geography 442 – a student-directed seminar

Getting There from Here: Transportation and the Twin Crises

The twin energy and climate change crises represent the greatest threats to human civilization. We have not yet faced such incredible challenges to the most fundamental aspects of our modern existence. In North America, we are particularly unprepared to effectively deal with these issues. The post-World War II urban form of Canadian and American cities has tended towards low-density, highly automobile-dependent communities. This short article will briefly provide background on these two crises, and then illustrate why the predominant North American development form is unsustainable and impractical based on the great amount of oil required. If a reconfiguration of the urban landscape does not occur now by choice, it will be forced upon the North American majority by the reality of energy scarcity. The latter transition will likely be characterized as a period of social inequity and great financial burden (Newman and Boyer, 2009).

Continue reading Critical Response 3 – Energy and Transportation.


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