- 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.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Eight reasons to rejoice at 8-dollars a gallon oil

This story from none other than the Wall Street Journal describes eight good reasons to be happy with high gasoline prices - the first of which is "we can say goodbye to the internal combustion engine", and number six is that it will be an "antidote to sprawl".

I am certainly very encouraged to see this kind of thinking in the Wall Street Journal, that bastion of the world of finance which until so recently supported everything automobile. It might be worth keeping these points in mind before pushing Governments for tax relief. Sure, there are plenty in finance who still do promote the automobile industry and culture - they just support it in China, India, Brazil, Russia and Eastern Europe now rather than in their own back yards. But America likes to throw its weight around, so once we have America convinced that auto-society is not the way to go, then I have a feeling we will be making some very good progress.

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