Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Car-free cities and jobs

Expand Messages
  • amqx
    Let me start by saying that I strongly support the idea of car-free cities. It fits perfectly with my philosophy that society is based on human interaction.
    Message 1 of 23 , Oct 12, 2003
    • 0 Attachment
      Let me start by saying that I strongly support the idea of car-free
      cities. It fits perfectly with my philosophy that society is based on
      human interaction.

      However, I was discussing it with a friend of mine, and he brought up
      an interesting issue. Eliminating cars would leave countless people
      unemployed. Would car-free cities create any new jobs that could
      replace them, such as train and bus building?
      --Justin
    • Jym Dyer
      =v= One statistic I read was that 1 in 6 jobs in the U.S. depends on cars. Another was that 20% of the average U.S. household s budget goes to cars -- a.k.a 1
      Message 2 of 23 , Oct 12, 2003
      • 0 Attachment
        =v= One statistic I read was that 1 in 6 jobs in the U.S.
        depends on cars. Another was that 20% of the average U.S.
        household's budget goes to cars -- a.k.a 1 in 5 work hours.

        =v= Doing the math, I'd say we come out ahead. And that's
        not even taking into account all the massive "externalized"
        costs of cars.
        <_Jym_>
      • look384
        Before answering your question about if carfree cities will create jobs, first consider an important distinction between our current cities and carfree cities.
        Message 3 of 23 , Oct 12, 2003
        • 0 Attachment
          Before answering your question about if carfree cities will create
          jobs, first consider an important distinction between our current
          cities and carfree cities. Carfree cities are not merely current
          cities without cars, they are cities built to function without cars.
          As such, that means rebuilding our cities, and to a certain extent
          rebuilding them in ways which are vastly different from our current
          design and building techniques. New job and possibly industries will
          be spawned to support this construction. As you point out, expect
          new jobs to provide the rail systems or whatever mass transit is
          instituted, as well as service jobs for delivery, etc.

          As a minimum, there's got to be some new industry to figure out how
          to recycle all the road materiel recovered from parking lots and
          excess roads & lanes.

          Kevin
        • Erik Rauch
          ... An interesting question. Indeed the missing auto industry jobs would be partially replaced by ones related to public transport. But the net result may well
          Message 4 of 23 , Oct 13, 2003
          • 0 Attachment
            On Sun, 12 Oct 2003, amqx wrote:

            > Eliminating cars would leave countless people
            > unemployed. Would car-free cities create any new jobs that could
            > replace them, such as train and bus building?

            An interesting question. Indeed the missing auto industry jobs would be
            partially replaced by ones related to public transport. But the net result
            may well be a net decrease in the work that needs to be done to serve
            people's transportation needs.

            But if, as we argue, carfree cities would improve people's well-being,
            then the change from car-dependent to carfree urban area is no different
            from an increase in productivity: we accomplish more with less work. Thus,
            if we are smart, this change can be used to reduce the number of hours
            people work, rather than resulting in unemployment.
          • Richard Risemberg
            Also, a change from automobile-dependent transport would require other changes in goods delivery and general freight handling, many of which Mr. crawford
            Message 5 of 23 , Oct 13, 2003
            • 0 Attachment
              Also, a change from automobile-dependent transport would require other changes in goods delivery and general freight handling, many of which Mr. crawford addresses in http://www.carfree.com--look up the page on Metro Freight, for one example. There would probably be a greater need for electricity for transport--trains, pwoererd handcarts, etc.--and for delivery of virtual goods over the internet; the need to replace, as far as possible, centralized power generation, with its inherent transmission losses, with dispersed small-scale local generation coordianted over a transnational grid, would certainly provide plenty of employment opportunities for manufacturers, installer, maintenance crews, conttollers, software engineers (of which there is a large pool presently unembploued), and more.

              Another, larger, and intimately related question is whether we need to continue an economy based on buying for buying's sake, or wehther a lower level of economic "churning" could indeed fulfil our needs for comfort and expression while not requiring huge work and debt loads. After all, people already most often buy more cars than they need, and replace perferctly working machines for emotional reasons. Are there ways to engender a feeling of satisfaction at a lower level of commerce? The carfree city may have to address this, as much of present car culture adresses emotional, not practical, needs--or everyone would be driving Mini-Coopers or whatever those generic Renaults and cheap-ass Mercedeses are that they use for taxis in Europe and South America.

              Richard

              -----Original Message-----
              From: Erik Rauch <rauch@...>
              Sent: Oct 13, 2003 12:14 PM
              To: carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: Re: [carfree_cities] Car-free cities and jobs

              On Sun, 12 Oct 2003, amqx wrote:

              > Eliminating cars would leave countless people
              > unemployed. Would car-free cities create any new jobs that could
              > replace them, such as train and bus building?

              An interesting question. Indeed the missing auto industry jobs would be
              partially replaced by ones related to public transport. But the net result
              may well be a net decrease in the work that needs to be done to serve
              people's transportation needs.

              But if, as we argue, carfree cities would improve people's well-being,
              then the change from car-dependent to carfree urban area is no different
              from an increase in productivity: we accomplish more with less work. Thus,
              if we are smart, this change can be used to reduce the number of hours
              people work, rather than resulting in unemployment.


              To Post a message, send it to: carfree_cities@...
              To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to: carfree_cities-unsubscribe@...
              Group address: http://www.egroups.com/group/carfree_cities/

              Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
            • lockhughes
              Hello Justin and Car Free folks ... on ... up ... I actually spent some time recently reading up on a car-free (pretty much) city of 500,000+ people. Yongkang
              Message 6 of 23 , Oct 15, 2003
              • 0 Attachment
                Hello Justin and Car Free folks

                --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "amqx" <amqx@y...> wrote:
                > Let me start by saying that I strongly support the idea of car-free
                > cities. It fits perfectly with my philosophy that society is based
                on
                > human interaction.
                >
                > However, I was discussing it with a friend of mine, and he brought
                up
                > an interesting issue. Eliminating cars would leave countless people
                > unemployed. Would car-free cities create any new jobs that could
                > replace them, such as train and bus building?
                > --Justin

                I actually spent some time recently reading up on a car-free
                (pretty much) city of 500,000+ people.

