By Dom Nozzi
Despite the conventional wisdom, American cities are not “overcrowded” with people. And yet we hear this complaint over and over again.
American cities are only perceived to be overcrowded, but that is only because nearly all of us travel IN CARS.
Speaking as a town and transportation planner (40 years of academic and professional work), there are countless and effective ways to design cities so that there is a much-needed increase in population while at the same time dramatically decreasing per capita car ownership and car dependence.
Design that achieves this (and such tactics have been well-known for decades) would enrich city affordability, sustainability, quality of life, choice in goods/services/culture available to residents, innovation, public safety, and public health.
We achieve this by realizing that well-designed higher and gentler density is the new green.
Decades of fighting against density and growth in nearly all American cities is a counterproductive, outdated relic from the 1960s and goes a long way toward explaining why American cities have extremely high and destructive ecological footprints by its citizens.