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Articles by Nate Berg

Nate Berg is assistant editor of the urban planning news website Planetizen (

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This article is part of a collaboration with Planetizen, the web’s leading resource for the urban planning, design, and development community.

Traffic is essentially “an engineering issue,” says author Tom Vanderbilt. “But there’s also a layer of culture.”

That layer of culture determines, to a large extent, how traffic can become a problem. This idea is explored in Vanderbilt’s 2008 book Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us), a Planetizen Top Book of the year. He recently expanded on that idea for a discussion about traffic put on by Zocalo Public Square in (where better?) Los Angeles. A write-up of the event and video of the discussion with UCLA researcher Eric Morris is also available.

Tom Vanderbilt discusses his book Traffic as UCLA researcher and New York Times Freakonomics blogger Eric Morris listens.Courtesy Planetizen.comPeople in L.A. love these sorts of discussions. We’ve got a mess of a traffic problem in this city — from intense congestion to freeway domination to a late-blooming public transit system. Something about events focused on transportation and t... Read more

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