                Yongkang in eastern Zhejiang province. Neighbouring Yiwu City is
                among China's 100 richest counties (cities), Dongyang City, Yongkang
                City, and Wucheng District are among province's most well-off
                counties (cities).

                Yongkang has a long history as a center for tool and machinery
                production. In the late 1990's, *somebody* made the decision that
                Yongkang would also be a center for the manufacture of small two and
                three wheeled vehicles, gas and electric, for export. These are kick
                scooters and bicycles and larger Vespa-style machines with power or
                power-assist.

                Today, Yongkang has over 100 factories making component parts and
                asembling and selling these little machines. Because the different
                companies all share most of the same parts, there are perhaps a few
                dozen "flavours", but mostly they all look very similar in appearance
                and specifications.

                Collectively these companies all in and around Yongkang comprise
                several millions of square feet of factory space presently shipping
                millions of scooters and bicycles overseas annually.

                Product features and quality are improving each year, but the
                Yongkang vehicles started out badly and have a reputation for uneven
                quality and support to overcome now... Most of these companies that
                are assembling and selling these vehicles are also still engaged in
                their traditional products like wire brushes and power tools, patio
                furniture, etc.

                Yongkang is also China's amputation capital, as their production
                of all manner of housewares and tools etc etc involves heavy
                machinery and unskilled labour, inexperience, etc.

                This at least comprises a lot of employment in this car-free
                city. That they are producing personal vehicles (cars?) is perhaps
                incongruous... the good(?) news is, the citizens of Yongkang don't
                actually use these vehicles themselves. They know the product is
                unadequate, and almost the entire Yongkang output of vehicles goes to
                export. There are 100's of ads for these vehicles on eBay right
                now.

                Is there room in a car-free city for bicycles and other little
                electric vehicles? Personal electric vehicles typically have motors
                rated around 500 watts - compared to your coffee-maker which is
                likely rated at over 1,000 watts. A small car might have a power
                measured in watts of perhaps 60,000 watts and from there the cars go
                up in power... Humans generate 100-200 watts pedaling their bikes.

                The USA recently legalized power-assisted bicycles up to 750
                watts (as not subject to State motorized vehicle codes.)

                Clearly these little vehicles are not an all-weather, all-
                season solution for many parts of the world, but in many other parts,
                and for many people, they can be.

                Operating and "fuel" costs for these vehicles can work out to a
                penny or a few per passenger mile. AFAIK, our Public Transit here
                could manufacture these things locally and give `em away to transit
                users, and they would reduce their operating deficit significantly to
                the extent that the little vehicles could replace the larger ones for
                short urban trips.

                With personal little electric vehicles, there are no more empty
                seats or driver expenses. They plug in anywhere, so you don't need
                fueling stations. They don't need vast paved parking lots. The
                roadways would suddenly develop a huge increase in existing capacity
                (as the size of the vehicles shrink.)

                So, anyway Justin, in answer to your question, I can see lots
                of employment locally in transportation, without there being "cars"...

                Might all depend on your definition of "car-free". Personally,
                I prefer a bike or a scooter to a bus or subway anyday. What we
                *really* need in all of this is shorter distances and less travel!!!

                Lock
              • dearleb
                If the topic is converting all or most of western civilation to auto- free status, a far-fetched concept, then yes there would be huge upheavals in economic
                Message 7 of 23 , Oct 21, 2003
                • 0 Attachment
                  If the topic is converting all or most of western civilation to auto-
                  free status, a far-fetched concept, then yes there would be huge
                  upheavals in economic structure, the mere hint of which would arouse
                  mighty political opposition to the concept. Assuming instead we are
                  speaking only of making certain limited areas carfree, in keeping
                  with the limited demand for such a thing, then only the economic
                  structure of those areas would be affected.
                  There would be substantially more employment in retailing and
                  distribution than in an auto-centric environment, as the economic
                  efficiencies of big-box stores and big vehicles to distribute goods
                  would be exchanged for small-scale shops close enough to consumers.
                  This would result, as it does in such places as Japan, in sharply
                  higher prices to the consumer, but also, as in Japan, in higher
                  employment levels than would exist in an auto-centric environment.
                  This higher cost may be offset for some by no longer needing to own a
                  vehicle, but many denizens of a car-free city would still need to
                  keep a car for interface with the auto-centric world beyond the
                  carfree town.
                  Attracting employment to such a place is another question - most
                  likely hefty incentives would be needed for some time to encourage
                  employers and start-up enterprises to such an environment.

