- 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.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Satellite Data Reveal Full Impact of Beijing Olympic Pollution Controls

Nasa researchers have shown that the highly publicised controls on auto traffic and other pollutants during the Beijing Olympics really did have a significant impact - reducing NO2 by as much as half. Some had argued that the controls had had no impact - but clearly they did, and thanks to NASA for showing us that. Here is the news from the NASA site itself.

But look at this image closely. Hmmm. One small area of China gone from red to green for just one month, while the other red areas are so big... pollution really is a major issue for China... and neighboring Japan... and the USA, where the wind blows....

And of course, pollution is just half the problem with automobiles...

Thanks to Eureka Alert for this one.

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