The Tyee has started a series of excerpt’s from Patrick Condon’s Seven Rules for Sustainable Communities: Design Strategies for the Post Carbon World. One of his key arguments is that our North American cities were, at one time, models of sustainability when the streetcar dominated the cityscape. A model that was quickly destroyed after World War II when private automobile ownership shot up and cities were now designed around the private motor vehicle.
Dr. Patrick Condon is a professor at the University of British Columbia and holds the James Taylor Chair in Landscape and Livable Environments. He has also previously written many other articles in the newspaper regarding the idea of bringing back the streetcar to Vancouver and other North American cities.
It’s worth a read even if you don’t agree that streetcars and slow transit are the way-to-go. I personally prefer faster transit, but a streetcar can have it’s place in a fully integrated transit system.