05/15/13 08:28AM Eco Friendly Cars, Future Cars, Urban Planning

Will Cars Shape The Cities of The Future?


Urban planning and the way architects plan the infrastructure of cities was changed forever when motor vehicles started becoming mass-produced. As more and more cars started appearing on city streets, the injuries and fatalities that were being caused by cars became a pretty serious issue, which forced urban planners to start thinking about reinventing cities and the way urban infrastructure is developed. That's when cars became the centerpiece of most city planning projects, which hasn't changed even after a century or so. Although it's obvious that cities built around cars are not eco-friendly at all, and the more streets and cars a city has, the more the air quality is reduced, there haven't been any serious efforts so far to start developing infrastructures that will cater to people, instead of cars.

However, there are some indications that in the next couple of decades urban planners will become increasingly aware of this issue and city traffic will be drastically reduced. This is because there is simply no other way to go, as more and more cities are becoming incredibly overcrowded, and traffic congestion is one of the most serious issues that such cities are faced with. Today's cities are not very sustainable in large part due to these over-population and traffic congestion issues, and something has to be done to make them more livable and more environmentally-friendly.

One possible solution to this problem is to implement bus rapid transit systems in large cities to ease traffic congestion. Such an efficient and practical system would make more people use public transportation instead of cars, which would reduce air pollution and improve traffic safety. This way, the overall quality of life in cities will be improved, as well. This means that future cities are going to be built in a way that is going to provide more room and infrastructure for rapid transit system buses, instead of cars.

There are a couple of other ideas that are supposed to make cities more people-friendly. Some European cities, such as Copenhagen, are starting to provide better cycling infrastructures, which means more bike lanes, bike racks, as well as traffic signs regulating and facilitating the use of bicycles. Portland, Oregon is a perfect U.S. city to be discovered by bike.

Another example of a future city that is not defined by cars is Nagoya, which could become one of the first cities in the world to have a car-free center. This Japanese city, with a population of 2.3 million, plans to make its center more eco-friendly, by turning it into a zone where no personal cars will be allowed to enter, but only pedestrians and public transportation vehicles, with a lot of trees and parks. The idea is to build streets with two lanes, instead of four or more, which is the way streets look like in most cities nowadays. This way, the city core will be more open and inviting to the younger population, who will be able to do all sorts of outdoor activities there, and if these plans become a reality, Nagoya could become a blueprint for a future city that is sustainable, eco-friendly and people-friendly.

Author's bio:

Jordan Perch is an active promoter of the new developments in the automotive industry. He is an author of many how-to articles related to DMV, safe driving, buying/selling vehicles, auto insurance etc.