A Human-Scaled Journey: Finding our way in a society built for cars, a comic by Sylvia Odhner
Cars and Independence
December 10th, 2023

This comic has received a lot of both positive and negative attention, and I decided to post a follow-up comic to address some of the criticism: Revisiting Independence

Comic Text
In the United States, people often associate cars with independence, because having a car gives you the freedom to move from place to place. Now the whole idea of independence is a messy social contruct with a bunch of issues that I won’t get into right now.

The irony is, having a car as your only convenient mode of transportation makes you dependent on several companies (insurance, gas, roadside assistance, mechanic, parking, DMV), and any one of them could fail at a given time, leaving you unable to use the car that you’ve already spent so much money on.

Overall, we would have much more freedom of movement if most people didn’t need to own a car in the first place, and could easily get from one place to another without one. That’s the type of independence I want to strive for.

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Taking Action With Strong Towns
Revisiting Independence
The Walk Light
Cars and Independence
The Shopping Center Disconnect
A Culture of Positive Change

A Human-Scaled Journey is a nonfiction comic I created to document my experience learning about sustainable and walkable infrastucture and related ideas. It will include a combination of informative comics and journal-style comics, as well as collaborative comics showing other people's experiences and expertise.