Traffic Can Be Good, Public Transit Can Be Bad: David Owen's Unconventional Urban Wisdom (Video)
Writer David Owen makes the now uncontroversial argument that cities are the greenest places we can live, given their scalability, mobility, and density. He's got a lot more unintuitive wisdom about cities, and how much better they can be: Traffic can be good, public transit can be bad, and our demand for new technologies doesn't lead to a better planet; indeed, innovations that make life easier are often at odds with a healthy planet. Of course, they don't need to be.
Solving the problems of cities in the U.S. -- and critically, in places eager to emulate the U.S. -- is going to make or break our future. The critical question, he says: "How do we shrink ourselves, without putting people out of work." I spoke to him outside the fantastic Our Cities Ourselves exhibit, which just closed at New York's Center for Architecture.