The Pope’s wise advice on traffic, parking and public transit | The Washington Post
The Pope, it turns out, is an urban planner. In a few paragraphs embedded in the middle of his epic environmental encyclical published this week, he managed to tie together affordable housing, mass transit, parking, inequality, architecture, public space and segregation (perhaps no surprising feat given his startling facility in this same document connecting fossil fuels, solar panels, animal rights and recycling).
The way we design communities, he argues — and this is basically the central tenet of urban planning — is vital to the kind of lives people experience within them. And so sprawling, car-dependent places force us to spend our lives unhappily idling in traffic. Expensive and overcrowded places rob residents of the dignity of having a good home. Great public spaces, by contrast, bring us together.