Challenges of Car Free Lifestyles in Mid-Sized US Cities

While European cities are known for pedestrian friendly urban design and comprehensive transit networks, many US cities, having been either designed or substantially retro-fitted after the start of the automobile era, pose challenges to populations who rely on sustainable modes. The challenges for mid-sized US cities are many; entrenched, out dated engineering policies, insensitive urban design of many of our buildings and public plazas, inadequate transit funding mechanisms, and the engrained “auto culture” of the US Given the environmental, public health and economic benefits of non-automobile modes, these issues are important to understand in creating a new paradigm for making car free lifestyles more accepted and accessible to a broader US demographic.

Mark R. Brown, AICP is a city planner with Baltimore City’s Department of Transportation and works extensively on pedestrian, bicycle and transit access projects. He will be presenting on broader sustainable mode policies in the US, barriers to car free access, and some recommendations on improving the pedestrian, transit and cycling experience applicable to a broad array of cities at the 6th International Urban Design Conference being held at the Novotel Sydney Olympic Park from Monday the 9th to Wednesday 11th of September 2013.


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