TED Talk: Suburbia Sucks

Suburbia is so ugly. Photo credit: _boris / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

Suburbia is so ugly. Photo credit: _boris / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

Watch this hilarious TED Talk about how suburbia sucks. Seriously, watch it right now. I’ll wait.

Though he doesn’t mention bikes and biking specifically, I think many of us who want better bike infrastructure can get on board with what James Howard Kuntsler has to say.

His point: after WW2, we destroyed the American city in favor of suburban bedroom communities, and since then, suburban sprawl has gotten bigger, uglier and more impossible to maintain. In the (very near) future, he says, we will “have to live closer to where we work, closer to each other, and grow food close to where we live.” And he goes on to say, “The days of the 3,000-mile Caesar salad are over.”

It’s brilliant. Simply brilliant.

And as bike activists, we should be in agreement, because denser communities makes for better bike infrastructure. If more people live within biking distance of their workplaces, more people will bike. As the number of bike commuters grows, so will demand for better bike infrastructure. And once we have strength in numbers, we can make changes to our cities, so that we can be more like the Dutch.

In the TED Talk, Kuntsler argues that the “hydrogen” economy is never gonna happen, and we need to just forget about that happening, like, ever. He doesn’t mention that bikes are the obvious solution to fill in that gap, but we all know that they are.

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