                  --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "lockhughes" <felixkc123@h...>
                  wrote:
                  > Hello Justin and Car Free folks
                  >
                  > --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "amqx" <amqx@y...> wrote:
                  > > Let me start by saying that I strongly support the idea of car-
                  free
                  > > cities. It fits perfectly with my philosophy that society is
                  based
                  > on
                  > > human interaction.
                  > >
                  > > However, I was discussing it with a friend of mine, and he
                  brought
                  > up
                  > > an interesting issue. Eliminating cars would leave countless
                  people
                  > > unemployed. Would car-free cities create any new jobs that could
                  > > replace them, such as train and bus building?
                  > > --Justin
                  >
                  > I actually spent some time recently reading up on a car-free
                  > (pretty much) city of 500,000+ people.
                  >
                  > Yongkang in eastern Zhejiang province. Neighbouring Yiwu City is
                  > among China's 100 richest counties (cities), Dongyang City,
                  Yongkang
                  > City, and Wucheng District are among province's most well-off
                  > counties (cities).
                  >
                  > Yongkang has a long history as a center for tool and machinery
                  > production. In the late 1990's, *somebody* made the decision that
                  > Yongkang would also be a center for the manufacture of small two
                  and
                  > three wheeled vehicles, gas and electric, for export. These are
                  kick
                  > scooters and bicycles and larger Vespa-style machines with power or
                  > power-assist.
                  >
                  > Today, Yongkang has over 100 factories making component parts
                  and
                  > asembling and selling these little machines. Because the different
                  > companies all share most of the same parts, there are perhaps a few
                  > dozen "flavours", but mostly they all look very similar in
                  appearance
                  > and specifications.
                  >
                  > Collectively these companies all in and around Yongkang
                  comprise
                  > several millions of square feet of factory space presently shipping
                  > millions of scooters and bicycles overseas annually.
                  >
                  > Product features and quality are improving each year, but the
                  > Yongkang vehicles started out badly and have a reputation for
                  uneven
                  > quality and support to overcome now... Most of these companies
                  that
                  > are assembling and selling these vehicles are also still engaged in
                  > their traditional products like wire brushes and power tools, patio
                  > furniture, etc.
                  >
                  > Yongkang is also China's amputation capital, as their
                  production
                  > of all manner of housewares and tools etc etc involves heavy
                  > machinery and unskilled labour, inexperience, etc.
                  >
                  > This at least comprises a lot of employment in this car-free
                  > city. That they are producing personal vehicles (cars?) is perhaps
                  > incongruous... the good(?) news is, the citizens of Yongkang don't
                  > actually use these vehicles themselves. They know the product is
                  > unadequate, and almost the entire Yongkang output of vehicles goes
                  to
                  > export. There are 100's of ads for these vehicles on eBay right
                  > now.
                  >
                  > Is there room in a car-free city for bicycles and other little
                  > electric vehicles? Personal electric vehicles typically have
                  motors
                  > rated around 500 watts - compared to your coffee-maker which is
                  > likely rated at over 1,000 watts. A small car might have a power
                  > measured in watts of perhaps 60,000 watts and from there the cars
                  go
                  > up in power... Humans generate 100-200 watts pedaling their bikes.
                  >
                  > The USA recently legalized power-assisted bicycles up to 750
                  > watts (as not subject to State motorized vehicle codes.)
                  >
                  > Clearly these little vehicles are not an all-weather, all-
                  > season solution for many parts of the world, but in many other
                  parts,
                  > and for many people, they can be.
                  >
                  > Operating and "fuel" costs for these vehicles can work out to
                  a
                  > penny or a few per passenger mile. AFAIK, our Public Transit here
                  > could manufacture these things locally and give `em away to transit
                  > users, and they would reduce their operating deficit significantly
                  to
                  > the extent that the little vehicles could replace the larger ones
                  for
                  > short urban trips.
                  >
                  > With personal little electric vehicles, there are no more
                  empty
                  > seats or driver expenses. They plug in anywhere, so you don't need
                  > fueling stations. They don't need vast paved parking lots. The
                  > roadways would suddenly develop a huge increase in existing
                  capacity
                  > (as the size of the vehicles shrink.)
                  >
                  > So, anyway Justin, in answer to your question, I can see
                  lots
                  > of employment locally in transportation, without there
                  being "cars"...
                  >
                  > Might all depend on your definition of "car-free".
                  Personally,
                  > I prefer a bike or a scooter to a bus or subway anyday. What we
                  > *really* need in all of this is shorter distances and less travel!!!
                  >
                  > Lock
                • Patrick McDonough
                  I ve been intrigued by all the jobs discussions here. For the most part, in the U.S., anyway- carfree developments (unless they are on a grand scale and
                  Message 8 of 23 , Oct 22, 2003
                  • 0 Attachment
                    I've been intrigued by all the jobs discussions here. For the most part, in
                    the U.S., anyway- carfree developments (unless they are on a grand scale and
                    accommodate over say, 5000 people, which I assume they will not for quite
                    some time) will still depend on those with car-oriented lifestyles to come
                    and purchase goods and services for economic survival.

                    In America it is the rare store outside of cities like Boston, New York,
                    Washington, Chicago, and San Francisco that is supported mostly by local
                    on-foot or transit-driven patronage.

                    Any effects we see here will be on a micro-level.

                    Patrick McDonough

                    -----Original Message-----
                    From: dearleb [mailto:dearleb@...]
                    Sent: Tuesday, October 21, 2003 11:42 PM
                    To: carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: [carfree_cities] Re: Car-free cities and jobs


                    If the topic is converting all or most of western civilation to auto- free
                    status, a far-fetched concept, then yes there would be huge
                    upheavals in economic structure, the mere hint of which would arouse
                    mighty political opposition to the concept. Assuming instead we are
                    speaking only of making certain limited areas carfree, in keeping
                    with the limited demand for such a thing, then only the economic
                    structure of those areas would be affected.
                    There would be substantially more employment in retailing and
                    distribution than in an auto-centric environment, as the economic
                    efficiencies of big-box stores and big vehicles to distribute goods
                    would be exchanged for small-scale shops close enough to consumers.
                    This would result, as it does in such places as Japan, in sharply
                    higher prices to the consumer, but also, as in Japan, in higher
                    employment levels than would exist in an auto-centric environment.
                    This higher cost may be offset for some by no longer needing to own a
                    vehicle, but many denizens of a car-free city would still need to
                    keep a car for interface with the auto-centric world beyond the
                    carfree town.
                    Attracting employment to such a place is another question - most
                    likely hefty incentives would be needed for some time to encourage
                    employers and start-up enterprises to such an environment.

