Here is a page that features Peter Calthorpe, a well-known planner who is thoughtful about what makes good communities work well and how to build them. He talks a lot about Portland, Oregon, and how it got to be the way it is.


The video above (click on the image of Calthorpe to play it) is taken from a PBS News Hour program. In it, Calthorpe highlights a key decision made in 1990 in Portland, and notes that after 1996, the Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) per household in Portland decreased, whereas elsewhere in the country the VMT increased. The video is quite short, a little over two minutes.

VMT chart

In the above video, Calthorpe focuses on Transit-oriented development, again focusing on Portland to illustrate his points. It's about three and a half minutes long. Again, just click on the image above to play the video.

In April of 2017, Calthorpe gave a “TED” (Technology, Entertainment and Design) talk in Vancouver, British Columbia. His talk, on “7 principles for building better cities” stresses that “walking, biking and transit are the way cities thrive.” In the video, he describes strategies that will enable that achievement.

At the end of his talk (at 12:00 on the video), the moderator asks Calthorpe about autonomous vehicles (self-driving cars). Calthorpe notes that while “there's almost too much hype here,” with the introduction of autonomous vehicles, “people will travel greater distances, we'll get a lot more vehicle miles and it will be a new lease on life to sprawl.” He is frightened by that prospect.

This video has been viewed well over 1.5 million times. To watch it, click on this link.