Perhaps internet access will make them happy.
Buses, at least in Boston, are filthy and grossly inefficient. Accidents and shootings are common, although the police are quick to assure uninjured passengers when they were not targeted in gangster-on-gangster hits.
But since buses will be the primary mode of ground transportation in U.N.-defined urban habitats, officials and the media are trying to sweeten the experience for city dwellers.
Motorola, MIT and a supportive Boston Globe (for which I am a columnist) this week made the case for adding wireless internet access and TVs to buses, to lure individuals out of their cars.
They claim that wireless connections between bus riders will foster the growth of urban habitat areas, or “urban gardens,” as sociologist Federico Casalegno called them in the Boston Globe on Sunday (link and excerpt, below).
Casalegno, who had just designed a futuristic-looking prototype bus station at MIT, is collaborating with the university’s “Smart Cities” group, which is headed by the architect and urban planner William J. Mitchell.
But Casalegno’s real job (which the Globe article does not mention) is working for Motorola, where he is a manager.
Motorola‘s and Mitchell’s plans do not allow for weekend excursions to the country, let alone opportunities to reside permanently outside the city.
But ubiquitous wireless connections will benefit Motorola, and a Sovietized transportation system will help cities such as Boston comply with the U.N.’s Agenda 21.
In his book, “e-topia,” Mitchell describes future urban centers “characterized by live/work dwellings and 24-hour pedestrian-scale neighborhoods,” according to his publisher.
And Motorola’s current vision, according to Monday’s Financial Times, is “seamless connectivity”: access to information “at any time, on any device, and anywhere.”
For more about Agenda 21, listen to Alan Watt‘s May 2 and May 3 audio blurbs, which are here and here.
The Boston Globe, May 6, 2007
From Boston to Brazil, city planners and transportation gurus are reimagining the possibilities of the humble motorbus, using high-tech ‘smart mobility’ to challenge the preeminence of the car — and revive the urban commons.
|Much of the most innovative thinking now focuses on improving the passenger experience, instead of the more difficult challenge of moving buses faster along crowded streets. But city planners, armed with affordable global-positioning and computer technology, hope that meeting these seemingly modest goals can make bus trips a far more pleasurable, even productive, experience.