Decemberween: Urban Planning Youtube!

I don’t know why I became a weirdo into educational video material in my adult years but then I think about the times I’d spend in the mornings when I was home sick from school watching Zardip’s Search For Healthy Wellness, a Canadian TV show that was much cooler in my memory than it really is, and I didn’t think it was very cool at the best of times. But still, this year I’ve learned a lot about urban planning and it turns out there’s an entire Youtube subculture of people talking about that.

During this time I’ve learned about the idea of Gadget-Bahns and Stroads and AM/FM problems.

Here are some videos from each channel to serve as a sort of ‘serving suggestion’ of the style and tone of some of these sources I’ve enjoyed this year. First up, there’s the fairly gentle ‘boring urban nice’ style of Not Just Bikes.

There are two basic styles of videos from Not Just Bikes. There are videos about the infrastructure and urban planning that’s happening in the Netherlands (the place the documentarian lives now). This is basically a sort of ‘hey, here’s how things are done in this country in a way that normally would get ignored by people, because they’re so normal nobody highlights them.’ This is about the really boring common bike you can get the omafiets (and why I want one).

The other kind of video on the channel are where he looks at the kind of infrastructure in other countries, mostly America, and how that’s garbage and sucks and it’s bad. This video explains what a Stroad is, and if you’ve seen one you might be filled with the same deeply unpleasant feeling I have when I look at yes, these stroads and man I hate stroads and I didn’t even know what a stroad was.

I also watched a bunch by a guy called Adam Something. He’s a lot sassier and mean, a little less genteel, ‘look at interesting things,’ and um, a lot more ‘let’s make fun of Elon Musk’s stupid ideas.’

A body of his videos are about tackling the technofix mindset of expensive projects to try and ‘fix’ problems with existing systems without just, you know, fixing those systems by financing them and addressing their problems.

Now I will give a sort-of content warning on Adam Something: I have a memory of hearing him say something in one of his videos was ‘r*tarded.’ But I couldn’t find it when I went looking for it again, and I couldn’t be sure. Adam Something is also from a different cultural extraction — so I don’t want to say I know how he knows that word is socially considered in English?

But either way, I think he may have said that once and that’s non-ideal but I can’t find him saying it across his videos. If you think that’s going to stand out and upset you, stick to Not Just Bikes.