design thinking initiatives for a better urban life
Posts by Elham Masoomkhah
Automobile dependency is defined as high levels of per capita automobile travel, automobile oriented land use patterns, and reduced transport alternatives. Automobile dependency increases many costs: higher vehicle expenses, reduced travel choices, increased road and parking facility costs, congestion, accident damages a variety of environmental impacts, and considerable health impacts. Beyond an optimal level, excessive automobile dependency may reduce economic productivity and development. A more balanced transportation system can provide many benefits to consumers and society.
Compared to other large metropolitan areas in the U.S., Portland area residents travel about 20 percent fewer miles every day. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation the average resident of the metropolitan area traveled 20.3 miles per day in 2005. The median for the 33 most populous metro areas in the country is 24.3 miles per day. And while vehicle miles per person have been increasing over the past decade, they have been essentially flat to declining in Portland. But, there is still huge difference between Portland and environmentally successful city like Copenhagen, Denmark.
As Peter Calthrope expresses the importance of the issue, “The problem is not individual projects. The problem is how we communicate this message to people.” The message that he and many others are trying to convey is the necessity of a shift in our transportation patterns.
I am proposing a campaign, which will advocate for informing people about how transportation habits could affect their lives. (more…)
Our group’s subject was “hunger” and the matter of food in Portland. We started doing a research about what are the factors influencing “lack of food” in households. Our initial findings is converted into a video (FOODABILITY).
After this initial attempt, I got interested in the origins of this dilemma, and started to search for the main reasons behind why people reach to the point that they need food assistance.
According to national study, Hunger in America 2010, conducted in 2009 for Feeding America (FA) (formerly America’s Second Harvest), the nation’s largest organization of emergency food providers: 33.7 % of clients, had to choose between paying for the food or the gas. An this ratio is quite similar in Portland, according to Oregon Food Bank.
The budget that people are spending on gas, is not the only misallocation of resources. There is lots of hidden aspects of car-reliance culture that contribute to shortage of basic needs including food.
My goal is to highlight this misallocation. By converting the Vehicle Miles Traveled statistic, into tangible numbers and consequences. This tangible consequences may need further research and lots of them are still in debate. I am going to propose a device which could be implemented and hopefully mandatory in every vehicle. This device is a monitor translating mileage into consequences like hunger, death, etc. It is to be called : “KILLometer”
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