Car Culture Cities

For decades, the idea of the car-friendly city dominated urban planning. It can be observed that over the last few years, new models of urban mobility have arisen. Cities like Amsterdam and Copenhagen have shown the world how car traffic can be reduced and our quality of living improved. However, in Germany, the situation is different. When it comes to development in urban mobility, the internationally renowned land-of-car-production lags behind. Germany’s prosperity is largely based on its top performing car industry, but that alone does not explain why it is so hard for Germans to let go of their cars – even minimally.

Why are we so in love with cars? Well, because they are great. They are the latest technical achievements, they are convenient, they are strong and fast, they are cool, they give us privacy and protection. Walking, cycling and public transport can only stand a chance if we understand what they are competing with. Therefore this seminar will look at movies, advertisements, photography, architecture and urban structures to find out how cars became one of the most desired objects of our cultural history, and how car culture has come to shape our cities.