A few years ago, Melissa and Chris Bruntlett and their two children moved from Vancouver, Canada, to Delft, a small city in the Netherlands where 80% of journeys are taken by foot, bicycle, or public transit. Their new book, Curbing Traffic, is about what it's like to live in a truly low-car city, and how other cities can capture some of the same benefits.
I wonder how much the homogeneity of the Dutch society contributes to this success. I would love to live in such a community. Family members just moved to Lund Sweden and experience a lot of bike culture and community as a result. I loved the article. You do a great job choosing important topics. I was happy to see this posting by Heather Cox Richardson today touting the gains made by the Biden administration. Thanks for the wonderful articles explaining the breadth of the Inflation Reduction Act (despite Manchin's manipulation of its goals)
Thanks, David and I hope your health is improving.
yes, I recognize the problems of American car-centric life very well. I grew up on a beautiful farm about 10 miles from the nearest small town. There was another girl my age within walking distance but she might have been a hundred miles away as she lived on the far side of "old highway 99" which I was not allowed to cross. I could not even participate in after school activities or I would miss my 45 minute buss ride home. As a result, I never learned all the social cues so necessary for life and it probably hindered my job prospects.
I really appreciated this one. I listened to it this morning before going to work as a rural family doc. Literally my first patient was struggling from depression and anxiety caused by social isolation in large part due to geographic isolation.
I'm excited to listen! I moved from Phoenix to a walkable neighborhood in Ciudad de México this year, and I'm amazed how much my mental health has improved.
Have you considered collaborating with The War On Cars? Your podcast and theirs are my favorites :)
Thanks for shining a light on this topic - it's such a critical aspect of a sustainable future that is not registering with the vast majority of the population; including progressives who advocate for climate mitigation. It's easy to imagine all of this "change" that we need to undergo to avert climate disaster as a net-negative, but as your guests point out, and many other urbanists have as well, cities like this already exist, and they're actually significantly better - we've just veered so far off course in the States that it's going to take a lot of hard work to achieve it.
Keep up the great work!
My wife & I have lived with one car since 99. For the last 15 years of my career I walked to work over a mountain 8 miles roundtrip.
Having done a similar move in past, from NYC to The Hague, which is very close to Delft, I can understand the charm which they are experiencing. Holland is a wonderful environment in which to live. It also has challenges, which as American Expatriates, can be daunting: 52% Income Tax, US/NL Tax filings which can be larger than a book every year, a religious environment which is less welcoming to minorities, e.g. anti-semitism, and the need to maintain connections in the US for banking, housing, employment when the journey comes to an end.
If the advent of BEV transportation, V2G, parking-lot canopy solar, shared vehicles & possible robo-taxis could just encourage families to own 1 instead of 2 cars, our typical existing neighborhood streetscapes could be transformed for human use in place of a clutter of parked curbside vehicles.