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Talking Headways Podcast: Let Them Drive Cars

South Korea's Cheonggyecheon stream and park used to be a highway. Photo: ##https://www.flickr.com/photos/25869929@N03/2468502996##Michael Sotnikov/flickr## [1]

South Korea’s Cheonggyecheon stream and park used to be a highway. Photo: Michael Sotnikov/flickr [2]

Quick quiz: What city is the world leader in highway teardowns? San Francisco? Portland? Madrid?

Wrong, wrong, wrong. It’s Seoul, South Korea, which has removed 15 urban highways — and is about to remove another [3]. In this week’s Talking Headways episode, Jeff and I talk about what can take the place of a freeway in a city and why it’s worth it.

We also debunk the argument, made in Atlantic Cities [4] and the Washington Post [5] last week, that promoting car access will benefit people with low incomes [6]. The whole concept is based on a study that basically said that in the 90s you needed a car to get around the suburbs. Not exactly a persuasive justification for automobile subsidies in today’s cities.

We wander down Saffron Avenue and Nutmeg Lane to investigate whether it’s true that cities are losing their smell [7] — and whether that’s really such a bad thing. Then we accidentally trip into a conversation about pheromones and good-smelling men.

What’s your favorite smell in your city? Let us know in the comments.

We’re working on getting the podcast available on Stitcher, which apparently is a thing that exists, but for now you can subscribe on iTunes [8] or follow the RSS feed [9].