- 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, September 09, 2008


Yet more evidence that air pollution from traffic (automobile traffic that is...) is damaging our health. Read the BBC report HERE.

"Air pollution from traffic hinders the heart's ability to conduct electrical signals, a study has suggested." and

The pollution levels in this study were not even that high yet they are still seeing changes
Professor David Newby, Edinburgh University

"Our advice to heart patients is to avoid prolonged exposure to high levels of air pollution." he says. Like where on earth can we get away from air pollution from automobiles? There isn't one decent sized city anywhere that has taken on the challenge of restricting automobiles.