The New York Times recently published an interesting high-profile debate titled "Car Clash: Europe v. the US" that explores why Europeans are working hard to discourage drivers, cars and parking in their cities while so much of American city planning is doing the opposite.
One highlight is by Professor Ellen Dunham-Jones who studies the transformation of commercial strip corridors. These areas are the most likely to receive the most benefit from changes such as mixed-use mid-rises, tree-line boulevards, and transit dependent systems. Examples of the possibilities and the newfound vibrancy of the transformed streetscape have been demonstrated in Columbia Pike, Arlington, U.S.A. and the new Cambie Corridor in Vancouver, BC. Dunham-Jones and co-author June Williamson "are tracking over 35 North American corridors that are being redesigned not to make driving miserable, but to recognize the multiple social, environmental, economic and transportation purposes that great streets serve."