- Inhabitat – Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building - http://inhabitat.com -

Will American Car Culture Become a Thing of the Past?

Posted By Kristine Lofgren On July 2, 2013 @ 4:39 pm In Air quality,global warming,Green Transportation | 1 Comment

Car Culture, US Car Culture, Driving in decline, fewer drivers, fewer drivers licenses, US driving trends, US driving, walkable communities, public policy on driving, vehicle reduction, emissions reduction, global warming issues, millennial driving habits, Doug Short, Advisor Perspectives, Mimi Sheller, Drexel University, Mobilities Research and Policy Center [1]

The America that has been immortalized in films like Grease and American Graffiti, with its car-centric culture, may soon be a thing of the past. Recent analysis shows that not only are younger Americans driving less, but they seem to be less interested in cars [2] in general. The number of people who own a car and the number of licensed drivers are on the way down, and the trend shows no signs of slowing.

Car Culture, US Car Culture, Driving in decline, fewer drivers, fewer drivers licenses, US driving trends, US driving, walkable communities, public policy on driving, vehicle reduction, emissions reduction, global warming issues, millennial driving habits, Doug Short, Advisor Perspectives, Mimi Sheller, Drexel University, Mobilities Research and Policy Center [3]

The recession no doubt had a part in reducing drivers, less income means fewer cars being purchased, but the downturn for driving happened prior to the recession [4], starting in 2005. In fact, the number of miles driver per person has dropped by 9-percent since the peak. Not an insignificant amount. With recovery on the uptick, researchers are curious to see what happens to those numbers as people start having more disposable income once again.

Some researchers believe that the changes are more of a cultural shift away from car culture. It seems as though today’s youth is more interested in the technology you have than the car you drive, and would rather spend their time commuting on public transit with wi-fi than spending that time behind the wheel. In fact, driving among youth decreased 23-percent from 2001 to 2009.

Public policy may also have a part to play in the shift. Bike-sharing programs [5], walkable communities and a higher cost of driving encourages people to find ways to walk, car-pool or use public transit. The result, if the trend continues, could be fantastic for the environment. Vehicles are the second largest polluter in the country, and fewer drivers equal fewer emissions. Unfortunately, it looks like China has picked up our slack, where personal car ownership has increased by 10-percent annually.

via NYTimes [6]

images from kerinin [7], Robert S. Donovan [8] and Stephanie Lafayette [9]


Article printed from Inhabitat – Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building: http://inhabitat.com

URL to article: http://inhabitat.com/american-car-culture-may-become-a-thing-of-the-past/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://inhabitat.com/american-car-culture-may-become-a-thing-of-the-past/car-culture-fading-in-the-us-car-sales-miles-driven-licenses-down-in-number-2013/

[2] cars: http://inhabitat.com/how-fast-and-furious-6-tried-to-reduce-its-enormous-carbon-footprint/

[3] Image: http://inhabitat.com/american-car-culture-may-become-a-thing-of-the-past/car-culture-fading-in-the-us-car-sales-miles-driven-licenses-down-in-number-2013-emissions/

[4] recession: http://inhabitat.com/us-has-a-recessionary-hangover-according-to-greenbiz-2012-report/

[5] Bike-sharing programs: http://inhabitat.com/chicago-launches-citywide-divvy-bike-share-program/

[6] NYTimes: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/30/sunday-review/the-end-of-car-culture.html?ref=opinion&_r=2&

[7] kerinin: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kerinin/

[8] Robert S. Donovan: http://www.flickr.com/photos/booleansplit/

[9] Stephanie Lafayette: http://www.flickr.com/photos/93006384@N05/

Copyright © 2011 Inhabitat Local - New York. All rights reserved.