Decongestion in Cities Around the World

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GOOD Magazine profiles five innovations in urban transportation that you don’t find in America, yet. Josh Jackson reports:

Cities around the world are leaps and bounds ahead of America when it comes to issues of urban transit. Though this country is woefully lagging, it’s a rare example of when falling behind actually works in your favor: as U.S. cities work to update their transportation systems for the 21st century, they don’t have to reinvent the wheel. The solutions are already out there.

In the States, cycling is still for the most part recreational. In Copenhagen, though, perhaps the world’s most bicycle-friendly city, 36 percent of commuters rode to work in 2003, 33 percent used public transit, and 27 percent drove. But Copenhagen’s streets haven’t always been so balanced: In the 1970s, when bike riding was at an all-time low, the city’s traffic-congested downtown resembled American cities of the same era. Yet unlike their American counterparts, who tried to solve congestion by building more roads, Danish planners took an alternative approach: they tried to reduce the number of cars.

Photo: Aaron Naparstek

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