Flash deliverers ‘disruptive’? It all already existed, we see in Backlight

Everyone spends an hour a day getting from A to B and back again. Marchetti’s constant is called the phenomenon: since the Neolithic age (the Stone Age, 1100 BC) we have been on the road for an hour on average, whether on foot, on horseback or by car. The car takes us faster, though. But what do we do: adjust our lives to the means of transport. Living further from our work, thinking up other destinations and visits. The scientists who in Backlight predicted the future about mobility, added an insight: even when we don’t have to, we move around. “Even if you bring the food to people and they can work from home, they will go on pleasure rides.” An hour of unnecessary travel, because we are mobile want to be.

Following insight from the scientists, which is actually horrifying: in towns and cities, the bicycle is the most sustainable means of transport, the best for the climate too, and don’t forget health. Backlight cycles with André Botermans, bicycle ambassador in Houten. On his wooden bike through the new residential areas that cycle oriented are builtOn the road: zero cars. In front of the door: zero parking spaces. The houses are located with the front door to the (bicycle) road. So that, drum roll, the children can play in the street. Nowhere in the world, says the bicycle ambassador, is there a city like Houten.

There is honking, accidents

More about mobility at Tegenlicht later. First switch to the Other Times Special, Monday on the other net, with images from when the whole of the Netherlands was like Houten. When there was still a bicycle industry (eighty bicycle factories), the bicycle was still the most stolen item and the bicycle was used to go to school, work and on vacation. Street scene of rush hour in Groningen: pushcarts, tram, horse and carriage and bicycles, lots of bicycles. With office clerks, neat ladies, children, and everyone else who had something to transport: bread, fish, garbage, flowers, groceries. Why are flash deliverers disruptiveit all already existed.

And then the car came. You can also see that at Other times† From the sixties and seventies, cyclists slalom through traffic, honking and accidents. In this way we return to the Houten van Tegenlicht, but then in the old core of the village where a ribbon of cars winds through and the square is full of parkers. This, says the bicycle ambassador, is “the old village, the old world, the car world”.

Backlight wants to know from the scientists how we will cover distances of more than twenty or thirty kilometers in the future. That’s a no brainer: by electric car. Large factories are making better batteries that last longer and cost less. They have little faith in self-driving cars, but they do become smart: “The car can take over the driving when we are stuck in traffic.” Because traffic jams, they think, are getting worse. Fortunately, the driver can read or work in the meantime. Everyone in their self-driving compartment, didn’t you call that a train?

And what will transport us over medium distances in the future? drone, hyperloops, high speed trains? The scientists are betting their money on electric planes. But they can’t go further than 500 kilometers. You may want to fly less, the scientists say, but that’s not going to happen. So we have to fly cleaner. By making kerosene yourself, by purifying the CO2 emissions of the aircraft from the air, by regulating the climate yourself. This requires gigantic fuel factories, but there is plenty of room in the deserts of Chile or Namibia. Will work. “Can’t we now build a billion cars a year?” Man stands for nothing.

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