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5 GUESTS "Mobility"

We get around our towns and cities in all kinds of ways - on foot, by train, by bicycle, by bus. And, of course, by car. And, more and more, our transport systems connect together.

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"Tracing your footsteps in 3D" Hajime Ishikawa

Hajime Ishikawa
Ishikawa's average day: total length of commuting is 22.89 kilometres, distance on foot is 1.138 kilometre, 107 steps go uphill and 66 steps downhill.

What is your ideal means of getting around?

I like to have a general grasp of my surroundings when I move around - the people around me, the change in geography etc. I'd rather take a street car than the subway. Bus over taxi. Motorcycle over car. I prefer an (electric-assisted) town bicycle over a road-racer. But that doesn't mean I always like to travel slowly. In Tokyo, the Keio train line is a good example. The Special Rapid Express is too fast, but the Local is too slow, so the Rapid Line is the one for me. I feel like there's a speed that is 'just right' for all the different ways you can get around.

What are some things you have discovered while mapping your travels?

There are things you can do to reveal the "other side" of the landscape you travel through, which can make your travel more interesting. For example, you could try roller-blading in Tokyo, where there are lots of hills. Or "picturing" your route beforehand on a map can help you visualize the geographical details and road patterns, and help you discover new things about the journeys you take every day.

What are some ways that we can make "getting around" more fun?

If you keep a log of your travels, you often discover patterns you make on the landscape. You can use a GPS to trace your route, for example, and often you will find a correlation between the roads you naturally choose, and the landscape. Try plotting photos of your journey onto a map, and you might discover what kinds of places attract you. The process of keeping a log can actually change the way you get around - make you try a different route to get some good pictures, for example - which can make it more fun.

How should we approach mobility to protect the environment?

Pretty difficult question. What exactly is "thinking about the environment"? What is "the environment"? What should you do? And to which part of that environment? Of course, if your goal is to conserve energy, your best bet will be to not move at all.

If contributing to the environment means "maintaining an environment where all humans can live healthily at a low cost" it is important to have some kind of "standard" to measure ones behaviour against. It would be good to have information publicly available about various products and transportation methods - the technology, the system, the support facilities etc - which could display the sum "cost to the environment", and allow us to make choices.
ishikawa1.jpgHajime Ishikawa