Monday, November 16, 2009

The new city

Do you remember Sim-City? It's a very old PC game from the late eighties. I think there are newer version, but I mainly remember this one, in black an white, you could copy it in a 5 1/4 inches floppy disk (do you remember floppy disks?).
Well, apart from the fact that I'm quite old, one the upsetting things of that game was that there was no way of getting rid of the traffic jams. No matter how many streets or how many lanes wide sooner or later traffic jams was one of the biggest problems for your popularity.

So it was upsetting but probably quite realistic if you see our cities today. What the governments can do to improve traffic and at the same time comply with Kioto protocol?Simcity already told us: there's no way.

So, let's going to think for a second out of the box (in the case of the government let's just think, I don't think they do it at all): let's get rid of the cars. If you do not have the cars there are no traffic jams and Kioto is possible. How? Very easy: promote remote working (working from home, tele-working, as you wanna call it). Invest the money in information highways instead of physical highways and keep people at home. It should be easy for the government to incentive the companies to offer this possibility to their employees. We are in the knowledge society, less and less jobs need the physical presence to be done effectively.

You can tell me that you'll still have the traffic jams around the schools, with all the parents dropping kids. I see a future with the kids at home studying through tele-presence inside an augmented reality environment.
You see traffic jams around the malls during weekends, I see all the people buying in Internet.

To not make this too long I think that the point is clear, invest in communications and keep people at home whenever possible, our planet will like this model much more.

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