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MAKING THE MODERN WORLD
Stories about the lives we've made

module:Urban sustainability

Cities and the role of technology

page:Sustainable cities: The role of technology

High and low technology in all its forms and complexities may have both negative and positive effects on communities and may also change in overall effectiveness and benevolence over time and with regard to sustainability.


Cars can open up significant opportunities and freedoms. picture zoom © TopFoto

The automobile is a good example. Cars have given personal freedom and (once mass production allowed more people to operate them) have opened up opportunities to many in the more developed countries of the world and increasingly in less economically developed countries as well. However, sheer numbers have led to congestion, greater mortality rates and air quality concerns for individuals' health as well as global issues of enhanced greenhouse effects from SO2 and CO2 emissions.

If we tried to rate this on a bipolar graph with a range from negative in effect on communities through to positive in effect, the introduction of the car is arguably around +1.

The technology involved in creating safe, ubiquitous water supplies and sewage systems would conversely be rated resoundingly positively on such a scoring system since it has created improved health for billions of people.

Use this system yourself to grade various city technologies in the following activity.

ACTIVITY

 

Text only version

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Cars can open up significant opportunities and freedoms.
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