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Download Street Smart: The Rise of Cities and the Fall of Cars Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Street Smart: The Rise of Cities and the Fall of Cars, by Samuel I. Schwartz Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Samuel I. Schwartz Narrator: Don Hagen Publisher: Gildan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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In this clear and erudite presentation of the principles of smart transportation and sustainable urban planning, Samuel Schwartz uncovers how American cities became so beholden to cars and why the current shift away from that trend will forever alter America’s urban landscape.

On a Saturday morning in December 1973, a section of New York’s West Side Highway collapsed under the weight of a truck full of asphalt. The road was closed, seemingly for good, and the 80,000 cars that traveled it each day had to find a new way to their destinations. It ought to have produced traffic chaos, but it didn’t. The cars simply vanished. It was a moment of revelation: the highway had induced the demand for car travel. It was a classic case of “Build it and they will come,” but for the first time the opposite had been shown to be true: “Knock it down and they will go away.” Samuel Schwartz was inspired by the lesson. He started to reimagine cities, most of all his beloved New York, freed from their obligation to cars. Eventually he found he was not alone.

Since the turn of the twenty-first century, a surreptitious revolution has taken place: every year Americans are driving fewer miles. And the generation named for this new century—the millennials—are driving least of all. Not because they can’t afford to; they don’t want to; they have better ideas for how to use their streets. An urban transformation is underway, and smart streets are at the heart of it. They will boost property prices and personal fitness, roll back years of congestion and smog, and offer a transformative experience of American urban life.

From San Francisco to Salt Lake, Charleston to Houston, the American city is becoming a better and better place to be. Schwartz’s Street Smart is a dazzling and affectionate history of the struggle for control of American cities, and an inspiring off-road map to a more vibrant, active, and vigorous urban future.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A snappy read…[Schwartz’s] account of President Eisenhower’s creation of the interstate highway system is riveting, as is his informed discussion of the rise and fall of streetcars.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • Street Smart doesn’t read as if you were stuck on the Cross-Bronx Expressway (‘the most congested corridor in the entire country,’ [Scwartz] writes). Rather, it’s mostly accessible, discerning, and even revealing.”

    New York Times

  • “Schwartz…chronicles in Street Smart the history of urban transportation in the US…He takes a strong stand, in some cases calling upon personal experiences that streets belong to communities, not cars, and that sustainable transportation planning is helping to revitalize cities.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • “Schwartz sees the writing on the asphalt, even if the federal government, intent on building ever more highways, does not. The future isn’t on four wheels. If you want your area to attract young people, entrepreneurs, and capital, you have to make it walkable.”

    Downtown Express

  • “Anyone interested in how people get from place to place will find this…narrative instructive and entertaining.”

    Library Journal

  • “A readable and provocative book making the convincing claim that the best city is one in which people can move around easily.”

    Kirkus Reviews

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