Slate recently taped an interview with London mayor Boris Johnson. Over the course of about five minutes, the mayor of one of the world’s richest urban areas explains his take on how to make a successful city.
Johnson mentions a number of interesting facts in the interview — including that the world population is ever drifting toward cities — then around 2:55 points out that transportation is integral to London’s success. He also notes that despite the shift toward cities, people want to live in smaller communities:
People want to live in villages, they love the idea of community where they know each other.
The idea, he continues, is to create a village-like atmosphere within a city. Among other things, he says that bikes are integral to doing that:
You’ve got to make cities ever more pleasant to live in, so that’s where bikes come in.
It’s no surprise that the mayor of a European city — and one of the most pleasant ones at that — would emphasize the importance of creating village-like areas in cities. That also happens to sound very similar to the optimal scenario described by Jane Jacobs in The Death and Life of Great American Cities.
Provo ultimately has a long way to go in creating this type of city but it at least has the potential to get there.