Urban Planning, Transportation planning, sustainability, policy


Geography | Urban, Community and Regional Planning


Matthew Daley


America has a problem-and its root is mobility. With the world everchanging at the hands of technology and social media, other forms of once well-revered technology, such as the combustible engine and coal-powered locomotives, are now at a crossroads. The automobile still dominates the transportation landscape-this is seen through city layouts that have promoted sedentary lifestyles, an increase in infrastructure costs, and a rise in carbon dioxide emissions. All three of these issues are part of a bigger problem in modern society- a lack of affordable and reliable healthcare, a crumbling American transportation infrastructure, and a world facing issues of sustainability. Automobiles are an icon of America and have served as a statement of wealth and pride in American culture for many years. However, the private ownership of automobiles has become an increasingly detrimental to society. Therefore, a society that invests in the public good and in alternatives to the automobile must become more attractive and profitable to curb the everlasting love for the American automobile. This starts with solving the mass transportation crisis that plagues the urban core of American metropolitan areas. New alternatives such as the Hyperloop One and self-driving cars have been discussed to great lengths recently, yet these alternatives are still in their testing phases. America, like much of Europe, should invest in mass transportation options such as light-rail and Bus Rapid Transport now so that a cultural transition towards more efficient forms of transportation will be much more viable within a population returning to communities with greater density.