incorporating cars into the cities

The reading “Mediator of Modernity” by Per Lundin had me pondering wether the ideas of the American way of life gained hegemony in Europe after the War or were kept at arms length by the Europeans countries not eager to appropriate those notions.
Certain elements of the American culture were picked by the Europeans and assimilated to the re-building of the post-war societies. Ultimately, post-was Europe is best described as a process of selective appropriation (pick and choose) rather than the wholesale acceptance or rejection of American ideals and models.

The post-War Europe was eager for modernity in its post-war reconstruction efforts. The period also fostered an economical growth and a mass motoring in Europe. Unlike most American cities, which had grown with the automobile (and still facing challenges), the Europeans cities are not designed to accommodate this change.

The planners were thus force to innovate in order to address the new challenges imposed on the cities by the automobiles. The automobile as forced to re-think and re-shape the urban image unlike anything else before or after. It also became a pressing problems on European cities that have grown for century without it and very suddenly need to make space for the increasing number.

Should motor trafic be restricted or embrace?

Time as shown us that the European cities were able to adapt to the automobile by creating their own model. They emphasis on alternate ways of transportation and the design of their city is more convenient for the pedestrians and short commute. The relative proximity from everything make owning a car futile for many city resident.
Us Canadian, faced with different spacial challenges, would have a lot to learn from the planning and incorporation of the automobile in European cities. I feel like most European cities are planned for people and adapted for cars were as here we assit to the opposite tendency.

3 thoughts on “incorporating cars into the cities

  1. I agree that North American towns and cities are designed with automobiles in mind whereas European cities were forced to adapt to them. Even though we have many Canadian cities that cars are not necessary, because of the impressive transit system like Vancouver for instance, the city is still built in a way that there is an abundant amount of space for vehicles and less for foot traffic even though there are so many people that do both. In my opinion it gives the city an overcrowded, noisy, and unpleasant feel to it. So personally I like the idea of limiting traffic in cities, especially in city centres. Mainly because if it’s a large city there is generally a lot of pedestrians and I like the idea of foot traffic being the primary transportation when there is an abundance of people, otherwise you get traffic jams, noises like car horns, pollution and so on. (Like Vancouver).

  2. The fact that the European cities are not able to adapt to the automobile means that they are better able to support the human factor of civilization, while all the major metropolis cities in the US, particularly New York, have transformed from urban centers into traffic centers.

  3. European cities have definitely had to adapt different than Canada and the USA have had to concerning the automobile. I find in interesting that we in Canada tend to drive more trucks, vans and larger cars while smart cars and small vehicles are the cars of choice around Europe. Due to the size of their roads and the distances between urban centres, the larger cars are not need as compared to something small that can carry a few people. I agree that public transit is something Canada could definitely learn from and incorporate into our cities, despite our spatial size though. Now that we are in the 21st century with cars being a main mode of transport in Canada, what would you suggest as an alternative for the city in an area that is more spatially spread out compared to European cities?

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