page:
contents page
previous next
zoom out zoom in
thumbnails double page single page large double page
fit width
clip to blog
 
page:
contents page
previous next
zoom out zoom in
thumbnails double page single page large double page
fit width
clip to blog

them, purpose-built pedestrian and cycle facilities would win new investment, and proposals that encouraged pedestrians to linger and make use of space whilst slow­ ing down traffic would gain precedence. This is encouraging a "waste of time" and might be seen to imply that motorists' time should have a negative value. But allocating a negative value to motorists' time-savings is no less ridiculous than current practices and would encourage cities and villages to develop as social, productive, enjoyable and secure places.

Maintaining Community Jane Jacobs account of city life in the US some thirty years ago9 shows how important ordinary but diverse contact is to people's well-being. Maintaining a sense of community needs an investment

of time and energy in contact with neigh­ bours and local groups. The opportunities for such contact depend on time available and thus on priorities. The decision to travel longer distances (and save time at higher speeds) means that little time is available for interaction with neighbours and so there is less chance of a genuine community developing or maintaining itself.

Motorists not only restrict their own lives in this respect, but also those of other people. Detailed studies on the effect of traffic volumes upon different street communities in San Francisco10 showed, unsurprisingly, that streets with heavy traffic have relatively littl e social interaction; residents of streets with light traffic had three times as many local friends and twice as many acquaintances as did residents of busy streets

Transport Mode

Speed Space required per person

0.8 M2 per Person

3 M2 per Person

Time is central to notions of sustainability. A sustainable city or a sustainable transport policy or a sustainable economy cannot be founded on economic principles which, through their monetarization of time, orientate society towards higher levels o f motorization, faster speeds and greater consumption of space. The fact that these characteristics produce energy intensive societies and pollution is only part of the problem. They also distort value systems, elevate mobility above accessibility, associate higher speeds and greater distances with progress and dislocate com­ munities and social life.

Sustainability involves significant changes in the way markets operate and the ways individuals behave. Time valuation is one area ripe for change. Current methods of valuation provide an economic rationale for more travel and more pollution and justify the poor conditions for cyclists and pedestrians. They also explain why solutions such as catalytic converters and road-pricing and even improved public transport are irrelevant. None of these agents i n themselves wil l alter significantly the economic trajectory that is now in place.

Car with 1 Person

18.7 M2 per Person

Car with 1 Person

60 M2 per Person

Bus-Full and 1/3 Full

K -11 M / 1

i

Bus-Full and 1/3 Full

1

i i -I I M ^

4

Light Rail/Metro - Full and 1/3 Full

IE

Light Rail/Metro - Full and 1/3 Full

••••[ I

BB 3.1 M2 per Person (full) El 9 4 M2 per Person (1/3full)

P 9.4 M2 per Person (full) • 28.1 M2 per Person (1/3full)

11 .5M 2 per Person (full) • 4.6 M2 per Person (1/3full)

^ 2.2 M2 per Person (full) [23 6.9 M2 per Person (1/3full)

Table 2 ; Consumption of space by different modes of transport.

134

This article is a shortened and adapted version of Chapter V of Transport for a Sustainable Future: The Case for Europe, by John Whitelegg, published by Belhaven Press, London, 1993, price £12.99.

References

1. Ende, M. , Momo, Penguin, London, 1984. 2. Hagerstrand, T., "Space, Time and the Human

Condition", in Karlquist, A., Lundquist, L . and Snickars, F., (eds.) Dynamic Allocation of Urban Space, Saxon House, Lexington, MA, 1975. 3. Marchetti, C , Building Bridges and Tunnels: the

Effect on the Evolution of Traffic. Document SR88-01, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Vienna, 1981. 4. Illich, I. , Energy and Equity, Marion Boyars,

London, 1974. 5. Seifried, D., Gute Argumente: Verkehr, Beck'sche

Reihe, Beck, Munich, 1990. 6. Navarro, R.A., Heierli, U. and Beck, V.,

Alternativas de Transporte en America Latina: la Bicicleta y los Triciclos, SKAT, Centro Suizo de Technologia Apropiada, St Gallen, Switzerland, 1985. 7. Hillman, H., Adams, J. and Whitelegg, J., One

False Move: a Study of Children s Independent Mobility, Policy Study Institute, London, 1990. 8. Sharp, C.H., Transport Economics, Macmillan,

London, 1973. 9. Jacobs, J., The Life and Death of American Cities,

Pelican, London, 1961. 10 Appleyard, D., Livable Streets, University of

California, Berkley, 1981.

The Ecologist, Vol . 23, No. 4, July/August 1993

Supplements for this issue