Urban Planning – Julie Cardillo

My hometown is Dunmore, Pennsylvania. This borough is located in North-Eastern Pennsylvania and in Lackawanna County.  Dunmore is most likely an automobile suburb because the transportation mode is cars and not many people walk. There are roads without sidewalks on main streets, and there are sidewalks on side streets. Buses sometimes run through Dunmore, but there are very limited bus stops. Therefore, transportation is difficult if you do not own a car. The population of Dunmore is approximately 13,966. My connection to this borough is that I have lived here for most of my life, and I have mixed feelings about it and this area. For all of you Office fans out there, I live 5 minutes away from Scranton. However, the Dunmore- Scranton area has went downhill over the years, and many people in the area also feel this way. In fact, Scranton has been ranked one of the most miserable cities in the United States. The reason why is because crime has went up, transportation is difficult without a car, poverty increased, and there is not much to do here.

The first city that I will discuss is Boston, Massachusetts and how it is pedestrian oriented. Out of all of the places discussed in the module, Beacon Hill was by far my favorite. I really admire how the people from this part of Boston have the money to buy almost any car that they desire, yet they still choose to walk. This is relevant to Dunmore because here, walking is not that much of a norm. Also, just like I stated in the first paragraph, there is nothing to do in my area. However, Beacon Hill has many places to work, shop, and be entertained, all in walking distance! Not only is this beneficial to resident health, but also this is beneficial to the environment in the sense that less automobile use means less pollution. I think that my town should be more like Beacon Hill, because if walking (or other non-motorized forms of transportation) was a social norm here, then I believe that crime, poverty, and pollution would significantly decrease making the Dunmore-Scranton area more sustainable. Also, I think that Dunmore should become more of a mixed-use area (like Beacon Hill), since this would also encourage walking, lesson environmental damage, and people would be happier.

The second city that I would like to discuss is Rochester, New York and how it is automobile oriented. Out of all the cities in the module, I felt that this one was most like Dunmore. There are many areas in Dunmore (as shown in the picture) that do not have sidewalks, since automobile use is a social norm here. The only difference is Dunmore does have sidewalks, but only in developments/ neighborhoods. Other than that, getting to stores, work, school, and other places of interest requires automobile transportation. This causes an issue with sustainability because since walking is not encouraged, people will obviously choose automobile transportation. Moreover, this can lead to the collective action problem of traffic (due to the large amount of cars on the streets) and pollution from the gases emitted from the exhaust. Places like Dunmore should build more sidewalks to encourage walking as a transportation mode. Not only will this reduce pollution and improve air quality, but this will also be beneficial to people, since they will be exercising more (resident health).

5 thoughts on “Urban Planning – Julie Cardillo

  1. Hey Julie, my name is Brenton. The city of Dunmore you described closely resembles my own hometown of Irwin. I did not note the collective action problem with pollution as you did though. Instead, I focused on detailing a bus or bike system that could help the residents move around more efficiently. I think our ideas, when put together, make for a good case study regarding the problems associated with towns reliant on automobiles.

    Here is a link to my post: http://geog030.dutton.psu.edu/2016/03/14/module-7-brenton-mcdonald/

  2. Hi Julie! My name is Sophie. My hometown is Mountaintop, Pennsylvania which is very close to yours. We both made some similar points in our blogs. I wrote about how there is not much to do in my hometown and how I have mixed feelings about the area as well. I also wrote about Beacon Hill in my post. Like you, it was my favorite area presented in the module. Feel free to check out my blog and see what else I wrote about!

  3. Hi! My name is Becca, and I am also from a suburb of your size. Again, I also live in an automobile suburb with little to no options for other transportation. Although I chose to talk about Copenhagen and their use of pedestrian-friendly roads, I appreciate the way you spoke about Boston and their adaptations to make the city much more eco-friendly. I really like the term “mixed-use” that you used in terms of how Boston has areas of easy walking in order to help the population reach shopping, work, etc. In my post, I also spoke about how improving the suburbs to become more eco-friendly could also make them more health-conscious. This is because, as you noted, people would have to walk more places. I really like the way you approached this! Here’s a link to my post (https://wp.me/p3RCAy-ckD).

  4. Your hometown is over 3 times larger than mine, but I feel that they are both of similar qualities. Many people in my town refuse to walk anywhere even though we have a 2 mile diameter. It would be great to see more done to our own town/city that has been accomplished at Beakon Hill. Shame how we cannot get it through to all the residents how walking just a little bit each day can help improve their health which will eventually benefit them in the long run. I really enjoyed reading your blog entry.

    Here is a link to my blog post: http://geog030.dutton.psu.edu/2016/03/18/learning-activity-sustainable-cities/

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