Human scaled cities are the baseline for #GoodUrbanism. Cities where you can walk anywhere you need to go in a quarter of an hour means for example you get the groceries you need when you need them: reducing food waste to a minimum. Left: LA, USA. Right: Ghent, Belgium.
Living in inner Ghent (left), the medieval walkable part, you are never more than 500m from a supermarket, and never more than 100-150m from a convenience store, restaurant, market. Bruges (right), clocks in at about 600m from a supermarket, at worst. Most residents live closer.
People living in human scaled Södermalm in Stockholm (which one of the densest urban areas in the West) are at most 650m from a major supermarket but that is at the extreme edge of the island and less than 1%. Most people are within 100-200m from their daily groceries.
There is simply NO urban problem that a human scaled city is not eminently placed to tackle or even solve. Mostly urban problems do no even occur in human scaled cities. But when cities grow out of scale, they also accumulate unsolvable problems.
Probably the most sustainable urban society on Earth, that of late 18th century Edo (modern Tokyo) also had the largest amount of restaurants of any major city in history: one restaurant for every 170 people, not including food stands, peddlers, etc. A block had 3, on average.
Edo also famously had zero food waste. Since so much cooking was made by eateries rather than in private homes, the use of fuel, ingredients, was extremely economical. Even the waste was valuable: fuel ash and packaging was sold as fertilizers, resulting in a zero waste economy.
In the U.S. it seems that groceries, corner stores and food markets are dwindling in numbers even where they ought to be making money. This 2006 article suggest bureaucracy might be to blame.
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