- a collection of notes and reflections on urban living from the perspective of a family of five in Tokyo. My epiphany was many years ago, but being hit by a motorbike and seeing my life flash before my eyes caused a sudden change that slowly made me reflect on whether American style auto-centric urban transportation of the Roosevelt era really is a capital G "Good Idea" for civilized modern cities in the 21st Century. This blog explores the good and the bad in urban planning and design, here and elsewhere. The goal is simple - not "death to all cars," just more walkable communities, quiet tree-lined streets, good public transport, traffic calming, Velib style bicycle sharing and a bit of common sense. The bolg is mostly theraputic, so I don't go wanting to throttle every dangerous driver I come across, but partly also out of a real desire to see positive change. This blog explores how it can be done, the people who do it, and how, in many small ways, this very old idea may at last have found its zeitgeist. Comments and suggestions welcome.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Cheap Oil all over again?

Before the USA slides into its economic funk and the price of oil slides all the way back again, I really do hope that the people of China and India realize that the problem with allowing cars to overrun cities goes well beyond problems of carbon dioxide pollution - and base their city infrastructures on other transportation modes. But then again, it is as much a problem with the first world investors in these industries in China and India - bringing the same problems to these countries.

The discussion should be more about:
Huge cost in road deaths
Huge cost in road injuries
Loss of space for people
Noise and nuisance
Lack of human interaction and social fabric
All the other environmental costs other than CO2 (tyres, oil, plastics)
Environmental cost of producing these vehicles and the materials that go into them - not just running them

Anything else ? I am sure there are more reasons why cars just don't work as the primary transport system for cities ...

No comments: