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  1. In order to plan for tomorrow, it is important to be aware of today’s issues and where they stem from. If cities today continue to progress the way they have so far ignoring the existing issues, they will soon become unsustainable and unliveable. Many of todays cities issues stem from the core issue of transport.
    Cities form around transport, with the dependency on the automobile that exists today comes extensive and continuous urban sprawl and vis versa, which leads to problematic city layouts, congestion on daily commutes and unsocial and unhappy behaviour in individuals. Transport is therefore the first key and most important feature to address in redesigning cities in order to build future cities for tomorrow’s generations.

    It is time to create fast, reliable transport accessible to all in order to veer away from this unsustainable car driven society and bring people back together, living closer together and interacting with each other, both spacial and social benefits. With increased building of reliable public transportation would come many added benefits such as: a decrease in the gridlock congested roads, decreased commute time, possibility of transporting a lot more people simultaneously, cheaper means of transportation, less environmental repercussions, a change in the layout of cities and overall more social behaviour.

    With the extensive sprawl of our cities and our increased dependency on cars and comes many negative repercussions. I experienced many of these negative aspects this past summer with my daily commute to work in Los Angeles. Everyday I had an hour and a half to a 2 hour long commute each way, this increased my work day by close to 4 hours every day. During these 4 hours I could not do much but listen to music or podcasts, and spent all of that time alone in the car. Along with this came the continuous added stress of not having control over my time spent on the road due to the unpredictable nature of the conditions and obstacles of the road leading to the possibility of being late even when allocating plenty of time for the trip, and ultimately the frustration of having no other way of getting around. My daily commute lead out to not only be extremely stressful and time consuming but was additionally very exhausting and draining. As Jane-Frances kelly point out “Inefficient urban transport networks see much of our day swallowed up by commuting, leaving us less time for friends and family.” I would get home with little to no energy to spend time with family and no desire to get back on the road in order to spend time with friends. This reinforced this already unsocial nature of being in the car alone extending over even once I was out of the car due to the draining nature of the commute, leaving no desire to get back in the car to move around again and in turn affected my social relationships with both family and friends.

    With a turn to reliable fast speed transit systems many of these problems would be avoided or reversed. No more stressful commutes, much more predictable and restricted time spent commuting (with the elimination of car dependency there would be no traffic factors such as accidents or constructions that would affect the time of the commute), the possibility to be social while commuting as well as have more time and energy to allocate to social behaviour once home and the appearance of housing along these transit routes. This means of transportation would give you dimensions the car would not allow such as potentially getting work done, sleeping and ultimately being surrounded by other people in a much more social atmosphere leading to more face to face interactions that shape our society. “[Social connection] makes us feel that we matter, that we are engaged with others and that we are embedded in networks of mutual appreciation and care.“ (4) Options such as buses are a good first step as they allow many people to be transported at once and eliminate some of these problematic issues, but they remain susceptible to road restrictions such as speed limits and traffic. Light rails and high speed trains are what our cities need, Newman points out that they permit the transportation of 3.5 times more people per day than buses do (14,000 for buses, 50,000 for electric rail system )making trip times faster and expanding the possibility of transporting more people at once. With this would come fast, social, cost and time efficient means of transportation that would eventually lead to a positive restructuring of the cities we know today.

    #SOC208UOW17 #Tut12 #Mon1130

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