Senior Fellow Alain Bertaud recently spoke with Anthony Ling on Caos Planejado, a podcast about urbanism with a focus on Brazilian cities. Bertaud reflected on his career and the messages from his book, Order Without Design, and his time working for the New York City Department of City Planning:
Then suddenly you realize that what looks, as an architect, what looks like a great thing which will make it into a magazine is a terrible thing when you are on the ground....So I started doing things, especially when I was still downtown during my lunch break, I would go to a certain place in the Wall Street area and I would try to count how people who were on foot move around the city. When you get out of the subway and you have to go to your office, you have an alternative of several routes. Why would you take one route rather than another? So, I started following people and noting on a map what they were doing, and I noted that sometimes they didn’t take the shorter route and they went into the most attractive route. Let’s say more diverse, where there were more shops, even if they didn't use the shop. So, for me, this pedestrian view of urban was very important, and I could see that this was something which normally was completely neglected by planners.