                    --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "lockhughes" <felixkc123@h...>
                    wrote:
                    > Hello Justin and Car Free folks
                    >
                    > --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "amqx" <amqx@y...> wrote:
                    > > Let me start by saying that I strongly support the idea of car-
                    free
                    > > cities. It fits perfectly with my philosophy that society is
                    based
                    > on
                    > > human interaction.
                    > >
                    > > However, I was discussing it with a friend of mine, and he
                    brought
                    > up
                    > > an interesting issue. Eliminating cars would leave countless
                    people
                    > > unemployed. Would car-free cities create any new jobs that could
                    > > replace them, such as train and bus building?
                    > > --Justin
                    >
                    > I actually spent some time recently reading up on a car-free
                    > (pretty much) city of 500,000+ people.
                    >
                    > Yongkang in eastern Zhejiang province. Neighbouring Yiwu City is
                    > among China's 100 richest counties (cities), Dongyang City,
                    Yongkang
                    > City, and Wucheng District are among province's most well-off
                    > counties (cities).
                    >
                    > Yongkang has a long history as a center for tool and machinery
                    > production. In the late 1990's, *somebody* made the decision that
                    > Yongkang would also be a center for the manufacture of small two
                    and
                    > three wheeled vehicles, gas and electric, for export. These are
                    kick
                    > scooters and bicycles and larger Vespa-style machines with power or
                    > power-assist.
                    >
                    > Today, Yongkang has over 100 factories making component parts
                    and
                    > asembling and selling these little machines. Because the different
                    > companies all share most of the same parts, there are perhaps a few
                    > dozen "flavours", but mostly they all look very similar in
                    appearance
                    > and specifications.
                    >
                    > Collectively these companies all in and around Yongkang
                    comprise
                    > several millions of square feet of factory space presently shipping
                    > millions of scooters and bicycles overseas annually.
                    >
                    > Product features and quality are improving each year, but the
                    > Yongkang vehicles started out badly and have a reputation for
                    uneven
                    > quality and support to overcome now... Most of these companies
                    that
                    > are assembling and selling these vehicles are also still engaged in
                    > their traditional products like wire brushes and power tools, patio
                    > furniture, etc.
                    >
                    > Yongkang is also China's amputation capital, as their
                    production
                    > of all manner of housewares and tools etc etc involves heavy
                    > machinery and unskilled labour, inexperience, etc.
                    >
                    > This at least comprises a lot of employment in this car-free
                    > city. That they are producing personal vehicles (cars?) is perhaps
                    > incongruous... the good(?) news is, the citizens of Yongkang don't
                    > actually use these vehicles themselves. They know the product is
                    > unadequate, and almost the entire Yongkang output of vehicles goes
                    to
                    > export. There are 100's of ads for these vehicles on eBay right
                    > now.
                    >
                    > Is there room in a car-free city for bicycles and other little
                    > electric vehicles? Personal electric vehicles typically have
                    motors
                    > rated around 500 watts - compared to your coffee-maker which is
                    > likely rated at over 1,000 watts. A small car might have a power
                    > measured in watts of perhaps 60,000 watts and from there the cars
                    go
                    > up in power... Humans generate 100-200 watts pedaling their bikes.
                    >
                    > The USA recently legalized power-assisted bicycles up to 750
                    > watts (as not subject to State motorized vehicle codes.)
                    >
                    > Clearly these little vehicles are not an all-weather, all-
                    > season solution for many parts of the world, but in many other
                    parts,
                    > and for many people, they can be.
                    >
                    > Operating and "fuel" costs for these vehicles can work out to
                    a
                    > penny or a few per passenger mile. AFAIK, our Public Transit here
                    > could manufacture these things locally and give `em away to transit
                    > users, and they would reduce their operating deficit significantly
                    to
                    > the extent that the little vehicles could replace the larger ones
                    for
                    > short urban trips.
                    >
                    > With personal little electric vehicles, there are no more
                    empty
                    > seats or driver expenses. They plug in anywhere, so you don't need
                    > fueling stations. They don't need vast paved parking lots. The
                    > roadways would suddenly develop a huge increase in existing
                    capacity
                    > (as the size of the vehicles shrink.)
                    >
                    > So, anyway Justin, in answer to your question, I can see
                    lots
                    > of employment locally in transportation, without there
                    being "cars"...
                    >
                    > Might all depend on your definition of "car-free".
                    Personally,
                    > I prefer a bike or a scooter to a bus or subway anyday. What we
                    > *really* need in all of this is shorter distances and less travel!!!
                    >
                    > Lock


                    To Post a message, send it to: carfree_cities@...
                    To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
                    carfree_cities-unsubscribe@...
                    Group address: http://www.egroups.com/group/carfree_cities/

                    Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                  • Mike Neuman
                    ... Yes, this is certainly true -- today anyway. But it was not the case prior to the 1950s. The increased popularity of driving since the end of WW II,
                    Message 9 of 23 , Oct 22, 2003
                    • 0 Attachment
                      --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "Patrick McDonough"
                      <patrick1@e...> wrote:
                      > ...
                      > In America it is the rare store outside of cities like Boston, New
                      > York, Washington, Chicago, and San Francisco that is supported
                      > mostly by local on-foot or transit-driven patronage.
                      > ...

                      Yes, this is certainly true -- today anyway. But it was not the case
                      prior to the 1950s. The increased popularity of driving since the
                      end of WW II, together with government subsidies to the oil and
                      highway building industries, created a much larger geographic area
                      for every store that puts in a parking lot. Because fuel and highway
                      costs are artificially low, and the costs of pollution associated
                      with driving automobiles is externalized, shoppers are more likely to
                      patronize stores having low retail prices, even if they have to drive
                      20 - 30 miles to get there. Because of the large customer base these
                      stores draw on, they can take advantage of the economies of scale
                      that go with serving larger numbers of customers; thus, they can keep
                      their cost lower compared to smaller stores that depend on foot
                      traffic or transit.

                      Keeping the price of driving artificially low (by government
                      subsidizing the costs) has resulted in excessive driving, larger
                      stores, more pollution, more highway expansion needs, more global
                      warming. If the subsidies afforded driving were removed, there would
                      be more incentive for people to shop at more local shops, even if the
                      prices were a bit higher, because of the savings that would come with
                      reduced driving.

