Our Unsustainable Automobile-Centric Economy Is Cracking

Stuck “in” traffic? You are traffic!

An insightful academic piece published by the World Economic Forum explores the failing economy of our automobile centric lifestyle. The average private automobile in Canada costs $9,000 per year to own and operate and sits idle 95% of the time, and in Brockville carries 1.1 people on average. Our infatuation with automobiles kills people at the same time as it is killing our planet, and the author contends we are on the cusp of massive changes.

…the problem is, we’re still choking our cities and harming our health, finances and environment by continuing to waste our resources on these increasingly dormant vehicles…

Congestion and gridlock increasingly frustrate people and politicians, at the same time it’s well-recognized that building more capacity and adding lanes is ineffective, and like solving obesity by buying bigger pants. It’s a fascinating piece which ought to spark good thoughts and discussion.

None of this is meant to demonise cars or their drivers, or to suggest that no one should own a car. What I am saying is that the model of everyone owning their own car is best relegated to the 20th century. This leads to the question of what the optimal level of car ownership might be, where we achieve the transport benefits without the waste, damage and expense.

Read more here.

Author: Alan Medcalf

Alan is a post-corporate, volunteer, community builder living in Brockville, Ontario. He seeks to create sustainable lifestyle advantage for the community by creating opportunities for more people to choose to walk and to ride bikes. He promotes the health, social, environmental and economic benefits of active mobility.