Currently viewing the tag: "Forbes"

We haven’t learned from our mistakes, that’s for sure. Henry Ford launched the model T, in an effort to make vehicles affordable to more people. Recently, Indian carmaker Tata Motors launched the world’s most affordable car, whatever that is, with a base price tag of just $2500. Shocking, I know. Ratan Tata touts the Tata Nano, pictured above, as “The People’s Car” and as MSN said, it is bringing “car ownership into the reach of millions.” There is a fundamental problem here: we are continuing down a path of unsustainable practices and living. There are clear lessons that still have not been learned from our past mistakes and will only become further compounded with vehicles that facilitate car ownership. This statement, an excerpt from a Forbes article, really irks me most:

“Most of all, it would give millions of people now relegated to lesser means of transportation the chance to drive cars.”

No Comment.

“The potential impact of Tata’s Nano has given environmentalists nightmares, with visions of the tiny cars clogging India’s already-choked roads and collectively spewing millions of tons of carbon dioxide into the air.

Industry analysts, however, say the car may soon deliver to India and the rest of the developing world unprecedented mobility.”

I would like to ask these industry analysts what sort of mobility do they expect if India’s roads are already overburdened and suffering from extreme congestion.

The car culture of the United States has sadly been exported to nearly every developing nation. The devastating effects this will undoubtedly cause cannot be quantified economically or ecologically for the world as a whole…

Congratulations, Miami, you’ve just been honored by another dubious countdown. Forbes magazine recently came out with a list of the Top 20 Sedentary Cities in America, and Miami sits right at number 10. According to Forbes, was collected on body mass index (BMI), physical inactivity, and tv watching habits for America’s 50 largest metropolitan areas. Data for BMI and inactivity was primarily collected from the Center for Disease Control, while Neilsen data was used to determine hours spent watching television.

More specifically, Miami came in fifth with an average of 35 hours of television watched per week. If that isn’t bad enough, 60% of residents are obese or overweight. Really no surprise here - this is what you get when you live in sprawl. Let’s take a look at the the other cities and see if there is a prevailing theme here:

1) Memphis
2) New Orleans
3) Las Vegas
4) Detroit
5) Birmingham
6) Louisville
7) San Antonio
8) Jacksonville
9) Nashville
10) Miami
11) Houston
12) Tampa
13) San Diego
14) Pittsburgh
15) Oklahoma City
16) Indianapolis
17) Atlanta
18) Richmond
19) Cleveland
20) Philadelphia

Well, in case you didn’t notice, most of these metros are located in the Sunbelt/South and are famous for their sprawling/auto-centric growth patterns (especially the Top 17). Richmond, Cleveland, Detroit, Pittsburgh, and Philly have all been hit hard by out-migration to the suburbs. Plus, these cities aren’t exactly famous for their healthy diets. Though it’s fairly obvious, there is a fast-growing body of studies addressing the link between land use and obesity/inactivity. Low density sprawl isn’t just bad because it’s unsustainable and costly - it’s killing us in our waistlines and hearts.

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