                      But increasing the gas tax charged to the driving public at the pump
                      (state and local charges are around 30 - 40 cents per gallon, each)
                      is not very popular in this day and age. The question of what to do
                      with the extra money that is collected by the increased fuel taxes
                      also becomes an issue.

                      My proposal is to use the extra money collected to reward households
                      who don't drive very much (or not at all), on an annual basis, with a
                      rebate (check) at the end of the year. The auto insurance industry
                      has been employing this same methodology for years, by charging
                      people who drive their car only a few thousand miles a year
                      significantly lower premiums for auto insurance. There is no reason
                      why a similar program could not work as a strategy for reducing
                      American car owners' interests in driving their cars everywhere they
                      go, and for getting people to shop and do other things closer to
                      home, thus reducing highway congestion and pollution.

                      > -----Original Message-----
                      > From: dearleb [mailto:dearleb@h...]
                      > Sent: Tuesday, October 21, 2003 11:42 PM
                      >
                      > If the topic is converting all or most of western civilation to
                      > auto- free status, a far-fetched concept, then yes there would be
                      > huge upheavals in economic structure, the mere hint of which would
                      > arouse mighty political opposition to the concept.

                      Then there has to be "mighty political opposition" to the acceptance
                      of the way things are now, and about where things appear to be
                      heading.
                    • Richard Risemberg
                      ... From: Mike Neuman ... Yes, this is certainly true -- today anyway. But it was not the case prior to the 1950s. The increased
                      Message 10 of 23 , Oct 22, 2003
                      • 0 Attachment
                        -----Original Message-----
                        From: Mike Neuman <mtneuman@...>
                        --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "Patrick McDonough"
                        <patrick1@e...> wrote:
                        > ...
                        > In America it is the rare store outside of cities like Boston, New
                        > York, Washington, Chicago, and San Francisco that is supported
                        > mostly by local on-foot or transit-driven patronage.
                        > ...

                        Yes, this is certainly true -- today anyway. But it was not the case
                        prior to the 1950s. The increased popularity of driving since the
                        end of WW II, together with government subsidies to the oil and
                        highway building industries, created a much larger geographic area
                        for every store that puts in a parking lot. Because fuel and highway
                        costs are artificially low, and the costs of pollution associated
                        with driving automobiles is externalized, shoppers are more likely to
                        patronize stores having low retail prices, even if they have to drive
                        20 - 30 miles to get there.

                        Don't forget that these stores also suppress wages to increase return for their investors, owners, and executive staffs. Wal-Mart encourages employees to apply for food stamps and Medi-Cal type programs, thereby forcing taxpayers to subsidize their profits. Also, their low wages and the tax breaks they typically demand reduce the buying power of the local market, depressing the entire economy while forcing municipalities to cover higher costs associated with social welfare programs and excessive road use.

                        Of course radical conservatives will say that poor Sprawl-Mart employees should just die, as they are readily replaceable and it's their own fault they're poor anyway--these were the actual standard arguments of the post-feudalists in the beginning of the Industrial Age, by the way, and one of the mindsets against which Charles Dickens and others--including radical feminists of the time--agitated.

                        There is a New Feudalism movement that has been building itself up quietly--of course that's my name for it, not theirs--and a lot of opposition to Carfree Cities, or anything else that empowers individuals and communities and undercuts corporate power, will come from the bigbox owners, the Neoconservative types, etc. And we will find some true philosophical conservatives allying with liberals in favor of individual choice (retail, transport, and lifestyle) and intelligent distribution of subsidies--by consensus rather than bribery. (Check out http://www.progress.org)

                        Without emphasizing the true extent of road and other subsidies to sprawl development, the degree of manipulation that has supported its growth, and the restrictive nature of both sprawl development and bigbox economics, we will have a hard time selling this idea.

                        Richard
                      • Bijan Soleymani
                        ... This all depends on whether going carfree is a moral or a practical decision. I don t think there is any industry so important that we should throw our
                        Message 11 of 23 , Oct 26, 2003
                        • 0 Attachment
                          "amqx" <amqx@...> writes:

                          > Let me start by saying that I strongly support the idea of car-free
                          > cities. It fits perfectly with my philosophy that society is based on
                          > human interaction.
                          >
                          > However, I was discussing it with a friend of mine, and he brought up
                          > an interesting issue. Eliminating cars would leave countless people
                          > unemployed. Would car-free cities create any new jobs that could
                          > replace them, such as train and bus building?

                          This all depends on whether going carfree is a moral or a practical
                          decision. I don't think there is any industry so important that we
                          should throw our ethics out the window just to satisfy them.

                          Some examples:
                          World peace is a good thing (I think), but it would hurt all the
                          companies that make weapons and also many companies that get defense
                          subsidies. What about all their employees...

                          If people stopped smoking that would be a good thing (again IMHO), but
                          it would hurt the huge tobacco industry. What about their employees...

                          And so on...

                          I would also like to add that in a society without cars people
                          wouldn't need to afford cars. So figure that if an average family has
                          two cars right now, that's about $10000 a year (more if you consider
                          all the indirect costs). Well if people saved that much money a year
                          they could probably afford to have a job that paid less. I mean there
                          are always other jobs. The real question is not "are we ready to have
                          all these auto industry workers lose their jobs", but "are we ready to
                          have all these people take pay-cuts".

                          And again all this is assuming that society goes carfree
                          tomorrow. However it'll probably take a very long time. And the whole
                          process will be gradual.

                          Bijan
                          --
                          Bijan Soleymani <bijan@...>
                          http://www.crasseux.com
                        • J.H. Crawford
                          ... I don t think subsides will be needed. Modern economies are knowledge- based and succeed by attracting highly skilled people in very short supply. One of
                          Message 12 of 23 , Nov 6, 2003
                          • 0 Attachment
                            dearleb said:

                            >Attracting employment to such a place is another question - most
                            >likely hefty incentives would be needed for some time to encourage
                            >employers and start-up enterprises to such an environment.

