Less road traffic means safer communities for people, pets and wildlife. It’s all interlinked. If we we want an animal-friendly world, it helps to focus on creating local walkable communities with good public transit, over roads gridlocked with traffic, from lorries thundering factory-farmed foods from central distribution houses to major supermarkets. And also fosters locally owned co-operative farm shops and groceries, where we have a real community spirit, for the benefit of all.
For green spaces, avoid toxic plants near pets (also don’t plant in railings, where nocturnal wildlife could get trapped). Avoid facing indoor foliage to gardens, to help stop birds flying into windows.
The Dutch have the right idea, with thousands of bike highways, but what happens to people who want to cycle at a more leisurely place? And what about children playing outside their homes? Or wildlife which live in local areas? Why do we make traffic (‘getting there’) of importance above all else?
Curbing Traffic is a book by a couple who moved from Canada to Delft (The Netherlands) to experience the cycling city as residents. They weave their personal story with research and interviews with experts and locals, to help readers share the experience of living in a city designed for people. The book also looks at constant focus on the car has led to people without cars (especially the elderly) to feel isolated and become dependent on others for food or company or exercise.
Movement is a book concerned with how we get from A to B. And what happens if we radically rethink how we use our public spaces? Could our lives change for the better? Our dependence on cars at present is damaging both the health of the planet and of ourselves. Who do our streets belong to, what do we use them for, and who gets to decide? By the end of this book, you’ll never look at the street outside your front door, in the same way again.
Beyond Greenways is a book on how town planners can create better city trails and walking routes. People should be able to walk to their favourite restaurant or set out with a rucksack to the city edges for fresh air and nature. Despite the benefits of walking, many people don’t simply because there are no safe local places to walk. Paths should be wide enough for two people to stroll together, and stitch together urban and suburban areas (the Alabama town of Mt Laurel is so well-planned, you can walk from your home to the market, park and fire station).
Inclusive Transportation means communities within walking distance of shops, education and jobs. It’s a fact that the poorest in society end up in ‘food deserts’ (where the ‘local grocery’ is likely a NISA shop selling frozen pizza and not much else). And those who plan neighbourhoods that end up with pollution and dangerous roads (and the longest-travel-times) to meet daily needs, often don’t live there themselves.
Streetfight is a book by a woman who against big opposition, turned an area of New York City from gridlocked traffic, to a pedestrian paradise. Now it’s an area for walking, cycling, buses and green spaces. The book is a manifesto for other places to do the same, with practical tips to make streets safer and nicer to live. Examples include pocket parks in Mexico City and LA, walking-friendly communities in Auckland and Buenos Aires and bike lanes in Indianpolis and San Francisco.
The 15-Minute City is a super book on who to make public transport better, to spend less time commuting, and make our time our own. The author looks at how you should be able to reach anywhere (shops, work, the park, the doctor) within that time, with no need for a car.
an innovative transport system in Miami
Miami is one of the USA’s sunniest states, and the most visited after New York, so therefore it receives millions of tourists each year. It also is home to one of the busiest airports and home to the world’s busiest cruise port, with over 5 million passengers embarking from it. So you can imagine the road traffic.
Freebee is a wonderful free on-demand electric transport system, to ferry people around the city, whether they are commuting, on holiday or even going from golf course to golf course! The vehicles are emission-free, but the key word here is free! The drivers are all trained and screened for safety, and paid for by advertising on the vehicles.
Local indie shops and businesses can link to the free app, so people can book a ride to visit, and the business in return can then offer deals, to encourage people to visit. This is a great boon, considering one reason why many people don’t support indie shops is lack of transport to get there. How many times have you thought you’d like to visit a small out-of-city indie place, but decided not to, due to traffic, petrol prices or poor public transport? And friendly dogs ride for free too!