Commuting and transportation are key aspects of modern work life. The average commute time in the United States is 25 minutes, meaning the average American spends nearly one hour each day getting to and from work and this number is only increasing.
Many of the world’s newer cities were designed for motorized transit and this design is largely responsible for the growing amount of time spent commuting. The city of the future will both limit access to and remove the need for personal cars.
In order to reduce automobile congestion, cities must invest in transportation alternatives such as more bicycle and pedestrian lanes, bikeshare programs, and reliable, affordable, and sustainable public transportation. Cities can also de-incentivize personal car use by increasing gasoline sales tax, parking fees, and city registration fees.
Limiting the number of personal automobiles in urban areas will reduce congestion on city streets. This will be a critical change as urban populations continue to grow.
Below is an image that represents the amount of space required to transport 200 people with 5 different modes of transportation. Cars clearly require the largest amount of space.
The benefits of limiting access to personal cars go far beyond shorter commutes.
New research indicates that cities that discourage driving and invest in active transportation have residents who report higher levels of well-being.
Additionally, cities with efficient and affordable public transportation promote greater equality by providing a public good that can be accessed by all.
By limiting personal car use, the city of the future will mitigate the negative effects of global climate change by minimizing the release of carbon emissions from cars. Furthermore, high-cost gasoline will incentivize alternative-fueled, fossil-free public transportation.
These efforts combined will improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Finally, fewer cars means smaller roads, leaving more space for buildings and parks.