1. The post on Doors of Perception mentions the Leapfrog Hypothesis, whereby
newly developing countries avoid the environmentally most damaging problems
which the countries that developed earlier went through. Nice thought, but this
just isn't happening with respect to transport. Newly developing countries are
adopting car culture at levels of development where the older developing
countries were still dominated by public transport.
2. Michael Yeates' post prompts me to put forward what I call the Planning Drift
Hypothesis: almost all new or refurbished developments are more traffic oriented
than what they replaced. (By that I don't mean what was on the site before, but
what served the same function before, e.g. suburban housing that replaces
housing in the city centre.) This also applies to longer distance migrations
such as that to "Sunbelt" areas (to use MY's terminlogy). I once drew up a
definition of sustainable development as that which projected car ownership at 2
per household instead of 3. Truly sustainable development does exist, but in
amounts which give it a negligible impact on traffic and environmental problems.