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Why The Future Of Transportation Depends On Changing Infrastructure

NPR blogger and astrophysicist Adam Frank visited an intersection of many transportation modes to illustrate his point about why infrastructure needs to change.
NPR blogger and astrophysicist Adam Frank visited an intersection of many transportation modes to illustrate his point about why infrastructure needs to change.

The combustion engine is dominant. In the United States, according to the latest estimates from the Census, more than 76 percent of us get to work alone in a car. The numbers are not quite as lopsided in some big cities, where public transit and other options are more widely available.

But in urban planning circles, many people look at growing urban populations and the congestion on city streets with concern. What will be the transportation mode of the future?

University of Rochester astrophysicist and NPR commentator and blogger, Adam Frank, thinks about cities from a planetary point of view. He's interested in the effect that our urban environments have on the natural one. He's thinking about climate change. He tells NPR's Kelly McEvers to have a more environmentally friendly form of transportation, we have to create new infrastructure first.

This interview is part of the NPR Cities Project.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Adam Frank was a contributor to the NPR blog 13.7: Cosmos & Culture. A professor at the University of Rochester, Frank is a theoretical/computational astrophysicist and currently heads a research group developing supercomputer code to study the formation and death of stars. Frank's research has also explored the evolution of newly born planets and the structure of clouds in the interstellar medium. Recently, he has begun work in the fields of astrobiology and network theory/data science. Frank also holds a joint appointment at the Laboratory for Laser Energetics, a Department of Energy fusion lab.
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