The poor walk to work, and so do the rich

This paper analyses the data from the census about how people travel to work. The richer you are, the more likely you are to drive – unless you are in the richest segment of all, in which case you are slightly more likely to walk or cycle.

Well, that’s interesting – partly because, as the authors point out, that’s one aspect of poor people’s lifestyle that is actually good for them – and perhaps not surprisingly not one we hear a lot about compared to the consumption of cigarettes, booze and crap food. But also because it reflects a changing pattern of city dwelling, where as in other countries the rich are moving back into the inner cities and the poor are being pushed out to the periphery. Owning a car is no longer a signifier of wealth; being able to walk to work is. Danny Dorling makes this point in his rather good book ‘The 32 Stops‘. I’m surprised more people haven’t made the link between traffic congestion, travel to work times and gentrification.

 

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