Does anybody notice anything weird going on here?

Scenario A: Transport in Cities

In 1951 New York city traffic looked like this:

And two generations later in 2011 it looked like this

Scenario B:  Electronic Transport

In 1951 a computer looked like this:

And in 2011 it looked like this:

# # #

What’s the point?

To get a grip on this striking comparison, a first step might usefully be to take note of the fact while Scenario A has steadily declined world-wide over the last two generations, Scenario B has seen an unimaginable increase in efficiency and sheer power on the order of trillions of times.

Now some may conclude that this difference is a result of the fact that we have not applied enough technology to Scenario A.  I would beg to differ. It is because we have not applied enough brains.

# # #

About the editor:

Eric Britton
9, rue Gabillot, 69003 Lyon France

Bio: Trained as a development economist, Eric Britton is a sustainability activist, mediator, managing director of EcoPlan International, an independent advisory network providing strategic counsel for government and business on policy and decision issues involving complex systems, social-technical change and sustainable development, and Distinguished Professor of Sustainable Development at the Institut Supérieur de Gestion in Paris. His latest work focuses on the subject of equity, economy and efficiency in city transport and public space, and helping governments to ask the right questions and in the process find practical solutions to urging climate, mobility, life quality and job creation issues. Founding editor of World Streets and the Journal of World Transport Policy and Practice, his forthcoming book, “Glad you asked, Madame Mayor: Toward a General Theory of Transport in Cities”, is being presented, discussed and critiqued in a series of international conferences, master classes, peer reviews and media events in Asia, Europe and Africa over 2016. - - > More: http://wp.me/PsKUY-2p7

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2 thoughts on “Does anybody notice anything weird going on here?

  1. Maybe there is another more important precondition to both developments to drivers as they have done: people cannot be compressed by any means (they are still 1.8 m tall and weighing some 70-90 kgs each); while information on data carriers has compressed by a factor 10^6 or 10^9. The main innovation to help solve the people transport issue seems to use more appropriate vehicles, thus replace with a bicycle most of the cars in the picture, which is not so much using a huge amount of brains by a few whiz kids, but just a little bit by the billions!

    All the best,

    Paul

    Reply
  2. @Paul
    Of course, especially when using private motor vehicles, the majority of space used for transport is not actually for humans. Walking, mass-transit, bicycles, etc, are all vastly more space-efficient…

    Reply

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