                            I don't think subsides will be needed. Modern economies are knowledge-
                            based and succeed by attracting highly skilled people in very short
                            supply. One of the ways to do this is to offer them a very pleasant
                            living environment. I think, therefore, that knowledge-based companies
                            would be eager to locate in a good carfree enivronment.

                            Regards,



                            -- ### --

                            J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
                            mailbox@... http://www.carfree.com
                          • mauk_mcamuk
                            I concur, and think a purpose-built city designed from the foundations up with the newest advances combined with the wisdom of the centuries would be a
                            Message 13 of 23 , Nov 6, 2003
                            • 0 Attachment
                              I concur, and think a purpose-built city designed from the
                              foundations up with the newest advances combined with the wisdom of
                              the centuries would be a fabulous place to live.

                              There are two large entry barriers to this, unfortunately.

                              1) Most of the best places to live already have cities on them.

                              2) Building a city from scratch requires a formidable pile of capital.


                              While the carfree city website is beautiful, and is simply chockful
                              of excellent ideas, I didn't see much there that addresses either of
                              those two entry barriers, except for that plan to "carfree" the city
                              of Lyon (i think it was Lyon....).

                              As a note, another site I find interesting is:

                              http://www.victorycities.com/

                              While that site is breathtakingly evocative of the 50's, it is an
                              interesting look at a true arcology. I could see structures like
                              this being integrated into a larger carfree plan quite easily.


                              >
                              > dearleb said:
                              >
                              > >Attracting employment to such a place is another question - most
                              > >likely hefty incentives would be needed for some time to encourage
                              > >employers and start-up enterprises to such an environment.
                              >
                              > I don't think subsides will be needed. Modern economies are
                              knowledge-
                              > based and succeed by attracting highly skilled people in very short
                              > supply. One of the ways to do this is to offer them a very pleasant
                              > living environment. I think, therefore, that knowledge-based
                              companies
                              > would be eager to locate in a good carfree enivronment.
                              >
                              > Regards,
                              >
                              >
                            • Tony Brewer
                              ... It s important to remember that millions of people all over the world already live in centuries-old carfree cities.
                              Message 14 of 23 , Nov 6, 2003
                              • 0 Attachment
                                mauk_mcamuk wrote:
                                > J. H. Crawford wrote:
                                > > dearleb wrote:
                                > > >
                                > > >Attracting employment to such a place is another question - most
                                > > >likely hefty incentives would be needed for some time to encourage
                                > > >employers and start-up enterprises to such an environment.
                                > >
                                > > I don't think subsides will be needed. Modern economies are
                                > knowledge-
                                > > based and succeed by attracting highly skilled people in very short
                                > > supply. One of the ways to do this is to offer them a very pleasant
                                > > living environment. I think, therefore, that knowledge-based
                                > companies
                                > > would be eager to locate in a good carfree enivronment.
                                >
                                > I concur, and think a purpose-built city designed from the
                                > foundations up with the newest advances combined with the wisdom of
                                > the centuries would be a fabulous place to live.
                                >
                                > There are two large entry barriers to this, unfortunately.
                                >
                                > 1) Most of the best places to live already have cities on them.
                                >
                                > 2) Building a city from scratch requires a formidable pile of capital.
                                >
                                >
                                > While the carfree city website is beautiful, and is simply chockful
                                > of excellent ideas, I didn't see much there that addresses either of
                                > those two entry barriers, except for that plan to "carfree" the city
                                > of Lyon (i think it was Lyon....).

                                It's important to remember that millions of people all over the world
                                already live in centuries-old carfree cities.
                              • mauk_mcamuk
                                You are absolutely right! Now, what are we supposed to do with the three billion additional people expected to share the world with us by 2050? I think Paris
                                Message 15 of 23 , Nov 6, 2003
                                • 0 Attachment
                                  You are absolutely right!

                                  Now, what are we supposed to do with the three billion additional
                                  people expected to share the world with us by 2050?

                                  I think Paris might be full...... :)


                                  >
                                  > It's important to remember that millions of people all over the
                                  world
                                  > already live in centuries-old carfree cities.
                                • J.H. Crawford
                                  ... Not necessarily so. I found two locations in the Netherlands, one of the most densely populated nations in the world, where the Reference Design could be
                                  Message 16 of 23 , Nov 7, 2003
                                  • 0 Attachment
                                    mauk_mcamuk said:

                                    >I concur, and think a purpose-built city designed from the
                                    >foundations up with the newest advances combined with the wisdom of
                                    >the centuries would be a fabulous place to live.
                                    >
                                    >There are two large entry barriers to this, unfortunately.
                                    >
                                    >1) Most of the best places to live already have cities on them.

                                    Not necessarily so. I found two locations in the Netherlands, one
                                    of the most densely populated nations in the world, where the
                                    Reference Design could be built without significant alteration.
                                    It's true that in mountainous regions the good spaces may be
                                    mostly taken, but anywhere we're building suburbs today is a
                                    potential spot for a carfree city. The spaces don't need to be huge
                                    in order to support a large population.

                                    >2) Building a city from scratch requires a formidable pile of capital.

                                    So does any other development project; billion-dollar projects are
                                    now routine. The banks have the money; what's required is a developer
                                    who believes in the idea and can convince a bank to fund it. This is
                                    well within the realm of possibility.

                                    >While the carfree city website is beautiful, and is simply chockful
                                    >of excellent ideas, I didn't see much there that addresses either of
                                    >those two entry barriers, except for that plan to "carfree" the city
                                    >of Lyon (i think it was Lyon....).

                                    As with many questions, this matter is taken up in much more detail
                                    in the book.

                                    As to the question of "what to do with 3 billiion more people,"
                                    the obvious answer is to build carfree cities for them. No other
                                    approach is likely to give them a reasonable quality of life while
                                    preserving the global environment.

