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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Why the Streets of Copenhagen and Amsterdam Look So Different From Ours [Atlantic Cities]


Why the Streets of Copenhagen and Amsterdam Look So Different From OursYesterday, I wrote about how the streets of cities in the United States were transformed over time into the exclusive province of cars. Fundamental changes in infrastructure and in law have solidified an attitude of resignation to the idea that people on foot or on bikes will inevitably be struck by vehicles. That “accidents happen.”
It didn’t have to go that way.
There are cities in the world that could have become just as hazardous to pedestrians, but whose citizens demanded something different. Amsterdam and Copenhagen are the best examples. These cities – today widely viewed as paragons in the area of "livable streets" – were headed down the same auto-centric route as the U.S. in the period following World War II.
And then they turned around.

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