By Gord Price
I’ve been wondering how Trumpism will manifest itself when it comes to ‘urbanism’ – especially the values with which we use to plan and develop cities and urban regions. My guess: regardless of their merits and successes, there will be a rejection of contemporary urban ideas – notably mixed-use, transit-oriented communities with an emphasis on safe and beautiful public realms not dependent on the car. More particularly, there will be a defunding of those transportation choices that move us away from Motordom, especially cycling infrastructure. Oh yeah, especially bike lanes.
Why? Because those are the ideas and choices of the ‘urban elites.’ It matters not whether such urban environments can benefit all parts of the community, and actually enhance affordability for those squeezed out of the 20th-century version of the American Dream. It certainly doesn’t matter whether they help make our environments more sustainable. Those people lost; their ideas and actions must be rejected – indeed, reversed.
One of the ways, for instance, that those who deny climate change can express their confident disbelief is to double down on the production and use of carbon-based fuels, and to promote consumption of the urban forms and lifestyles that are dependent on them. Or better yet, in the win-lose game of polarized politics, actually discourage, even prevent, those alternatives to the way of life glamorized in the extreme by those places branded with garish gold signs of the name of the President to be.