- 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, August 06, 2009

The Real Tragedy

- Private Cars in China Up 28% in 2008
The number of privately owned cars in China rose by 28% in 2008, making the
total number of civilians owning private cars 19.47 million, according to the
National Bureau of Statistics of China (probably an unreliable source).

Even if the figures are overstated, this is the real tragedy. China, Russia, Brazil, India. If they all start driving like "Westerners" do, we are screwed.

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