By Janette Sadik-Khan & Seth Solomonow, in The Atlantic, April 16, 2021
Amid the devastation caused by the pandemic, an urban awakening occurred. It would have been international news on its own, had the health crisis not overshadowed it. As businesses and offices closed their doors, cities opened their streets for residents and restaurants hungry for space and socially distant outdoor activity—a radical transformation of asphalt into active places at an astonishing scale and pace. The revival of street life revealed how much of their own vitality cities had conceded to cars. But this sudden flowering is now in peril as traffic returns.
...To serve their residents well, U.S. cities can’t just return to the pre-pandemic norm. They need to come back more resilient, more sustainable, more economically connected, and more equitable. Reclaiming city streets from the domination of cars is never easy, but it will never be easier than it is right now.