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

From controversial new textbooks to a Maverick family reunion, here are stories from Jeremy Hobson's week in Houston and San Antonio.

Robin and Jeremy

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

July 1 5 Comments

What It’s Like To Lead A Non-Hierarchical Workplace

Terri Kelly is one of few people with a title at W. L. Gore – the maker of Gore-Tex – and she says she really doesn't like having one.

July 1 3 Comments

Joy Williams’ New American Songbook

The singer-songwriter and four-time Grammy winner joins us with a playlist of what she considers quintessentially American music.

June 30 6 Comments

With Pluto On Its Horizon, NASA Spacecraft Nears Target

"We haven't done anything like this since Voyager in the 1980s, and nothing like it is planned to ever happen again."

June 30 44 Comments

Chorus Helps Trans Men And Women Find Their Voice

The all-trans chorus was founded to help people learn to use their changing voices in a safe space.