- 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, April 02, 2009

There is no such thing as an "environment-friendly car"

This just in on Reuters - in the Environment section, no less:

Hyundai to go ahead with eco cars 12:49am EDT

GOYANG, South Korea (Reuters) - Hyundai Motor Group, the world's No. 5 automaker, will go ahead with plans to develop environment-friendly cars despite the segment's low profitability and an industry downturn, a senior executive said on Thursday. Full Article

****If these people think that developing and selling cars that don't run on gasoline is going to solve all of the many problems caused by automobiles, they are in for a bit of a shock. Let's hope we do not go down that route at all, but face up to the fact that the problem is a systemic one, and the solution must be a fundamental paradigm shift away from the automobile model towards the European/Asian one of higher density urban areas, "un-suburbanization" and more and better public transport.

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