15 Innovations That Shaped the City

A Sidewalk Talk series that explores some of the major advances in urban technology, design, and policy across history — from Roman sewers to real-time transit.

“Take the safety bicycle. After bursting onto the scene in the late 19th century as a great new form of personal transportation, the bike gave rise to the Good Roads Movement, which by urging better road creation ironically made it easier for cars to conquer city streets. Only today, as cities prioritize bike infrastructure and embrace bike-share technology, has cycling started to fulfill its initial hopes of mobility freedom.”


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