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Re: <nettime> Iraq: The Way Forward
Benjamin Geer on Thu, 11 Jan 2007 07:03:08 +0100 (CET)


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Re: <nettime> Iraq: The Way Forward


On 10/01/07, Felix Stalder <felix {AT} openflows.com> wrote:

> Now, we are in a situation where nobody has any good idea what to do. [...]
> There are no community rituals, no community centers, often there are no
> sidewalks.  People live in empty soulless houses and drive big empty cars on
> freeways to Los Angeles and sit in vast offices and then come home again.

I've just read a very thoughtful book, _Carfree Cities_, that begins
with an analysis of how cars destroy communities.  The author goes on
to provide a detailed design proposal for car-free cities, borrowing
heavily from Christopher Alexander's architectural design patterns.
In essence, the proposal attempts to combine the best aspects of old
European neighbourhoods with an urban topology that allows for very
efficient public transport based on a metro or tram system.  A
comparison of car-centric Los Angeles with car-free Venice runs
throughout the book.

The author's web site provides a brief summary of the book:

http://www.carfree.com/

I don't know whether the time is ripe for this idea in the US, but
maybe September 11 and the Iraq war could be used to concentrate
Americans' minds on an idea that would enable them to rebuild their
communities while reducing their dependence on oil (and thus reducing
their military presence in the Middle East).

Ben


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