Walkability After the Car; looking into low-density urbanity

Taking the recent decline in ‘automobilities’ as a departure point, in this article, we reconstruct the constant opposition of pedestrian and car that marked the theoretical debates as well as the urban projects throughout the last century to better understand the implications and potentials of a possible inversion towards a post-car era, where gradually a mobility based on corporeal capacities takes primacy. We will trace the inversion through a historical path from car as an instrument of democracy –democratization of freedom of movement– (Sheller and Urry 2000) to current visions for ‘democracy on foot’ (Geipel and Andi 2009). Questioning the status of walk, its metrics, and its capacities we focus specifically on low-density urbanity. Taking the case of Leman region in Switzerland, we will show that the territories of dispersed density, although slowly but progressively participate in the transition from car dominance where an extensive network of public transport provided.

Published in:
The Horizontal Metropolis: A Proceedings of the VIII International PHD Seminar ‘URBANISM & URBANIZATION’, 283-290
Presented at:
The Horizontal Metropolis: A Radical Project VIII International PHD Seminar ‘URBANISM & URBANIZATION’, Lausanne, VD, Switzerland, October 12-14 2015
Laboratory of Urbanism, EPFL

 Record created 2015-11-27, last modified 2018-03-17

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