Posts Tagged ‘ biking ’

Exploring the economic impact of car-minimal living

Moving away from autos as our main source of transportation would result in vast changes in both physical and socioeconomic landscapes; before we explored the actual physical ramifications of car-minimal city planning, so now it’s only fair to examine the socioeconomic changes that would result. We’ll look at this in two parts, starting with the economic changes, as that will lead smoothly into the social transformation that comes from this fundamental change. Continue reading

Bikes over cars and what that entails

I mentioned the idiosyncracies of bikes and their effect on transportation design; here’s a bit more about it, and then extending into how systems would be designed to handle it.

Anyone who has ever driven a manual car knows the hesitation that goes along with starting from a full stop, as there’s a certain threshold that needs to be overcome to keep the car from stalling out in first. However, with a bike, stopping and then restarting is more like coming to a complete stop, turning off the car, taking the key out of the ignition, and then putting the key back in, restarting, and /then/, finally, pressing down on the accelerator. In short, when biking, you don’t want to stop. Continue reading

Transportation in a car-minimal city

The goal of removing cars is to reduce the carbon impact of the city under discussion, but it also helps reduce the overall heat island effect caused by the massive black surfaces that cover most of a given city. However, the first consideration must be transportation: over short to moderate distances, the preferred method would most likely be walking and biking, but that still leaves long distances; without cars, this falls to public transit, and lacking omnibuses, that means trains. I’ve explicitly excluded omnibuses because including them in planning means including roads in the city design, and my goal is to avoid traditional roads as much as possible. Instead, a subway system allows for rapid moderate-to-long distance travel within the city, and can be readily integrated into other transit systems (inter-city rail, airports) while maintaining the goal of this project. Continue reading

Designing a car-minimal city

With climate change, rising fuel prices, and the general unsustainability of our current existence becoming apparent, I’ve decided to work on a thought experiment that most people have entertained at one point or another: how to develop a car-minimal city? Now, a wholly car-less city would be essentially impossible, but a car-minimal city is certainly an option; in this arrangement, parking ramps in certain areas, generally towards the edges of the city, would store citizens’ cars, however the majority of the city would have no roads built for cars; bicycle/walking trails would be used instead, and a subway system would provide transit across larger distances in the city. Furthermore, I want to approach this with the goal of a minimal carbon footprint, so there will be included in these specifications a general ecological sensibility, as removing cars but doing nothing else to minimise the effects of a city on the environment would do very little to improve conditions in the long run.
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