Rail and the City

Un libro in lingua di Roxanne Warren edito da Mit Pr, 2014

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The United States has evolved into a nation of twenty densely populated megaregions.Yet despite the environmental advantages of urban density, urban sprawl and reliance on the privatecar still set the pattern for most new development. Cars guzzle not only gas but also space, asmassive acreage is dedicated to roadways and parking. Even more pressing, the replication of thispattern throughout the fast-developing world makes it doubtful that we will achieve the reductionsin carbon emissions needed to avoid climate catastrophe. In Rail and the City,architect Roxanne Warren makes the case for compact urban development that is supported by railtransit.

Calling the automobile a relic of the twentieth century, Warrenenvisions a release from the tyrannies of traffic congestion, petroleum dependence, and anoppressively paved environment. Technical features of rail are key to its high capacities, safety athigh speeds, and compactness -- uniquely qualifying it to serve as ideal infrastructure within andbetween cities. Ultimately, mobility could be achieved through extensive networks of public transit,particularly rail, supplemented by buses, cycling, walking, car-sharing, and small, flexiblevehicles. High-speed rail, fed by local transit, could eliminate the need for petroleum-intensiveplane trips of less than 500 miles.

Warren considers issues of access to transit,citing examples from Europe, Japan, and North America, and pedestrian- and transit-oriented urbandesign. Rail transit, she argues, is the essential infrastructure for a fluidly functioning urbansociety.

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