05 September 2012

Best Magazine Cover Ever

The Most Dangerous Invention in the World_1
If this isn't the most beautiful magazine cover in the world, I don't know what is.

The Most Dangerous Invention in the World. The Car.

It's the cover of Profil magazine, out of Austria. I picked it up in Vienna earlier this year. As I understand it, Profil is a business magazine. Leafing through it, it's filled with men in suits saying stuff in German.

This article, however, is beautiful for its stunning rationality. It's a bold cover and the accompanying article spells out why the car is, indeed, the most dangerous invention in the world and so destructive to our societies.
The Most Dangerous Invention in the World_3
Unfortunately, my German is rather dodgy but that's what infographics are for!
The Most Dangerous Invention in the World_2
The article features an interview with Vienna's wunderkind Vice-Mayor, Maria Vassilakou. According to this website, her splendidly complicated German titles are:

Vice-Mayor and Vice-Governor, Executive City Councillor for Urban Planning, Traffic & Transport, Climate Protection, Energy and Public Participation. She doesn't need a business card, she needs a t-shirt. But hey, times are a'changing in Vienna and Ms Vassilakou is behind the movement for a more liveable city. If only such visionary politicians grew on trees.

The article, in German, is available online right here. Hopefully your German reading skills are better than mine. I'll leave you to it. The most important thing is that this magazine cover and this article exist. A paradigm shift is imminent. Designing cities and streets instead of over-engineering them. Thinking about quality of life instead of traffic data flow. Nice to see that some cities are taking their responsibility seriously.

The Most Dangerous Invention in the World_4
This is a list with car ownership stats for various countries. Austria is high on the list. Who knew that the Dutch owned so many cars?


andreacasalotti said...

The missing link to the article is:

KruidigMeisje said...

I knew that: for long distances we always take the car. And in the country side a lot of people consider the next city a long distance (7-20 km). Only inner city residents do not own a car.
But even with this car ownership, we cycle a lot. Guess why? in the city, it's quickest. For the rest of the country, it's esay and quick. And a lot of people own 1 car, so the stay-at-home parent does a lot by bike. That's were the modal share comes from: a bike alongside the car normally. Both have their uses and we use it.

Diagonala said...

A fine austrian article.
It exposes all the usual suspects for car ownership/usage:
the freedom-nostalgia,
subsidies for (car) commuting,
too affordable parking spaces,
low congestion price,
a regulation that conditions newbuilt housing with number of parking spaces,
The love for suv's,
Local bike-nimby politician from the city center: "firstly we demand car parking solution - and after thats solved we can talk about bike paths..."

And all that in a city with excellent public transport and pocket-wide bike paths...

P.s. Im not a native german speaker so if sth s wrong just correct me.

Edward said...

The small font above the photo of the red car is bang on target:

"The car - it's loud, it stinks, it eats up space and destroys life. Every year, over three million people around the world are killed in traffic. Driving is not a human right but often just crazy. Nevertheless the debate is often shrill and hysterical. Especially in Austria."

Instead of Austria, you could insert the name of many developed countries. The comment certainly applies here in Australia.

Edward said...

The car ownership statistics are interesting as you say, especially for the Netherlands. It shows that, contrary to some mistaken beliefs, to reduce car use, the Netherlands have got it right. Using some sticks but a lot of carrots, you can increase the rate of bicycle use and lower car use. You do not necessarily have to force people to give up their cars.

Tim said...

Google Translate anyone?

Ada Foster said...

thans this