The Guardian

Carmageddon: it’s killing urban life. We must reclaim our cities before it’s too late | George Monbiot

Land Rover’s latest ads would have us believe that gas guzzlers contribute to urban culture. They do exactly the opposite

What is the best way of wrecking a city? Pour cars into it. Heavy traffic, 50 years of research shows, breaks up communities, disrupts social life and crushes local cultures. Noise drowns out conversation and drives people indoors. Pollution makes streets inhospitable. Cars take up the space that might have been used for children to play, adults to meet, and local projects to grow.

Street life is treated as an impediment to traffic. In cities all over the world it has been cleared for cars. Stalls, hawkers, football and cricket games, old people playing dominoes, chess or pétanque: all must make way for the car. So much land is required for driving and parking. The car eats the public space that could otherwise become parks, cycle lanes, markets and playgrounds.

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