Prioritisation was the key, this was in the 1997 Transportation Plan, which was a catalyst for – I call it the most important Urban Design Plan we’ve ever done as a city, even though it’s a transportation plan – because that prioritisation, walking first, then cycling, then transit, then goods movement, and then the car, priotirized last, has been the key to all our multi-modal city making. To be clear that is not an anti-car message, we don’t ban the car, we very rarely have any places where the cars aren’t allowed, but we prioritise them last, in terms of how we think about our infrastructure, our spatial decisions in the city, and that actually works better for everyone – including drivers.
Our cities have become small little areas of concentrated wealth and advantage for the global super rich, for knowledge workers, for the members of my own creative class. It’s not just the 1%, it’s about a third of us who can make a go, but then the other two thirds, falling further and further behind and surrounding these areas of concentrated advantage much larger spans of concentrated disadvantage, and those are not only in the city, what’s so interesting about The New Urban Crisis, that’s spread out to what we used to think of as the great affluent suburbs, so it really is a new geographic divide in our society, and that divide is not only causing inequality it’s causing this terrible backlash.
To visit Richard Florida’s website click here, for an article from The Guardian about his previous thesis on The Creative Class and it’s relationship to The New Urban Crisis click here, and for a longer discussion of The New Urban Crisis with the LSE Cities Ricky Burdett click here.