The "Windshield" Perspective
by Ken Barth
How many planners suffer from this affliction? How does one obtain this particular perspective? From sitting on your behind, clutching a steering wheel! Too many city planners and engineers plan for the car and not for walking, cycling and public transit. Is this the best way to plan a city that is socially just? Can everyone who lives in a city like Calgary afford a new automobile ($20,000.00)? I certainly can't.

With all the talk of sustainable development why is there no questioning of the appropriateness of planning for access by mobility? Sustainable cities can be designed and planned for access by proximity. Granted we may never wean ourselves off our car addiction, but we should provide for alternative, more cost effective and environmentally friendly modes of transportation.

What better way to appreciate city form than by riding through it. The bicycle is a human scaled means of traversing a block, neighborhood or city. Cycling allows you to see, hear, taste , touch and smell the city. I find that by riding my bike I gain a much better understanding of the city environment. The environment where city residents live, work and play. So why not give it a try yourself and if you choose not to: why not incorporate pedestrians, cyclists and transit users in your next urban plan or design.

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