Decades of development and sprawl are rightfully blamed for the degradation of our quality of life, and for our near unbearable congestion. This has turned many Angelenos against development and into NIMBY activists ready to object anytime to anything. But contrary to NIMBY creed, we cannot do nothing. The path we are on is really an economic fiasco in waiting.
In greater Los Angeles, we are using more than 60 percent of our land for our automobiles (roads, parking lots, landscaped buffers, traffic islands, etc.). According to Christopher Alexander’s book Pattern Language, the ideal percentage of land given over to automobiles in a city with balanced transit options (that also include cars) is 19 to 20 percent of the land area…
Imagine our city with bustling pedestrian zones, coffee shops, and corner stores, markets, plazas, and lots of housing options surrounding our public transit hubs. Then imagine those hubs separated by low-density areas filled with picturesque narrow residential streets, bicycle networks, community gardens, and parks. All could be connected with public transit, and all of this in our near-perfect climate, and you could still drive, if you chose to.
read more: Architect and urban designer, Gerhard W. Mayer, calls for a revolution in California’s car country. archpaper, 28.08.13.