PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A Radical Vision To Make Cars Optional

Traffic winds its way east and west along a snowy Boulder-Denver Turnpike, in Superior, Colo. on Wednesday. (Brennan Linsley/AP)

Traffic winds its way east and west along a snowy Boulder-Denver Turnpike, in Superior, Colo. on Wednesday. (Brennan Linsley/AP)

The late architecture critic and author Jane Holtz Kay had a radical vision for the U.S. – a society where people would prefer to live without cars.

In her seminal 1997 book, “Ashpalt Nation: How the Automobile Took Over America and How We Can Take It Back,” Kay argued that our reliance on cars is made possible by massive government subsidies, and that building our communities around the car was harming our health, our environment and our economic competitiveness.

Jane Holtz Kay died in November in Boston.

Jane Holtz Kay died in November in Boston.

Kay called suburbs “car-burbs” and pointed out that when cars become the only available means of transport, the young and the elderly who cannot drive become dependent, and the poor who cannot afford cars become marginalized.

Columbia University historian Kenneth Jackson described “Asphalt Nation,” as “a powerful and persuasive indictment of the car culture that came to dominate America.”

The New York Times called her a prophet of climate change, because in that book she calculated that in less time than it takes us to read this sentence, Americans riding around in cars and trucks will dump another 180,000 pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, accelerating global warming.

Guests:


Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Spotlight

Peter O’Dowd follows the route of Abraham Lincoln's funeral train 150 years ago, to look at modern-day race relations and Lincoln's legacy.

Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

May 1 Comment

Lincoln History Told Through Tree Rings

At President Abraham Lincoln's funeral in 1865, the oak tree stood just a few feet from the event, shading the funeral choir.

May 1 Comment

Chigozie Obioma Makes A Splash With Debut Novel

"The Fishermen" is earning raves in the literary world and drawing comparisons to the late Chinua Achebe.

April 30 Comment

Lincoln’s Legacy Inspires Greek Family Business In Decatur

Our Tracking Lincoln series continues with the third-generation owner of the Lincoln Square Lounge.

April 29 Comment

Placebo Effect: It Might Not Be In Your Head After All

There's new evidence that what's going on with the placebo effect is more than psychological. The implications are numerous.