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Kaid Benfield’s Blog

And, on the eighth day, God created transit

Kaid Benfield

Posted February 7, 2013

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  scene from 'God Created Transit' by Diana Lind, Next City

Diana Lind of Next City has created a brilliant two-minute video highlighting what’s great about public transit. 

It takes the style of the terrific Dodge Ram “God made a farmer” ad that first ran during the Super Bowl. That two-minute ad (must have cost an amazing amount of money) was itself one of the best productions shown that evening, featuring the legendary radio voice of Paul Harvey and a striking, highly evocative sequence of images of Americana.  It was a truck ad, but really you didn’t find that out until the logo appeared at the end.

Lind’s images (some shown here) are also striking and evocative, and her narration is a worthy, contemporary updating of Harvey’s writing style. Watch it and you'll see what I mean:


It’s important that we build and strengthen communities that do not require so much driving.  But I’m glad that, unlike so much urbanist rhetoric going around today, Lind’s video isn’t anti-car, stressing how driving is evil and must be made more difficult and expensive.  Her voice is strong, but positive.  As someone who likes my car very much, thank you, but who has also been a transit rider since age 13, I love it.

I added it to NRDC's sustainable communities YouTube channel, where we have curated 190 videos so far for your enjoyment, along with playlists you can browse for sustainable neighborhoods, sustainable city systems, sustainable metro regions, and sustainable business.  (Only three are originals, but I do like them.) 

scene from 'God Created Transit' by Diana Lind, Next CityWe have a companion channel on Vimeo, which in some ways I like even better than YouTube.  The Vimeo channel has 72 additional videos covering everything from safe streets for seniors to Ethan Kent of the Project for Public Spaces on placemaking to backyard farming.  Check them out and, if you like what you see, consider subscribing.  That’s a library of 262 accessible videos on sustainable communities!  Our handle on both platforms is NRDCcommunities.

In a brief article, Lind tells what motivated her to make her first video.  I hope she makes more. 

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Kaid Benfield writes about community, development, and the environment on Switchboard and in the national media. For more posts, see his blog's home page. Please also visit NRDC’s sustainable communities video channels.

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Switchboard is the staff blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the nation’s most effective environmental group. For more about our work, including in-depth policy documents, action alerts and ways you can contribute, visit

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