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“Barcelona’s ambitious urban plan is made possible by the city’s numerous advantages. Much of it was built before the era of automobiles. It is already dense and walkable. It boasts excellent public transit and improving bicycle infrastructure. And there is political consensus around the need to reduce the prevalence of private vehicles.
Most US cities do not share those advantages, certainly not all of them at once. Most were built after the advent of cars and are structured around interstates and freeways. Most are not dense, but feature instead small pockets of density surrounded by sprawling suburbs. Most do not have short, regular blocks, orthogonal streets, and mixed-use zoning. And most don’t have centuries’ worth of civic pride and familiarity with urban transformation.
Americans are so accustomed to lacking walkable, accessible public spaces that they are scarcely able to articulate what they’re missing.
Yet when they travel to cities built before the automobile, cities that take urban living seriously, when they see people chatting in sidewalk cafes, bikes and pedestrians and scooters covering the pavement, herds of children being walked to and from school, people of all ages and social classes mixing in public transit and on the street — when they see street life — they feel it. It moves them.”
JJ Editor's Daily Picks
"After five years of war with the Islamic State, the biggest problem for the winners is coping with the losers. The aftermath has produced one of the world’s most perplexing postwar challenges..."
"What do we mean when we say that the “soul of the city” is under threat? Often, it’s really about politics, nostalgia, and the fear of community change."
"...the pendulum of history never stops moving. Indeed, one of the few constants of history is unceasing change. While we seem to be heading in one direction, we must remember that there will surely be pauses, turns, and reversals."
""Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé," premiered early Wednesday and it was the fulfillment of all the ancestors' hopes and dreams. Beyoncé also dropped "Homecoming: The Live Album.""
"Seven in 10 adults ages 18 to 34 received financial support from their parents in the last year, including more than half of those in their early 30s. Almost three in five millennials said they couldn’t afford their lifestyles without the support."
"Social media influencers have helped turn public lands into tourist-infested swamps. And one cantankerous man is fighting back."
"One particular myth that attached itself to Ledger was that his death was somehow a result of immersing himself in the character of the Joker."
"In 2018, for the second year in a row, American publishers released fewer translated titles: 609 books were published, down from 650 in 2017 and the industry high in 2016 of 666."
"Egg freezing had become so routine among my single peers that when I hit 35, I never thought twice. Here’s what I wish I had known."
"When it comes to Passover cuisine, most home cooks know to avoid wheat, oats, rye, and other forbidden ingredients. But what consumers might not realize is just how much cotton they eat during the holiday."
"A masked figure looms over your recumbent body, wielding power tools and sharp metal instruments, doing things to your mouth you cannot see."
"Passover is a holiday that commemorates the Jewish people escaping slavery in Egypt. It is often referred to as the “festival of freedom.” My Passover in prison was at a place called the Wallkill Correctional Facility..."