Wednesday, May 07, 2008

We shop therefore we are ??

We shop therefore we are ?? How many more shops do we need ??

I was very struck by the local paper’s recent double page celebration (‘You will remember to shop, wont you?’, Bristol Evening Post, May 5 2008) of something it says was ‘built using…cutting-edge design and technology’. Maybe it was, and my original training and first six years of work experience was as a technologist, but I’m afraid I still cant share in the enthusiasm the article tries to generate and sustain about a …giant car park! Ok, it’s the big, new car park at Cabot Circus featuring ‘eight floors’, ‘nine decks’ and ‘2600 spaces’ but we have built ‘one of the largest multi-storey car parks in Europe’ at a time when we are all supposed to be going green !!

Amongst the many hundreds of words accompanying some pretty good photos that had obviously taken some thought and effort were ‘…every element has been designed with the motorist – and shopper – firmly in mind.’ Which confirms, if indeed confirmation is needed, that high consumption is still very much the order of the day and the basis (can it really be this?) of our society.

Perhaps we’d all like to think that we are moving in a green direction, as recent publicity for BETS Expo 08 and Tesco’s labelling of a number of products with their carbon footprint illustrate (see here and here), but by any reasonable, accepted measure we have made precious little, if any, general green progress. If the Cabot Circus development, supported by all political colours on Bristol City Council except Green, is anything to go by – and it is the number one development in Bristol at present – we are continuing to take major backward steps. We cant drive and shop ourselves green now can we !

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, I really enjoyed that article. It brought a whole new level of inanity to our local newspaper.

    It's just a same they forgot to point out that the new multi-storey car park is built on the site of, er ... The old multi-storey car park!

    Not to worry, though. They've got some public art in courtesy of local artists, which makes the world a better place doesn't it?


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