A commentary from WALKONOMICS on some of the hazards of walking in African Cities and efforts to improve the conditions sing BRT systems, which in South Africa are aimed more at reducing mini-bus taxi’s and car traffic than improving on the conditions for walkers
by Kaid Benfieldon Sustainable Cities Collective: How the “West” lives is long way from us here in the South – and yet we aspire to achieve walkability – but for different reason here – most people don’t have cars and yet our aging city infrastructures are designed for cars, Public urban transport is mainly by mini-bus and the urban poor are stuck out in peri-urban ghettos – with this in mind the advocates of global tourism still spend on structures and infrastructures designed to retain the privileged few.Issues such as this are tops in the current run up for local miunicipal elections in South Africa – interesting times. Still it is instructive to see which American cities are judged to be walker friendly”
After evaluating applicant communities in several categories related to walking – including safety, mobility, access and comfort – the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center last week announced the selection of eleven Walk Friendly Communities across the US. They are ranked in categories of achievement, as follows: Continue reading
Here is an excellent article from treehugger by Lloyd Alter, Toronto that really gives the low down data on why compact city living is the most sustainable with excellent references to information backing up the postulate.
The one downside we all know is that the policies of most cities don’t reward compact living, especially in South African cities, lack of safe reliable public transport is a problem which BRT systems are (slowly) trying to address – developers are stepping into the breach though and building inner city lofts and reviving the CBD of the cities with urban regeneration projects.
‘After lecturing on “deep green design”, (I am adjunct Professor at Ryerson School of Interior Design) Passivhaus and the fancy gizmo technologies of green building, one of my students said “but not everyone can afford this! How are normal working people going to live?”
A couple of years ago, that would have been a difficult question to answer. But lately, the answer had become a lot clearer: We don’t all have to drive LEAFS and Volts and live in Passivhauses. In fact, it might even be counterproductive. Now, more and more tools and studies are making it very clear that just like in real estate, when it comes to energy consumption and climate change, the three most important things to consider are location, location and location.