                                    Regards,



                                    -- ### --

                                    J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
                                    mailbox@... http://www.carfree.com
                                  • Mike Neuman
                                    15,000 Parishaners died in August from the record setting heat-wave that reportedly took the lives of over 35,000 Europeans last summer. Unless Paris invests
                                    Message 17 of 23 , Nov 7, 2003
                                    • 0 Attachment
                                      15,000 Parishaners died in August from the record setting heat-wave
                                      that reportedly took the lives of over 35,000 Europeans last summer.
                                      Unless Paris invests heavily in air conditioning (and supplying the
                                      electricity for it), I wouldn't advise anyone over 60 moving there
                                      any time soon. Thanks to the U.S. and other heavy fossil fuel
                                      burning countries of the world, the possibility of more of these
                                      tragedies happening in the world will grow with each passing year,
                                      especially in cities vulnerable to "heat island" effects.


                                      --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "mauk_mcamuk" <mauk2@h...>
                                      wrote:
                                      > You are absolutely right!
                                      >
                                      > Now, what are we supposed to do with the three billion additional
                                      > people expected to share the world with us by 2050?
                                      >
                                      > I think Paris might be full...... :)
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > >
                                      > > It's important to remember that millions of people all over the
                                      > world
                                      > > already live in centuries-old carfree cities.
                                    • prometeus57
                                      ... What s the effect of Paris thousands of trees? Can more be planted / the buildings be greened somehow?
                                      Message 18 of 23 , Nov 7, 2003
                                      • 0 Attachment
                                        --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "Mike Neuman" <mtneuman@j...>
                                        wrote:
                                        > 15,000 Parishaners died in August from the record setting heat-wave
                                        > that reportedly took the lives of over 35,000 Europeans last summer.
                                        > Unless Paris invests heavily in air conditioning (and supplying the
                                        > electricity for it), I wouldn't advise anyone over 60 moving there

                                        What's the effect of Paris' thousands of trees? Can more be planted /
                                        the buildings be greened somehow?
                                      • mauk_mcamuk
                                        ... Hrrrrrm... Would it be possible to pitch a carfree city as a planned urban development, or essentially a large suburb? In other words, have the large
                                        Message 19 of 23 , Nov 7, 2003
                                        • 0 Attachment
                                          > Not necessarily so. I found two locations in the Netherlands, one
                                          > of the most densely populated nations in the world, where the
                                          > Reference Design could be built without significant alteration.
                                          > It's true that in mountainous regions the good spaces may be
                                          > mostly taken, but anywhere we're building suburbs today is a
                                          > potential spot for a carfree city. The spaces don't need to be huge
                                          > in order to support a large population.
                                          >

                                          Hrrrrrm... Would it be possible to pitch a "carfree city" as a
                                          planned urban development, or essentially a large suburb? In other
                                          words, have the large industrial areas contain MAJOR parking areas at
                                          first, and essentially let the first few developments grow using a
                                          nearby city as the economic base. After you get a few neighborhoods
                                          established, with a little luck, it would become self-sustaining.



                                          > >2) Building a city from scratch requires a formidable pile of
                                          capital.
                                          >
                                          > So does any other development project; billion-dollar projects are
                                          > now routine. The banks have the money; what's required is a
                                          developer
                                          > who believes in the idea and can convince a bank to fund it. This is
                                          > well within the realm of possibility.
                                          >

                                          Have you done any work on how much capital it would take? more
                                          importantly, how would you pay that capital back? Taxes on
                                          residents?
                                        • Mike Neuman
                                          I suppose more trees in the cities would help, if nothing else but to not make things worse with more and more pavement. Spraying with cool water also keeps
                                          Message 20 of 23 , Nov 7, 2003
                                          • 0 Attachment
                                            I suppose more trees in the cities would help, if nothing else but to
                                            not make things worse with more and more pavement.

                                            Spraying with cool water also keeps people's internal temperatures
                                            down. Other ways to stay cool include spending more time in the
                                            basement (if you have one), staying out of the sun, avoiding
                                            strenuous physical activities and drinking fluids. But air
                                            conditioning will become key for many areas, as it has already for
                                            many metropolitan areas located in the warmer climates.

                                            There doesn't appear to be much else one can do, other than to hope
                                            such a heat wave doesn't occur again, in Europe or elsewhere, at
                                            least in the near future.

                                            Chances are increasing that it will, of course, as global warming
                                            continues to worsen. Cities all over the Northern Hemisphere should
                                            be preparing right now for the potential for more unusually hot
                                            weather to possibly occur again next summer. If we don't get it,
                                            that would be great. But if we do get it, we had best be prepared
                                            for it. Otherwise, what happened in Paris this past August could be
                                            repeated, many times over, in many other cities. That
                                            would be catastrophic.

                                            Unfortunately, this problem is going to get much worse in time. That
                                            is what 999 scientist out of 1,000 will tell you if they are informed
                                            at all in this area. (The one remaining will have been paid by the
                                            fossil fuel/transportation/media industries to tell you otherwise.)

                                            Every year, global warming will get worse and worse. It has been
                                            already, and there is no reason to believe things will not continue
                                            to deteriorate in time.

                                            Yet most of the people in government, especially at the federal
                                            agency level in the U.S., will still say they fail to see the problem
                                            coming, or becoming that serious at any time soon. They are wrong.

                                            Some might think that, but they won't volunteer to talk about it,
                                            much less listen to someone else who tries to press on them the need
                                            to become concerned about it. Bob Dylan called it "killing the
                                            prophets".

                                            I know a man who has been working for the National Weather Service
                                            in this country for 25 years. He and I talked about this problem
                                            back in January 2000. It was clear to us then, after having read many
                                            of the studies and having specialized in climate related fields at
                                            the university, that this was going to be a huge, huge problem if
                                            society didn't start to act to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
                                            levels, almost right away. We could tell that then. At this same
                                            time, Dan Rather from CBS news did a program on his nightly news show
                                            that raised the issue of the growing problem with the warming
                                            climate. You could tell he was concerned. Even later outgoing
                                            president Clinton said it was going to be the most important issue of
                                            the century.

