- 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.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Are Aussies worse than Americans?

Australian government wasted no time bailing out their auto industry... this despite the fact that automobile manufacturers in Australia are essentially foreign owned and build for the most part gas guzzling monsters.

And yet, the government has its detractors on this policy and there are more than a few. Here is one scathing piece:,21985,24643119-664,00.html

The author is right to attack a rediculous bail-out, but wrong to think that electric cars are the answer. I would wager that no new technology is going to fill the gap that is about to be rent open by Gen X and Y forsaking automobiles. Walkable built environments are the answer, not automobiles, electric or otherwise. GenX and GenY know it already, and the oldies are beginning to cotton on also despite having for generations seen car and suburban house as the God-given fruits of life in the New World, are getting the picture.

We don't need to spend money redesigning our cars - we need to spend money redesigning our ROADS so that we don't NEED cars so much.

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