The Post-Automobile City

Legal Mechanisms to Establish the Pedestrian-Friendly City

by James A. Kushner

Tags: Culture and Law, Land Use Planning

Table of Contents (PDF)

192 pp  $25.00

ISBN 978-1-59460-001-2

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The Post-Automobile City surveys the literature on the automobile and its impact on the design of American cities and the quality of life. In the face of worsening traffic congestion, deteriorating central cities face growing unmet housing and employment needs. Suburban zoning and other land use controls aggravate these needs by excluding apartments, failing to offer efficient public transport, and rendering access to suburban jobs dependent on expensive automobile use.

The book describes a vision of a city that is not dominated by the automobile. The post-automobile city is not car-free, but the city is redesigned to offer infrastructure for pedestrians and those who desire to live car-free. Parks, park blocks, gardens, urban landscaped pathways, pedestrian shopping streets, and inviting piazzas would replace the emphasis on surface parking lots and a tight grid of traffic. The book explores various strategies to pursue the post-automobile city, including planning, housing, redevelopment, transportation, and pedestrianization strategies. Kushner also explores various legal mechanisms that can implement the post-automobile city and explains legal constraints to various planning strategies, particularly the constraints of the Takings Clauses and the regime of American property rights.

"[The author] provides options for professionals and policy makers to more wisely cope with the inevitable future increase of vehicles in the country and the potential disastrous results of that increment… Recommended. All academic levels/libraries." — CHOICE Magazine, September 2005

"The book is highly recommendable for local governments and practitioners in the U.S. who are seeking ways to enhance the livability and sustainability of their cities." — Journal of Housing and the Built Environment

"The Post-Automobile City is a timely survey of the automobile's place in our society… Kushner anticipates the day when car-free living becomes more popular than driving. Regardless of whether that day happens soon or decades down the road, The Post-Automobile City sets forth a broad survey of the possible strategies in much the same way as a trusty travel guide can help navigate a backpacking tour of Europe." — Journal of the American Planning Association