Do we really need to own cars in cities?

You grow up, graduate, get that first job, what next? Owning that ride. Have you ever asked yourself if you really need to own one in a city? Maybe not. That’s one of the invisible shackles most of us just follow without questioning. (invisible shackles are the unsaid rules we follow coz maybe you were raised by that, like following a life script)

The answer to our today’s topic relies on your specific situations: where you live, where you work and what you do for fun. But the question is worth asking . The best thing about owning a car is the convenience and freedom it offers other than that, there’s really not much it offers unless it is used for business purposes. Cars are expensive to buy and maintain, they of course require time and attention just like a child and they also break down occasionally, leaving you stranded at the roadside. But most people can’t imagine life without their wheels. The good news is, not everyone needs to own a car especially people living in cities.

Image from Unsplash.

Vehicles are a major contributor to air pollution. More than half the world’s population now live in cities, and it is said that the numbers will increase in the coming years. As people move to cities there will be more cars on roads, more traffic congestion and less green space unless we do something about it.(I really hope you get how serious this is😔) The person who is suffering, it’s you, the city dweller because of fumes and smog you consume on a daily basis. Soon it will be healthier to stay indoors rather than going out and inhaling poisonous gases

Of course, measures to reduce emissions and develop cleaner fuels have been put in place. Other cities have tried omitting old cars and others manufacturing electric cars. But what if we rethink the use of our roads, not for cars alone but for walking, cycling and skating.Traffic congestion has worsened during peak and off-peak hours and is mainly due to rapid increase in car ownership. The main reasons why people insist on driving themselves around the city its coz of :

  • lack of Non-Motorized Transport Provisions-strategies have to be put in place that will make more people feel safe to choose the NMT as an alternative.
  • Inefficient and Unreliable Public Transport– cities should be characterized by an effective Mass Rapid Transit system that includes Bus Rapid Transit.
  • Weak Land Use planning and Development-Mobility range to be reduce by planning more compact neighborhoods that will reduce the need for long distance commuting.
Image from Unsplash

Cities around the world are starting to see that they’ll be cleaner and, healthier if the city is generally designed for the people not cars. Some cities are going further and transforming space that were previously dedicated to cars into pedestrian walkways.There just isn’t enough room on city streets for everyone to sit in a car of their own.

“if you design spaces for cars they’ll fill with cars. If you design spaces for people they’ll fill with people”

Before owning a ride evaluate the value you are getting from it. Does owning fit your monthly budget and lifestyle? Track your mileage, where do you stay? You can’t be staying near your workplace and yet you are thinking of owning one. And if you really think you need to own one have you considered other alternatives like ride sharing, calling a cab, carpooling and if you only need access to a car on very rare occasions simply rent one.

The 5 Cs why people buy material things generally: Convenience, Comfort, Creation, Connection, Consummation. Other reasons may be for pleasure of the flesh or pleasure of the flex. Pleasure of the flesh is the experience you get from using a particular thing. For instance, the feeling you get from maybe driving a high speed car. Pleasure of flex is the pleasure that comes after status seeking.

I hope this blog helps you rethink about which of these 5 categories are you really hitting when doing a car purchase. Is it to improve the experience of the 5Cs or are you getting it for flesh or flex, which is fine. I’m not judging! we all are playing status games in one way or another as long as you are being intentional. Actually, it’s not fine there a lot more ways to play this status seeking games. There’s more to what money can buy rather than congesting and polluting our cities. Go on that trip, travel the world with that money, purchase something that won’t affect the environment. Is it too much to ask to at least be responsible of where you live?

I think advertisements plays a role on our purchases, why does it have to be, maybe that big nice house with a fancy car beside it? A lot of us need a mindset shift, owning car doesn’t equal success or richness, so don’t own one for the sake of being perceived that umeomoka.And as consumers a lot of things we do are very unsub-conscious and if we become more conscious the way our mind works; I think that’s a benefit on itself.

Some of the advantages of car free life includes: Savings-not owning one will save you the cost of the car itself, gas, insurance, maintenance and parking. Health-Giving up your car will practically force you to spend time moving your body which will improve your health since you are excising, other advantages are ,Less Stress and Less pollution. You can get some of the same benefits by going car light, (car- light means you can still keep your car but only use it once in a while)

Live more intentional,Like I said on my first post we really are responsible for how our city turns out.Next time you are stuck in a traffic jam, sitting motionless in your car just remember this blog post😂.I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

15 thoughts on “Do we really need to own cars in cities?

    • Thank you,
      many of us are really looking forward to the mobility works that NMS is currently working on, hopefully PSVs will be more accomodative such that people won’t need to drive themselves to work anymore.


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