27 June 2010

Transport-related energy consumption...

...graphed against urban population density on the x-axis. 

Source:  United Nations Energy Programme (Newman et Kenworthy, 1989; Atlas Environnement du Monde Diplomatique 2007), via Sharp as Teeth and Stars.


  1. San Francisco less dense than San Francisco? Statistics FAIL.

  2. There's a lot of fishing things going on with this graph, most of which probably stem from the data being from 1989. I especially like Moscow's place; it doesn't take much energy when your only form of transportation is a horse! Other things, like the population density of ANY of the America cities, especially versus that of the Australian cities, is just weird. The creators wouldn't get such a smooth curve if they didn't cherry pick their numbers, I assume.

    Following the links to where this came from it's quite obvious that this was created to further an agenda instead of from good data. I adamantly support more public transportation and better efficiency, but I more adamantly support the correct usage of data and graphs.

  3. salsa, your comment is too cryptic for me. ???

    atonb, what is it about the population density of American cities that you find weird? I agree they may have cherry-picked their data, but how are Australian cities' densities different from American ones?? I just don't know - haven't been there.

  4. as to the size of Australian cities: Perth is huge. About 1.5 million people, and over 5000 square kilometres. North-South expansion is quite a bit over 100 kms.

    And in regards to European cities: Prague has about 1.2 million people, and you can get everywhere in town within one hour by public transport. Heck, you can even walk to most things of importance. I'd say the majority of people I knew there did not have a car at all.

  5. Like they say, if you insist on taking 2000 lbs. of glass, plastic and steel with you every where you go, energy cost is going to be high.


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