An excellent article entitled 'More mall pall than Pall Mall' By Elizabeth Farrelly (May 24, 2006, Sydney Morning Herald). It begins, "Fantasise this: for some reason - dollars a barrel, airborne particulates or, conceivably, government backbone - petrol is all but prohibited. Car use, while not banned, has shrunk to maybe one-20th of present levels. Sydneysiders drive only as absolutely necessary. For the rest, we walk, cycle or take trams. What would change?".
Indeed, lots would change - for the better, as Elizabeth goes on to say. There have been reports in Sydney that the rising cost of petrol is driving people out of their cars and back onto public transport. Whilst we are a long way from returning to villages and corner shops, it's a start. I think also that the hypermarket malls will fight back, possibly by investing more heavily in public transport that feeds directly to their shopping plazas. We shall see.More from Elizabeth here.