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Since 1950, conventional urban transportation planning has been largely directed at providing fast and efficient mobility for private travel – freeways were built, streets were widened and buildings were razed for parking. Most cities went along with the program and suffered tremendously, but there have been a handful of cities that resisted the status quo and developed an alternative city friendly approach to transportation. These cities focused on transportation solutions that were compatible with, and enhanced their urban fabric, life and character.
Transportation planners have largely overlooked the story of how and why these trailblazing cities forged a different approach. But the transportation policies that these cities adopted contain important lessons about the path forward for creating sustainable places. The success of these cities has spurred a growing number of municipalities to adopt their own versions of city friendly transportation planning. They are now also beginning to reap the benefits that come from reducing car dependency. In this presentation I will tell the story of some of the places that pioneered city friendly transportation planning and how this approach can help to rein in sprawl and help to revitalize traditional urban centers.