If you’re lucky enough to have visited Delft, you’ll have enjoyed a glimpse of just how civilised a ‘low-car’ city can be. In 2019, mobility experts Melissa and Chris Bruntlett began a new adventure there. They packed up their family in Vancouver and moved to Delft to experience the cycling city as residents rather than as visitors.
Curbing Traffic: The Human Case for Fewer Cars in Our Lives, chronicles their experience living in the Netherlands and the benefits of treating cars as visitors rather than owners of the road. They weave their personal story with research and interviews to share the experience of living in a city designed for people.
In the planning field, little attention is given to the effects that a low-car city can have on the human experience at a psychological and sociological level. Studies are beginning to surface that indicate the impact that external factors, such as sound, can have on our stress and anxiety levels. Or how the systematic dismantling of freedom and autonomy for children and the elderly to travel through their cities is causing isolation and dependency.
In Curbing Traffic, the Bruntletts explain why these investments in improving the built environment are about more than just getting from place to place more easily and comfortably. The insights will help decision makers and advocates to better understand and communicate the human impacts of low-car cities: lower anxiety and stress, increased independence, social autonomy, inclusion, and improved mental and physical wellbeing.
The book is organised around the benefits that result from thoughtfully curbing traffic, resulting in a city that is: child-friendly, connected, trusting, feminist, quiet, therapeutic, accessible, prosperous, resilient, and age-friendly.
Win a copy of Curbing Traffic
We have a copy of Curbing Traffic: The Human Case for Fewer Cars in Our Lives to give away. Simply leave us a comment at the bottom of the page and we’ll pick a name next week.
The ethical choice
The ETA was established in 1990 as an ethical provider of green, reliable travel services. Over 30 years on, we continue to offer cycle insurance, breakdown cover and mobility scooter insurance while putting concern for the environment at the heart of all we do.
The Good Shopping Guide judges us to be the UK’s most ethical provider.