                                            The man I know started to raise this issue to his superiors at the
                                            National Weather Service about four years ago. They would have
                                            nothing to do with it. Global warming was not in their job
                                            description.

                                            So the guy send an email to people in Washington about it, about the
                                            end of January 2000 as I recall. That's when the sh-- hit the fan -
                                            but just for him, of course. The people in Washington who run the
                                            National Weather Service - a guy named Jack Kelly, (now deputy
                                            director of NOAA) & others - they wouldn't stand for it. Who does
                                            one of our employees think he is telling us in Washington we had
                                            better stop ignoring a big problem like global warming in our
                                            weather and flooding prediction policies? (they said.)

                                            Over time, they awarded the guy 3 separate disciplinary suspensions
                                            (without pay of course).

                                            With NOAA and the National Weather Service now under the "new"
                                            administration (Global Warmer Bush, etc.), things haven't gotten any
                                            better. In fact, they are worse now than ever. He is preparing now
                                            for reactionary measures again -- probably dismissal --
                                            because he went ahead and issued his own public news release, on a
                                            study he recently completed that provides increasing evidence of more
                                            rapid global warming now than ever before. He put out $500 of his own
                                            money to do it even. And now he's probably going to loose his job as
                                            well, only a couple of years away from retirement.

                                            I could go on with more details about this, but this forum doesn't
                                            seem to be the correct place to do that. It's just that it turns my
                                            stomach. Here's a guy who had no other motive than to speak up about
                                            an impending threat to all of us - to raise awareness of the problem
                                            so others would start to take the issue more seriously and work
                                            constructively to solve it. Yet the people he raises the problem to
                                            dump all over him for it. These are people in high places of our
                                            government, people who are paid generously with public money to
                                            protect the public's welfare in a matter as universally important to
                                            everyone as the climate and weather. Blame them -- not the
                                            scientists, messengers and profits for this problem. Those bums
                                            should have been thrown out before Bush took office. Just look what
                                            they have (not) done!

                                            --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "prometeus57"
                                            <prometeus57@y...> wrote:
                                            > --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "Mike Neuman"
                                            <mtneuman@j...>
                                            > wrote:
                                            > > 15,000 Parishaners died in August from the record setting heat-
                                            wave
                                            > > that reportedly took the lives of over 35,000 Europeans last
                                            summer.
                                            > > Unless Paris invests heavily in air conditioning (and supplying
                                            the
                                            > > electricity for it), I wouldn't advise anyone over 60 moving
                                            there
                                            >
                                            > What's the effect of Paris' thousands of trees? Can more be
                                            planted /
                                            > the buildings be greened somehow?
                                          • Jym Dyer
                                            ... =v= Deciduous trees shade nearby buildings in the summer and let sunlight shine through in the winter. It s a good idea to plant more. I like the green
                                            Message 21 of 23 , Nov 7, 2003
                                            • 0 Attachment
                                              > What's the effect of Paris' thousands of trees? Can more
                                              > be planted / the buildings be greened somehow?

                                              =v= Deciduous trees shade nearby buildings in the summer and let
                                              sunlight shine through in the winter. It's a good idea to plant
                                              more. I like the "green roofs" approach, as well.

                                              =v= And oh yeah, gotta stop all these cars from heating up the
                                              planet in the first place.
                                              <_Jym_>
                                            • Bijan Soleymani
                                              ... I realize that the world is probably getting warmer, but I ve been to Paris twice (both times in the summer) and have to say that the weather was much
                                              Message 22 of 23 , Nov 7, 2003
                                              • 0 Attachment
                                                "Mike Neuman" <mtneuman@...> writes:

                                                > 15,000 Parishaners died in August from the record setting heat-wave
                                                > that reportedly took the lives of over 35,000 Europeans last summer.
                                                > Unless Paris invests heavily in air conditioning (and supplying the
                                                > electricity for it), I wouldn't advise anyone over 60 moving there
                                                > any time soon. Thanks to the U.S. and other heavy fossil fuel
                                                > burning countries of the world, the possibility of more of these
                                                > tragedies happening in the world will grow with each passing year,
                                                > especially in cities vulnerable to "heat island" effects.

                                                I realize that the world is probably getting warmer, but I've been to
                                                Paris twice (both times in the summer) and have to say that the
                                                weather was much better (cooler) than the weather where I live. And
                                                that happens to be Montreal, Canada :) Maybe it's less humid...

                                                Bijan
                                                --
                                                Bijan Soleymani <bijan@...>
                                                http://www.crasseux.com
                                              • Bijan Soleymani
                                                ... They could charge the residents for the convenience of living on their development. This is called rent. Another option is selling the housing units to the
                                                Message 23 of 23 , Nov 7, 2003
                                                • 0 Attachment
                                                  "mauk_mcamuk" <mauk2@...> writes:

                                                  >> >2) Building a city from scratch requires a formidable pile of
                                                  > capital.
                                                  >>
                                                  >> So does any other development project; billion-dollar projects are
                                                  >> now routine. The banks have the money; what's required is a
                                                  > developer
                                                  >> who believes in the idea and can convince a bank to fund it. This is
                                                  >> well within the realm of possibility.
                                                  >>
                                                  >
                                                  > Have you done any work on how much capital it would take? more
                                                  > importantly, how would you pay that capital back? Taxes on
                                                  > residents?

                                                  They could charge the residents for the convenience of living on their
                                                  development. This is called rent. Another option is selling the
                                                  housing units to the residents and having the banks lend them the
                                                  money: mortgage. :)

                                                  The problem isn't that there is no money to be made in carfree cities,
                                                  but that it's easier for developpers to build suburban sprawl. It's
                                                  easy, it's standardized, doesn't require as much capital, etc.

                                                  Bijan
                                                  --
                                                  Bijan Soleymani <bijan@...>
                                                  http://www.crasseux.com
                                                Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.