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N.Y.C. | Not Your Car—Why we the people must “dominate the streets.”

New York, NY


Transit Proposal


The New York Times


Transportation: BuroHappold Engineering


New York City-Wide


Ongoing Advocacy Project

Following the Covid crisis of 2020-2022 and the eventual development of a seemingly viable vaccine, New Yorkers along with a fellow urban citizenry the world over returned to the same polluted, congested, and unequal cities they had in the past. The question remains, as it did before the crisis: can we collectively envision a more just urban future in which we the people “dominate the streets?”

During quarantine and months of remote work, from New York to New Delhi, brilliant blue skies hovered above our cities, an ephemeral side effect of our global pandemic. With traffic worldwide drastically reduced in response to the painful economic shutdowns, our streets were largely devoid of their usual vehicular congestion; global carbon emissions were reduced substantially. Such a dramatic transformation of our streets—the building block of any city’s public realm—demands more debate on their true purpose given both the pre-COVID pedestrianization measures implemented along thoroughfares like New York’s 14th Street and the riverfront of Paris, as well as the protester drumbeat of “Whose Streets? Our Streets,” a question that demands answers in the wake of the murders of George Floyd and countless other black citizens on streets that are so ruthlessly patrolled. In N.Y.C. (“Not Your Car”), PAU, in collaboration with Farhad Manjoo and the Op Ed desk of the New York Times, explored the potential of our streets in a unique moment of political upheaval and environmental crisis to consider the inequities and predation caused by private cars in our supposedly public realm.

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Manhattan Bridge

West 46th Street

Park Avenue

Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd at 125th St

FDR Drive

46th St.

125th St.

Park Ave.


Banning private cars from Manhattan could decrease traffic by 60% in the borough and 8% in surrounding areas, making bus commutes from the surrounding boroughs and counties much quicker.