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5609"The Social Implications of Hypermobility"

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  • Andrea Casalotti
    Mar 1, 2003
      At a recent conference, John Adams, professor of geography at University
      College London talked about his report for OECD, "The Social Implications
      of Hypermobility":
      "Huge extra amounts of space will be taken up by housing and roads. Society
      will be much more polarised. The old, the poor, the disadvantaged and the
      drunk won't be able to move around so much in
      cars and will be stranded in the abandoned inner cities. Life will be even
      more anonymous. We won't know our neighbours or our neighbourhood. They
      will be even less child friendly. Children will be more and more confined
      indoors. Neighbourhoods will get less varied. The suburbs and towns will
      all look the same. Life too will get even more dangerous for those not in
      cars, walkers and cyclists will be
      even more marginalised. And of course we'll all get even fatter. Urban
      sprawl means more car use means more obesity means more heart attacks.
      There'll be more crime, everyone will get more defensive, policing will
      get more Orwellian and less on the beat in order to keep up with more
      sophisticated and better equipped criminals. Life will get less and less

      I asked him: But isn't this just simplistic extrapolation of current
      trends, taken to extremes only in North America? He says that around the
      most humane European cities, such as Copenhagen and Zurich, the suburbs are
      attracting more people.

      I remain unconvinced. The new century is heralding a post-consumeristic
      society where quality defeats quantity.

      Thanks to Barry, enthusiastic leader of Greenwich Cyclist, for the
      conference notes.

      Andrea Casalotti
      7 Plympton St
      London NW8 8AB

      020 7723 2409

      Vive la velorution!
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