By Dom Nozzi
February 21, 2010
I love the idea of designing cars for a maximum speed of 30 or 35 mph. High speed car travel is extremely toxic to cities and neighborhoods, partly because they powerfully induce community dispersal, isolation of people from others, promote non-local Big Box retail, and catastrophically degrade community and neighborhood quality of life.
My core message in my writings and speeches is that we must return to the tradition of slow(er) speed travel. An essential companion to the crucial need for slower speed travel, however, is that we need substantially SMALLER vehicles. A golf cart would be a good start…
The gargantuan space consumption of motor vehicles destroys the intimate, human-scaled, charming, romantic, walkable dimensions and spacing that nearly all humans find lovable (as shown, partly, by the places we most love to visit as tourists). The huge space consumption by cars (a person in a car takes up 17 times more space than a person in a chair) inevitably causes cities to become afflicted by the GIGANTISM disease.
Massive parking lots. Massive building setbacks. Massive highways. Massive distance from Point A to Point B. Result: A dangerous, unsustainable world that no one can love.