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Old 06-28-11, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Wogster View Post
You know, the modern practical automobile came about in 1885, automobiles didn't become ubiquitous until after the Second World War, so cities designed exclusively around automobile travel, are actually fairly recent, although people have been living in settlements for over 10,000 years. You can often see remnants of pre-car cities, parts of Toronto, Montreal, Quebec city, Boston, Philidelphia, New York that are designed much like European cities. There are no garages, there are no off-street parking areas, buildings are built tall and narrow, to increase density, because many of these places were self contained. For the majority of residents, if you drew a circle around the place where they were born that was 10km in diameter, they were, born, raised, went to school, got married, worked, raised a family, died and were buried, all within that circle. Walking from one side to the other, would take about 1 hours on foot, so it wasn't a big deal. Of course in the 1950's when the car became ubiquitous, you now needed places for all the cars, and cities started to spread out, not for any reason other then to provide parking for cars. Unfortunately that meant that distances got so far from place to place that you now needed a car to get anywhere. Eventually the car era, much as we think now, that it can't possibly ever end, will end,gas prices on a day to day basis will go up and down, but if you look at them over long periods of time, they only really go one way, UP. Eventually the price of gas, will exceed what people can afford to pay for it, and that will signal the beginning of the end of the automobile era.
Pretty much my point as most European towns were designed for defence by the Romans and that structure remains in tact today. They are difficult to transit by design. Our older cities were designed with similar planning or were fortified and kept intentionally compact. Cars however, were a North American phenomenon which combined with a larger landmass created sprawl. As I said, regardless of fuel price, the sprawl is here to stay, as is the automobile and the priority they seemingly enjoy on the roads.
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