Today’s car-dependent suburbs may become the “Wild West” ghost towns future, if you believe a recent report from Planning Institute, Australia. In their report, the PIA states that “Australia will be forced to rely on huge quantities of imported oil unless it radically overhauls its transport and urban policies,” which is old-news to readers who frequent eco-forward blogs like Gas 2.0, Cleantechnica, and TreeHugger, but it’s a bit of a surprise coming from a national urban planning journal.
It makes sense to assume, I think, that in a scenario where fuel prices spike and the costs associated with transporting building material make more “urban sprawl” prohibitive, city planners will be looking at a re-centralization of large populations, which brings with it a whole host of transportation problems which have been (arguably) solved by cities like Tokyo and NewYork … but (arguably) not by Dallas, Miami, or Charlotte.
In clicking through the links at PIA’s website, the writers of the studies are generally upbeat, envisioning scenarios where “At many homes, shopping centres and businesses, shared plug-in electric vehicles (PEV’s) are parked. Each such vehicle is part of a programme enabling renewable power to be stored in the vehicles’ batteries for release back into the grid as demand rises during the day,” which sounds OK to me!
There’s much more to read over at PIA, with some of the most relevant links already cherry-picked by Warren McLaren over at TreeHugger.com (tanks, Warren!).