I was just reading Neither Here Nor There, Travels in Europe by Bill Bryson, when I came across a marvelous passage I’d like to share with you all (excellent book and author, well worth the read…)

“…but I just hate the way architects, city planners, and everyone else responsible for urban life seem to have lost sight of what cities are for. They are for people. That is obvious enough, but for half a century we have been building cities that are designed for almost anything else: for cars, for businesses, for developers, for people with money and bold visions who refuse to see cities from ground level, as places in which people must live and function and get around. Why should I have to walk through a damp tunnel and negotiate two sets of stairs to get across a bust street? Why should cars be given priority over me? How can we be so rich and so stupid at the same time? It is the curse of our century-too much money, too little sense…”

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3 Responses to Pedestrian Basics

  1. Verticus S. Erectus says:

    Bryson is great and right on about cities. I discovered him through my daughter before she went off to UF. His A Walk In The Woods chronicles his attempt to walk the Appalachian Trail one summer with his childhood friend. A real hoot.


  2. Gabriel J. Lopez-Bernal says:

    I have that one on my bookshelf, its coming down next…


  3. madeindade says:

    To go back in time where people had as much money but it seems a lot more sense, read ‘Streets for People - A Primer for Americans’ by Bernard Rudofsky. He sarcastically explains why every other country seems to know how to make livable cities and streets and why we keep making the same mistakes over and over… (cf. the earlier post on Phoenix)


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