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Side-by-side photos reveal stark contrast between a major city in the U.S. vs. one in Spain: ‘[This is] avoidable’

The U.S. is a country of roads, parking lots, and of course, cars and trucks.

CarsRuinedCity compares U.S. cities to other countries

Photo Credit: @CarsRuinedCity / Twitter

A recent Twitter feed showed a comparison of two cities, with each image apparently a close-up taken from space, and two different realities when it comes to cars.

The pictographic comparison was posted in the X, formerly known as Twitter, community Cars Destroyed Our Cities (@CarsRuinedCity), which has 23,000 followers. 

The message above the picture stated: “A stadium in America’s largest metropolis vs. a stadium in Spain’s second largest city.”

The image shows a stadium surrounded by an enormous parking lot along with what appears to be an array of highways followed by some more parking lots, evidently in the U.S.

The image below shows a stadium surrounded by homes and dense buildings and small roads, some apparently lined with trees, in “Spain’s second largest city,” which is Barcelona. 

Today, the U.S. is a country of roads, parking lots, and, of course, cars and trucks. Lots of them. 

According to the most recent statistics measured by Energy.gov, in the U.S., there were 816.4 cars per 1,000 people compared to 590.9 for Western Europe. 

On a global scale, the transportation industry represents about 23% of total emissions of carbon dioxide, a gas that traps the planet’s heat. 

In the U.S., where public transportation is less prevalent and less efficient, transportation accounts for about 28.5% of all types of heat-trapping pollution, and the majority of this is carbon dioxide. 

There are numerous reasons why the U.S. seems infatuated with cars and not so enthusiastic about public transit — one of them being politics and lobbying. 

Federal policy in the United States can be heavily biased toward rural interests instead of the priorities of urban areas, which are more reliant on public transit. 

In 2022, the automotive industry spent close to $75 million in lobbying efforts for politicians to rule in its favor, which one can guess does not favor decisions that would lean toward public transit. 

“Spain doesn’t even have 1/2 the population and has 1/20th the land mass,” one commenter wrote, apparently trying to explain why Spain does not have such large areas of parking lots and highways. 

Another added: “Public transport and walkability make these parking deserts avoidable.”

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