Blogedanken: Urban Living

I've been living in Atlanta for slightly less than two months now. It is the largest city I've lived in, at about one and a half times the size of Tampa and eighteen times larger than the city where I grew up. It's very much a car-driven (no pun intended) city, despite the presence of a perfectly workable transit system, or, as a friend of mine called it, “Perfectly Usable Public Transit System that is Largely Dismissed by its City’s Traffic-Jam-Sitting Inhabitants.”

When you live somewhere for a long time, you tend to accept its faults as The Way Things Are. It's been like that for years, obviously if something could be done, it would have been done already, right? Moving somewhere new doesn't give you that illusion--if you don't know the parameters, they might as well be anything.

Today I found an old post on Where (which is a decent city blog with actual content and not just a "cool aggregator" with the same photos and 100-word blurbs as every other "urban design" blog) called Blogedanken. It was intended as a thought experiment to get people interested in real solutions for our cities' problems. Obviously I am too late to enter the contest portion (ended in March last year), but I thought it would be interesting to play along anyway.

My raw list of ideas is as follows:

  • Incentive to use public transit
  • Integration of economic/social classes
  • (Safe, inexpensive) recreation/fitness opportunities
  • Promotion of local arts and music
  • Affordable fresh food in the city center
  • Connection between city and suburbs
  • Bike lanes on major roadways
  • Connection between colleges/universities and community
  • Street food
  • Incentives for small local businesses, higher taxes for "Everywhere America" chains
  • City-wide wireless internet (tax-funded or subscription)
  • Railroad connection to other cities, integrated w. city transit
  • Housing developments connected to public spaces
  • Trees between sidewalks and streets
  • Everyday businesses (basic groceries, pharmacies, pubs, delis, general stores) in walking distance of homes
  • Public play fountains for kids in summer
  • Accessible libraries
  • Free local festivals and events
  • Roof gardens
I'll be thinking it over and selecting my Top 15 over the next few days. Feel free to comment on mine, or come up with your own in the comments.


Post a Comment 0 comments:

Post a Comment