Former NYC transport head brings pedestrian-friendly message to Harvard

Friday, March 29, 2019 - 17:40 in Mathematics & Economics

“Streets are what make some cities great, and some cities not so great,” Janette Sadik-Khan told a capacity crowd at Gund Hall at the Graduate School of Design Thursday evening. The problem, explained Sadik-Khan, an authority on transportation and urban transformation and the former transportation commissioner of New York City, is not so much the actual asphalt as who uses it — more specifically, for whose use it was designed. That focus has changed drastically over the past 100 years, Sadik-Khan noted, illustrating her point with photos of the intersection around Boston’s South Station from the early 20th century and today. “Streets used to be really lively places for people,” she said, “but in the last century they’ve become places for cars.” As a result, “we’ve got congested streets, lifeless streets.” Sadik-Khan discussed how urban thoroughfares can be — and have been — reimagined, first for private automobiles and now, increasingly, for pedestrians,...

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