One hour a day

I bet you didn’t know that most people, the world over, spend just about the same amount of time each day getting to where they need to go. It’s about one hour.

When walking was the only way to get around, an average walking speed of 5 kilometers an hour meant that you covered an area of approximately 7 square miles. This is exactly the mean area of Greek villages to this day. The old center of a city like Venice  still has a diameter of 5 kilometers.

But when mobility options increased, cities kept growing but still the center of the city is roughly 30 minutes away for most people.

Even prisoners get an hour “out in the yard.”

In America today, half the population commutes about twenty minutes each way. “Studies have shown that satisfaction with one’s commute begins to drop off at around thirty minutes each way.”

All of this and much more can be found in Tom Vanderbilt’s 2008 book
 “Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (And What It Says About Us)”

It’s complex and fascinating.



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