Street Smart by Samuel I. Schwartz audiobook

Street Smart: The Rise of Cities and the Fall of Cars

By Samuel I. Schwartz , with William Rosen
Read by Don Hagen

Gildan Media, Gildan Audio 9781610395649
9.20 Hours 1
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With wit and sharp insight, former Traffic Commissioner of New York City, Sam Schwartz a.k.a. “Gridlock Sam,” one of the most respected transportation engineers in the world and consummate insider in NYC political circles, uncovers how American cities became so beholden to cars and why the current shift away from that trend will forever alter America’s urban landscapes, marking nothing short of a revolution in how we get from place to place. When Sam Schwartz was growing up in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn—his block belonged to his community: the kids who played punchball and stickball & their parents, who’d regularly walk to the local businesses at which they also worked. He didn’t realize it then, but Bensonhurst was already more like a museum of a long-forgotten way-of-life than a picture of America’s future. Public transit traveled over and under city streets—New York’s first subway line opened in 1904—but the streets themselves had been conquered by the internal combustion engine. America’s dependency on the automobile began with the 1908 introduction of Henry Ford’s car-for-everyone, the Model T. The “battle for right-of-way” in the 1920s saw the demise of streetcars and transformed America’s streets from a multiuse resource for socializing, commerce, and public mobility into exclusive arteries for private automobiles. The subsequent destruction of urban transit systems and post WWII suburbanization of America enabled by the Interstate Highway System and the GI Bill forever changed the way Americans commuted. But today, for the first time in history, and after a hundred years of steady increase, automobile driving is in decline. Younger Americans increasingly prefer active transportation choices like walking or cycling and taking public transit, ride-shares or taxis. This isn’t a consequence of higher gas prices, or even the economic downturn, but rather a collective decision to be a lot less dependent on cars—and if American cities want to keep their younger populations, they need to plan accordingly. In Street Smart, Sam Schwartz explains how. In this clear and erudite presentation of the principles of smart transportation and sustainable urban planning—from the simplest cobblestoned street to the brave new world of driverless cars and trains—Sam Schwartz combines rigorous historical scholarship with the personal and entertaining recollections of a man who has spent more than forty years working on planning intelligent transit networks in New York City. Street Smart is a book for everyone who wants to know more about the who, what, when, where, and why of human mobility.

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Summary

Summary

With wit and sharp insight, former Traffic Commissioner of New York City, Sam Schwartz a.k.a. “Gridlock Sam,” one of the most respected transportation engineers in the world and consummate insider in NYC political circles, uncovers how American cities became so beholden to cars and why the current shift away from that trend will forever alter America’s urban landscapes, marking nothing short of a revolution in how we get from place to place. When Sam Schwartz was growing up in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn—his block belonged to his community: the kids who played punchball and stickball & their parents, who’d regularly walk to the local businesses at which they also worked. He didn’t realize it then, but Bensonhurst was already more like a museum of a long-forgotten way-of-life than a picture of America’s future. Public transit traveled over and under city streets—New York’s first subway line opened in 1904—but the streets themselves had been conquered by the internal combustion engine. America’s dependency on the automobile began with the 1908 introduction of Henry Ford’s car-for-everyone, the Model T. The “battle for right-of-way” in the 1920s saw the demise of streetcars and transformed America’s streets from a multiuse resource for socializing, commerce, and public mobility into exclusive arteries for private automobiles. The subsequent destruction of urban transit systems and post WWII suburbanization of America enabled by the Interstate Highway System and the GI Bill forever changed the way Americans commuted. But today, for the first time in history, and after a hundred years of steady increase, automobile driving is in decline. Younger Americans increasingly prefer active transportation choices like walking or cycling and taking public transit, ride-shares or taxis. This isn’t a consequence of higher gas prices, or even the economic downturn, but rather a collective decision to be a lot less dependent on cars—and if American cities want to keep their younger populations, they need to plan accordingly. In Street Smart, Sam Schwartz explains how. In this clear and erudite presentation of the principles of smart transportation and sustainable urban planning—from the simplest cobblestoned street to the brave new world of driverless cars and trains—Sam Schwartz combines rigorous historical scholarship with the personal and entertaining recollections of a man who has spent more than forty years working on planning intelligent transit networks in New York City. Street Smart is a book for everyone who wants to know more about the who, what, when, where, and why of human mobility.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“A snappy read…[Schwartz’s] account of President Eisenhower’s creation of the interstate highway system is riveting, as is his informed discussion of the rise and fall of streetcars.” Wall Street Journal
Street Smart doesn’t read as if you were stuck on the Cross-Bronx Expressway (‘the most congested corridor in the entire country,’ [Scwartz] writes). Rather, it’s mostly accessible, discerning, and even revealing.” New York Times
“Schwartz…chronicles in Street Smart the history of urban transportation in the US…He takes a strong stand, in some cases calling upon personal experiences that streets belong to communities, not cars, and that sustainable transportation planning is helping to revitalize cities.” Chicago Tribune
“Schwartz sees the writing on the asphalt, even if the federal government, intent on building ever more highways, does not. The future isn’t on four wheels. If you want your area to attract young people, entrepreneurs, and capital, you have to make it walkable.” Downtown Express
“Anyone interested in how people get from place to place will find this…narrative instructive and entertaining.” Library Journal
“A readable and provocative book making the convincing claim that the best city is one in which people can move around easily.” Kirkus Reviews

Reviews

Reviews

by Adam 3/17/2018
Overall Performance
Narration
Story

Very well done

The book is full of great information that will inspire you to work towards having a better, more walkable city. Very well done

Author

Author Bio: Samuel I. Schwartz

Author Bio: Samuel I. Schwartz

Samuel I. Schwartz, a.k.a. “Gridlock Sam,” is one of the leading transportation experts in the United States today. He served as New York City’s traffic commissioner and the New York City Department of Transportation’s chief engineer. Schwartz currently runs Sam Schwartz Engineering and is a columnist at the New York Daily News. He has been profiled by the New Yorker, New York Times, and many other national publications. Schwartz lives in New York City.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction/Political Science
Runtime: 9.20
Audience: Adult
Language: English