Smart cities: making them liveable AND lovable
In a though-provoking new video, mobility expert Brent Toderian addresses the shifts in thinking that must occur in order to improve not only how well people and goods move in and around cities and suburbs, but how it will also improve how well people live.
Toderian has 24 years’ experience, leading urban planning and change programs in his native Canada since 2001, and has since 2012 been consulting cities across the world, including some work in Brisbane, Sydney, and Perth.
“Because we’ve done a good job improving urban places. But the great challenge of our generation is to stop sprawl, and start building smarter suburbs.”
“The best transportation plan is a land use plan. In other words if you get your land uses right, the transportation is solvable. I won’t say that it’s easy, it still takes creativity, and will, and hard work, but it’s solvable.”
He points to the success of transport and urban planning in Vancouver, Canada, and its decision in the late 1990s to prioritise transport options in the following way:
- Public transport
“If you prioritise cars last, it works better for everyone, including drivers. If you prioritise the car it fails for everyone, including drivers. Because walking, biking, and transit don’t work, and everybody is trying to drive, so you’re all stuck in traffic,” says Toderian.
In addition to prioritising, Toderian says cities must also look to people’s experience of the transport options available to them. “You have to make walking, biking, and transit delightful. When I’m working with cities about improving their multi-modal experience, it’s not enough to say we’re not going to expand for cars anymore, you have to make walking, biking, and transit at least as attractive, or better (than cars).”
"Adding more lanes to address congestion is
like loosening your belt to address obesity."
Topics Toderian addresses in the video include:
- How dense should a city be?
- What are the key measures to improve mobility in cities?
- Cost of public transit
- Congestion charging
- Taxes on car ownership
- Encouraging car users to use other means of transportation
- Livability in cities
- Walkable suburbs
- Mixed-mode commuting
- Changing to more environmentally-friendly means of transportation
- Car as a symbol
- Sociable benefits of walkable cities
- Priorities in cities
- Transportation of goods