The End of Automobile Dependence: How Cities are Moving Beyond Car-Based Planning | U.S. Green Building Council
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The End of Automobile Dependence: How Cities are Moving Beyond Car-Based Planning

GBCI: 0920006116

This self paced reading activity examines how to approach designing urban environments that can function reliably and conveniently on alternative modes of transportation.
Eligible for 1.5 CE HOURS.
  • 1.5 CE

Published on: November 06, 2015

Average: 4.2 (52 votes)


In this reading-based course, the reader will learn about three main city types or “fabrics” (walking, transit, and automobile), and how they overlap to make up every city. Review how these fabrics evolved to serve a growing population, and consider how cities can take practical steps to rejuvenate each fabric type to create more sustainable – and less car dependent – communities.

The reading will highlight how Marchetti’s constant, the universal travel-time budget, is used to explain how cities have grown throughout history and how urban sprawl has greatly increased since the 1950s. Review how cities, including New York and Melbourne, have cultivated their walking fabric to reduce vehicle miles traveled and regenerate their central districts.

This course offers excerpts from the book The End of Automobile Dependence by Peter Newman and Jeffrey Kenworthy, the final volume in a trilogy by Newman and Kenworthy on automobile dependence (Cities and Automobile Dependence in 1989 and Sustainability and Cities: Overcoming Automobile Dependence in 1999). Like all good trilogies this one shows the rise of an empire, in this case that of the automobile, the peak of its power, and the decline of that empire.

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  1. Explain the end of car dependence using the theory of urban fabrics.
  2. List best practices to regenerate a city’s walking fabric.
  3. Describe the reasons for urban sprawl using Marchetti’s constant.
  4. Visualize how cities of all types can take steps to reduce dependence on cars.
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Created by

Island Press
Washington, DC
United States


Peter Newman
Jeffrey Kenworthy
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