The controversy of who ‘owned the streets’ was not

The streets of cities tend
to adhere to the pattern of streetcars and the transportation routes that preceded
them. Automobiles of the past had to function on a street system, which meant
that it was necessary for cars to fit the streets. These motor vehicles had to
‘share’ the streets with various other forms of transport that often moved at
varying speeds, occupied spaces differently due to their varied types of
footprints, and people. However, due to the high demand for automobiles, cars
quickly outgrew the limitations and constraints of the old routes, which
resulted in the need for roads designed specifically for cars. As automobile
usage increased, requirements for corresponding parking spaces were necessary
but at the cost of limiting spaces for urban development and damaging the


Streets of the past were
used in various different ways. Walking pedestrians, horse-drawn vehicles,
merchants, all shared the bustling streets of the city, which meant that cars
had no claim to the right of way over other street users. The controversy of
who ‘owned the streets’ was not easily solved as the conflict between
pedestrians and cars grew more heated over time. By the 1930s, most agreed that
the streets should be for the cars. With the social reconstruction of city
streets accomplished, came the physical reconstruction of cities – which posed
a challenge for city planners at the time as they were tasked with figuring out
where to put all of these vehicles.

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Fast forward to modern
times, cars have taken over our cities. Large amounts of space are dedicated to
just automobiles. For countries with scarcity of land such as Singapore,
accommodating large amounts of cars can prove to be quite the challenge.

However, it turns out, more and more people are waking up to the idea that cars
are causing more harm than good.



1.2 Research Objective

The purpose of this
research is to understand and show how cars have affected the way various cities
around the globe have been shaped and designed, their societal, environmental,
and societal impacts. This research paper will also explore and investigate
suggested alternatives with regards to city planning, urban development and