Presentation on theme: "GEOG 346: Day 11 Sustainable Transportation. Housekeeping Items If you are interested in the topic of how high-rises can contribute to a sense of disconnection."— Presentation transcript:
GEOG 346: Day 11 Sustainable Transportation
Housekeeping Items If you are interested in the topic of how high-rises can contribute to a sense of disconnection and disengagement, see the survey and series of reports undertaken by the Vancouver Foundation: https://www.vancouverfoundation.ca/initiatives/connections- and-engagement. https://www.vancouverfoundation.ca/initiatives/connections- and-engagement Today I will distribute the instructions for the self-guided field trip. If you have any questions, talk to me at the end of class. Today, our focus will be on sustainable transportation. It is a topic closely interwoven with land use patterns. I asked you to read three things for today: Grant, Ch. 12; Montgomery, Ch. 8, and Condon, Ch. 2. Originally I asked for Ch. 9 of Montgomery, but I dropped that. I also indicated that the Victoria Transportation Policy Institute (VTPI) is an excellent resource on the subject -- I would like to start out with a 20 minute clip from CBC that prominently features Charles Montgomery:
Sustainable Transportation There are a number of issues associated with transportation systems: o What kinds of systems have the least ecological impact in terms of greenhouse gas production and energy consumption? o What systems give the most scope for people over cars, including taking into consideration their mental and physical well-being? o Montgomery gives numerous examples of situations where people’s sense of community is negatively impacted by volumes of traffic, just as their physical fitness is affected by whether they are over-reliant on their cars.
Sustainable Transportation Following World War II, most cities in the developed world began to orient transportation around the automobile. One of the first to buck the trend was Copenhagen, which began to pedestrianize some of its downtown streets – collectively known as the Strøget – in 1962 at the same time as Jan and Ingrid Gehl were beginning their pioneering studies of towns like Siena in Tuscany, Italy, and their public plazas (like Piazza del Campo). This was at the same time that Robert Moses was trying to ram an expressway through Lower Manhattan to be ultimately defeated by a coalition led by Jane Jacobs. In contrast with the skeptics who said that Danes would not behave like Italians, Gehl found that the more space was created for them, the more space pedestrians occupied (see p. 153 of Montgomery).
Piazza del Campo in Siena, Italy
Strøget in Copenhagen – Before and After
Sustainable Transportation Most places where pedestrianized streets have been broached as a possible plan of action, businessmen have pitched a bitch, fearful that the loss of car traffic (and associated parking) will negatively impact their businesses. For the most part, this has not been borne out by international experience. While the public realm has continued to prosper in Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and many parts of Asia, it is tending to shrivel up in North America. Can you think of any reasons for this? We will talk more about this when we get to the week where we discuss public space and urban design. One interesting thing is that volume of traffic impacts directly on neighbourhood sociability through noise and danger issues.
Diagram from Donald Appleyard and M. Lintell’s 1972 paper on the impact of volumes of street traffic on how much people in a neighbourhood socialize. The same relationship also held true for how children played outdoors. Communities that are less car- dependent are also significantly healthier since people get exercise as part of their daily routine.
Sustainable Transportation For the past nearly 100 years, traffic engineers have been operating on the principle of supply management – the more cars on the road, the more infrastructure has to be built to accommodate them. However, more perceptive critics began to articulate the principle of “induced demand” – create more space for cars and they will soon fill it up, so you just wind up chasing your tail in a very expensive infrastructure race. It’s cheaper ultimately to built transit and bicycle infrastructure, and pedestrian-friendly environments. Not only that, but people, bicycles, and buses (or other transit) take up far less room.
Sustainable Transportation It’s much cheaper ultimately to built transit and bicycle infrastructure, and pedestrian-friendly environments. Not only that, but people, bicycles, and buses (or other transit) take up far less room.
Not for the Faint at Heart Pedestrian Sheik Zayed Road, Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Sustainable Transportation There is currently a debate going on in Vancouver about the feasibility of building a subway link to UBC from the Clark Skytrain station. The mayor is a big proponent; Patrick Condon, who we are reading, is opposed. He thinks that streetcars/ trams or electric trolley-buses are far more cost-efficient modes of transit. [Parenthetically, he notes that car, tire, and oil companies conspired to destroy the excellent streetcar system that existed in L.A. and elsewhere, and were even convicted for it.] The three criteria he offers for selecting the best transportation system are 1)that it encourages shorter trips; 2) that it is lower in carbon, and 3) that it is more affordable over the long-term. From his perspective, modern streetcars or trams edge out trolley- buses except in relation to total capital cost per passenger mile. When full external costs are added streetcar/ trams and trolley- buses are far cheaper than Skytrain, sports utilities, and even hybrid vehicles.
Sustainable Transportation On Thursday, we will discuss Chapter 12 from the Grant book.