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    Rethinking transportation.

    Renner M

    In: State of the world 1989. A Worldwatch Institute report on progress toward a sustainable society. New York, New York, W.W. Norton, 1989. 97-112.

    The costs to society, in terms of air pollution, acid rain, global warming, congestion, health costs, deaths and inequalities, of the world's 400 million motor vehicles, and feasible alternatives are discussed. Growing numbers of cars show no sign of leveling off in the U.S., and they are rising in Western Europe, Japan, Eastern Europe, U.S.S.R., and the third world. 1% of people in developing countries own cars, compared to 40% in industrial countries, or 8% overall worldwide. Petroleum for transport accounts for 63% of petroleum use in the U.S.; in the third world the fraction of export earnings used to pay for transport fuels tripled during the 1970s. Ethanol is not a practical alternative fuel since it requires more energy to produce than it yields, and only cane sugar is a practical source. Methanol production from coal also entails more pollution than gasoline. Hydrogen may be the fuel of the future. Several ways of enhancing fuel efficiency already exist: cars making 120 m/g have been tested. Market factors prevent their development, however. Any car with 1 driver is inefficient. Improving air quality is possible by regulation in some areas, but in the U.S. the shear volume of traffic thwarts any imposed regulation. Alternative transport systems will be necessary to reverse 250,000 traffic deaths and millions of injuries annually worldwide, congestion in cities resulting in lost productivity, hidden financial subsidies and costs of automotive infrastructure and lost health. Multidestinational systems operate successfully in European cities. Nonmotorized transport, mainly bicycles and walking, is the primary mode in Asia and Africa. How these alternatives can be implemented in the noncentralized urban areas of the U.S., with up to 60% of urban land devoted to cars and much of the economy to their distribution and service, is an unsolved problem. Even in developing countries, city planners and donor agencies favor the elite with autos. People need urban design that incorporates access to jobs, homes and services.
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