Want a peek into the future of roads and cars and transportation and homes in America? Consider this:
... faced with aging infrastructure, higher maintenance costs, and growing numbers of poor, this increase [of poor people in the suburbs] could become self-perpetuating, a la the inner cities in the 1960s and 1970s. ... The suburban landscape we once aspired to and now take for granted is changing before our eyes. The absolute number of vehicles on America's roads fell last year for the first time in fifty years. So did the number of miles driven and the gallons of gasoline consumed. ExxonMobil believes the latter is in permanent decline due to high prices and biofuels.
We already know that car sharing is becoming more and more popular, but that's just one small effect of the shift to high-density living. As eco-consciousness grows (slowly) and changes the way we live and drive, the very geographic reality of the U.S. is (slowly) being changed by the very technologies we discuss here on a daily basis. Throw in the possibility of decreased infrastructure funding thanks to more efficient vehicles (should the government not raise the gas tax or assign other taxes to infrastructure use), and there's a lot to think about in the big picture.

Note: As if to emphasize the point, the Flickr caption for the image used above reads: " The American car-centered lifestyle may be challenged by changing energy realities."

[Source: Fast Company | Image: www.futureatlas.com/blog - C.C. License 2.0]

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