I’ve been living in Lausanne since February and it’s the antithesis of a US city. People walk, it’s compact, shops are everywhere. I’ve been car-less since I arrived and I love it. But the USA is beyond help because the structural issues are too severe. The fundamental infrastructure is too vast and too expensive to change. And in many cases the climate is too awful to permit the kind of urban lifestyle you are advocating. While California is ideal, much of the USA is the opposite: unbearably hot & humid in summer, bitterly cold in winter. Urban transportation can’t obviate the “last mile problem” in climates that can kill you if you’re incorrectly attired for that last 400 meters from bus-stop to office block. Of course we could recognize that 70% of white collar jobs don’t actually require us to commute to the office at all, but that would be asking a lot of your typical human…

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