- 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.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Norway Considers Ban on Gasoline Automobiles

The fact that Norway, the world's 6th largest oil producer is seriously considering banning automobiles run on fossil fuels from 2015, should be a wake up call for Japan.

This sort of pressure is only going to get stronger so as one of the world's primary automobile producing countries, Japan really needs to pay attention. The writing is on the wall.

It also goes to show that even countries with a large stake in the old "dirty" economy need not hold back from striving to become leaders in the new green economy. As usual it takes a combination of legislation, popular/consumer support, and innovation.

In Japan the popular support definitely exists, as does the corporate innovation. All we need now is politicians and bureaucrats who can take the necessary legislative and regulatory steps.

1 comment:

David said...

The government is doing the opposite with its stimulus package encouraging people to drive the country's motorways for 1000yen tolls.

This survey shows that people are driving more as a result:

There was a story on tonights NHK News7 that although motorway usage is up for this year's Golden Week, train and ferry patronage is down compared to last year - apparently because of the 1000 yen tolls.