postmetropolis2I just finda curious video. Ross Ching, a Los Angeles filmmaker has managed to edit footage of the city and edit it to make it disappear from they the cars. Well, actually, people have also disappeared. It is striking to see a city like Los Angeles, an icon of what Edward Soja called postmetropolisin a bookvery influential in urban criticism. It is a provocative and atypical vision of a city that moves by car, perhaps at levels that no other city reaches, and immense land consumption needs for mobility infrastructures. It is striking to see that this land, emptied, occupies enormous areas of the city, Los Angeles and most cities.

The city of the 20th century has been the city with/by car, with the availability of relatively cheap fuel. There has been no need to think of them without a car, and only a few today come close to being a city car-free. Of course, the cities that live outside of the car today (Venice, the medinas of the classical Arab city,…) are actually exceptions derived from very particular conditions that cannot be generalized. But there is a certain real pattern in the idea that the mode of transport that dominates in a certain place determines the physical configuration of that space and the private car as a fundamental mode of transport has shaped the transformation of cities in the last fifty years. , as stated in a post Adam Greenfield for the case of Los Angeles:

Los Angeles is probably the example par excellence: it would be foolish to deny that this place above all has been shaped by the internal combustion engine, and its maximum expression in the form of the individual private automobile. Nor would anyone in their right mind be particularly likely to argue that huge swathes of the LA basin – from the Valley down to Orange County and the ocean straight out to San Bernardino – aren’t in fact constrained in the possibilities for social engagement they’ re able to offer because of the way the landscape has evolved to support automobile.