Digital artist Steve Price "builds Flash animations that show what blighted urban landscapes would look like if they became healthier, safer, and more sustainable places," reports Grist. Here’s a rendering of Columbia Pike in Arlington, Va., in five easy steps:

“I’ve always been very interested in how visual communication affects people in a completely different way than verbal communication,” says Price. “And how profoundly people can be changed without them even being conscious of it, simply by seeing different models.” This visualization tool allows us to see, for example, a street in car-choked towns like Honolulu, Hawaii evolving into something more pleasant:

Visualizations like these have many limits (some of which readers discuss over at Grist). They are generally commissioned by cities or developers, which means (in part) that there are limits to its vision and, of course, to its potential to be turned into a reality. These animations take us one or two steps into a more positive future, nothing more. To imagine a truly shareable city, we have to look elsewhere.

Jeremy Adam Smith


Jeremy Adam Smith

Jeremy Adam Smith is the editor who helped launch He's the author of The Daddy Shift (Beacon Press, June 2009); co-editor of The Compassionate Instinct (W.W. Norton

Things I share: Mainly babysitting with other parents! I also share all the transportation I can, through bikes and buses and trains and carpooling.