Excess Energy

When the weather turns, cycling becomes less attractive and one’s backside begins to broaden. Obviously, letting the blubber settle for hours each day on a car seat doesn’t help.

And yet.

It transpires that one’s hunch is correct. There are more cars in the city than five years ago. In fact, car ownership in the Helsinki region has risen by 22% in the time that its population has gone up 5%. Driving is ‘engorging’ the city on the back of efforts by those who have opted or who feel forced to live out in the sticks. You know, Nurmijärvi and other (un)popular places. (Even Nurmijärvi’s own website includes the bit about its growing population of people and cars being a ‘phenonemon’.)

The Husual captures an interesting aspect of urban planning and puts it quite nicely: neighbourhoods are spilling over. People move further (from the city centre) in search of a bigger plot and then find themselves paying through the nose for the second car. British-style urban planning, where residential development exploits the railways, hasn’t really caught on. Translating for you once again, HS says the increase is visible in morning rush hour, as a

massive 43 500 private cars commute into the city.

Meanwhile as the excess energy builds up on my backside, the Gulf of Finland is heaving with activity to get more energy (gas) out of the East and into the West. The Nord Stream gas pipe, ecological risks and all, is being laid down at the bottom of the sea. Well, I guess it would be hard to run the world on this:

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