I pride myself on being open-minded. Nevertheless, I am constantly surprised at how often I find myself saying "I had never thought of that." To this end, a friend of mine recently introduced me to the concept of "shared space." In it's simplest form, the concept questions society's over-reliance on traffic rules and laws.
This article in Salon provides an excellent overview of the idea. (If you don't have time to read it, however, ask yourself this question: How is it that a city in China with a population of 2.2 million thrives with virtual no traffic signs or lights?) For a slightly more in-depth understanding of the concept, I have posted an 8-minute video on Shared Space below.