April 02, 2008

From Allen Leigh:

Re: Expert: obesity, global warming could be fought together (Feb. 26): Concerning cities, I think that Tony Ca­pon is out of touch with reality. Yes, we could redesign our cities to reduce the need for automobiles for those who work in the cities. But, how about those who work away from the cities? On the average, people change jobs every few years. Now, I might be working in the city and could walk or ride a bike. In a few years I might be working away from the city and might be able to take a train. Or, I might be working away from the city in a place that is not served by trains or buses, and I would have to use my car. Mass transit may work in places of high population density, but it won’t work in places of low population density.

Another factor is that of force. If government redesigns our cities to decrease the need of some of the population, it may have to “force” people to live in those cities. At least in the US, people have the freedom to live where ever they desire, and I think government attempts to force those people into cities would have strong public opposition.

I lived in Massachusetts, USA for 17 years and worked as a software engineer. I lived in a small town, and I worked in five different towns during the 17 years. There were no train or bus connections between my town and the other towns. I did car pool and van pool as much as possible. Redesigned cities would have had no value to me.


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