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Friday, 31 August 2012 08:45

Walking Library 30 August _ Cars and Parking Lots

Walking towards Brussels, with the roar of the traffic in the background, it seemed appropriate that the Walking Library offer the walkers some reflections from Kingsley Dennis and John Urry's book, 'After the Car' (2007).

"'[The automobile] can't be blamed for anything. Its consience is as clear as Monsieur Citroen's conscience. It only fulfils its destiny: it is destined to wipe out the world." [Ilya Ehrenburg, 'The Life of the Automobile', 1999).

"There have been huge increased in the speed of travel and in the distances that are covered. In 1800, people in the US travelled 50 metres a day - they now travel 50 kilometres. Today, world citizens move 23 billion kilometres; by 2050 that figure could quadruple to 106 billion if 'business' continues as usual."

"In 2000, there were more car ownersw in the US than registered voters; and in 2002 the average adult in the US made 86 per cent of their travel trips by car and travelled 13,500 miles per person/per year."

"... German researchers have established that each car, taking up an average surface area of six square metres, is 'responsible for 200 square metres of tarmac and concrete and produces some 44.3 tonnes of carbon dioxide throughout its life'. Or as Joni Mitchell famously sings, 'They paved paradise and put up a parkng lot'."

Our walking guide today, who works for Bruxelles Environment, donated to the Walking Library 'La Promenade Verte de Groene Wandeling', which maps the 63 km of preserved 'natural' space around/within Brussels - keeping the parking lots away...

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