How to take back our
streets and transform our lives
Thalia Verkade and Marco te Brömmelstroet
On her return from Russia to her Dutch homeland, journalist Thalia Verkade took a look at the way the car had taken over the city of Rotterdam.
Conveniently getting from place to place, she finds, is actually destroying the places we travel to.
Ms Verkade looks at the way the automobile, often with insidious help from car makers and ancillary manufacturers, has isolated neighbourhoods, made walking a danger, and resulted in the deaths of millions of people. On the way she realises the onus of responsibility for road deaths has moved from speeding drivers to those who have been hit through their own “carelessness”.
Even in the so-called cyclists’ paradise of the Netherlands, children are now less likely to walk or ride to school, shopping centres are now the sole preserve of drivers and neighbourhoods have lost their spark.
Even traffic-calming measures, she discovers, are soon worked around by drivers too impatient to slow down.
Her investigations are aided by Marco te Brömmelstroet, a bike-riding expert on urban design who is fighting the grip cars have on the world’s cities and towns and the ecological disaster they are creating.