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December 17, 2004

The information society and land take

Land is a finite resource but we consume it as if it were limitless - especially for mobility. John Whitelegg, a transport ecologist, reports that in Switzerland, the land allocation for road transport is 113 m2 per person - and for all other living purposes (houses/gardens and yards) it's 20-25 m2 per person. The knowledge economy, far from reducing our consumption of land, accelerates it: the spread of car parking around universities, hospitals and airports stimulate higher levels of car commuting, demands for more road space, and hence land take."Cars are only used for 2.8% of the time and then often by one person; the rest of the time they are parked somewhere doing nothing. Allocating land to such inefficient uses is bad value for money and bad prioritisation given the many pressures on land" says Whitelegg. John Whitelegg. "Transport and Land Take". A report for Council for the Preservation of Rural England.Eco-Logica. 1994 http://www.eco-logica.co.uk/reports.html

Posted by John Thackara at December 17, 2004 08:38 AM


According to some, there are 4 or 5 parking spaces for every car in North America. Likely that includes the one in your driveway. We should all pay to park our vehicles everywhere that is farther from our residence than, say, 500 meters -- i.e., if you want free parking, leave your car at home. The technology to manage that is under development now. We now need municipal political will.

Posted by: Bern Grush at January 30, 2005 05:08 AM

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