Megalopolises and Sprawl: Peeling the Onion
Friday, November 4, 2016
1:45 p.m. - 3:15 p.m. CDT
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To be able to provide solutions for our cities, we have to understand them first. This presentation focuses on analyzing the typology of cities in the first half. Our cities, for the most part, have developed after WWII with a pattern that favors motor vehicles while discouraging pedestrians. These two distinct modes of transportation are actually a reflection of two distinct life styles, each of which requires its own distinct type of built environment.The second half of the presentation focuses on today's modern cities and tries to provide solutions to the challenges that are being faced today. It is a well-known fact that motor vehicle-centric development patterns are not healthy, not sustainable, nor financially sound for individuals and governments, and are moreover socially destructive… As a community, we are in dire need for a more walkable, healthy, and sustainable urban environment. A significant conflict exists between the current level of motor vehicle dependency and its related development pattern, versus a healthy urban development for the future. The main question in front of us is:How can a community that is so dependent on motor vehicles and has a built environment that is already developed with a pattern geared for motor vehicles going to create a walkable, pedestrian-oriented, human-scale urban development that requires a completely different built environment?The answer is: It is highly unlikely that we will be able to achieve this improvement under the current trends taking place in most Texas Cities. It is neither a practical nor an easy task to retrofit an existing suburban development to a human-scale urban development.Possible solutions include expanding the current urban nucleus (downtown) as a rhizome of branching nuclei into the surrounding areas while reducing motor vehicle usage (and parking) in those areas, meanwhile reinforcing the pattern changeover via new multi-modal transportation options.
Richard C. Mobley
Michael McAnelly, email@example.com