pollsters that they were more optimistic about city life than they had been in years.

Old-ish, but a really interesting look into the tweaks that can alter a city’s happiness. 

Monica Davey and Mary Williams Walsh on the downfall of Detroit:

Founded more than 300 years ago, the city expanded at a stunning rate in the first half of the 20th century with the arrival of the automobile industry, and then shrank away in recent decades at a similarly remarkable pace. A city of 1.8 million in 1950, it is now home to 700,000 people, as well as to tens of thousands of abandoned buildings, vacant lots and unlit streets.

Crazy. But interesting to think about in the context of the current industry-driven boom in Silicon Valley. Nothing lasts forever.

In 2012, Detroit had the highest rate of violent crime in the nation for a city larger than 200,000, a report from Mr. Orr’s office showed. About 40 percent of the city’s streetlights do not work. More than half of Detroit’s parks have closed since 2008.

Just sad. For four years I lived about 40 minutes outside of Detroit (in Ann Arbor). I think I was there a grand total of eight times. And six of those were to go to a casino. Hard to see how they turn this around.