Vehicle City

Foreign correspondence from Ethan Kent at Project for Public Spaces:

I was working in Flint, Michigan the first part of this week. Remarkably, for a city that was planned for everything but people, there are still some great people working to create a genuine "Steets Rennaissance." Flint originally built itself around the car and, after General Motors left town, rebuilt itself around large "economic development" projects. Yet, today, "Vehicle City" barely generates a trickle of downtown traffic.

Though there are few reasons for people to come downtown, city planners remain focused on  parking availability as their major concern. As we often see in other places, New York City included, a narrow focus on parking is an indicator that a community has no larger vision for itself.

The Rennaissance Center in nearby Detroit is an icon to the Renaisnace of the automobile and the anti-human architecture and land-use policies that came with it. 

Not a friendly building close up either.

On a more hopeful note, Project for Public Spaces developed the vision for what could be the start of a Streets Renaissance for Detroit in the fomerly asphalt and car-dedicated Campus Martius Park.

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