Cars and culture in Munich and Birmingham: The case for cultural pluralism

Frank Hendriks*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Attitudes toward the automobile, however, vary tremendously. The motorcar has been described as liberator, extended living room, pack donkey, status symbol, ego-tripper, and killing machine. The relative success of the multicultural policymaking process in Munich and the failure of the monocultural process in Birmingham demonstrate the value of cultural pluralism in creating sustainable and livable public policies. Nature in general and the urban environment in particular is benign in the eyes of the individualist. Against that background, the individualist is not prone to see the increase in automobiles in recent decades as a fundamental problem. The egalitarian approach to traffic policy emphasizes the values of equal access, sustainability, and livability, values that egalitarians contend are gravely neglected in modern, technologically advanced societies. Egalitarians do not approve of the capacity-enlarging strategies of hierarchists and individualists. Extending infrastructures in cities is taboo because it diminishes the size of enjoyable public space.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPolitics, policy, and culture
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781000235685
ISBN (Print)9780367283759
Publication statusPublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes


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