NYU professor studying the way humans use transportation
Transportation systems in America are incredibly hard on the environment — between cars and airplanes and the like — but a professor in New York says that doesn't have to be the case.
Story by The Takeaway. Listen to audio above for full report.
Need to fly somewhere? One environmental designer would like to see your plane take off from a swamp or other wetlands as a way to preserve environmental quality and mitigate environmental damage.
Natalie Jeremijenko, an associate professor at New York University, has set out to change not just how people think about flight — but about all transportation systems that we use today.
"Recently, I found out that most of the traffic fatalities (in New York City) are pedestrians," Jeremijenko said. "So not even walking is safe."
Jeremijenko said the way we approach transportation is fundamentally flawed, and that's just one example. But a more extreme example if flying. Jeremijenko says that flying commercially is the most damaging thing we can do to the environment.
But it doesn't need to be, she says.
"Flight doesn't involve the extraordinary emphasis of roads and roadkill and humankill that weaves across the country...doing ongoing 24/7 damage," she says.
Jeremijenko would rather see a system that's more like the global migration system used by birds. And that's where wetlands come in. Birds often use wetlands as landing areas and congregating areas after a lengthy flight.
Jeremijenko says by modifying our thinking and our technology, we could do less harm to the environment just by safely utilizing wetlands as the airports of the future.
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