How our love affair with automobiles is changing the face of climate change and denser urban living
On a typical Saturday night in the 1970s, Whittier Boulevard in East L.A. would have been thumping with lowriders—those lacquered, richly colored sedans with chassis that could bounce up and down with the flip of a switch. Slow cruising in a Chevy Impala was perfect for people watching and showing off your glorious Frankenstein handiwork.
Cars have long defined who Americans are, how we socialize, where we live, and where we work. They still have a hold over us—just look at how many Fast and Furious movies keep coming at us—but the world we drive in is changing. It’s now been about a century since we were introduced to cars. Gas prices are on the rise while wages stay flat. We’re increasingly aware of how burning fossil fuels harms the environment. And commutes into downtown from the ever-expanding suburbs can take two hours or longer. In advance of the Zócalo/Metro event, “Is Car Culture Dead?” we asked experts to weigh in on the question: In an age of climate change and dense urban living, what role will cars play in our lives?