Press Releases and Statements

Colors 81 – Transport

Most people spend more time and energy going around problems than in trying to solve them. Henry Ford, founder, Ford Motor Company

banner_colors81_210.jpgTreviso, July 2011. The complex network of land, sea and air transport constantly fuels the planet’s economic development as it envelops the earth in a thickening web of roads, vehicles and bustling trade. Oil powers 90% of transport, but this resource is running out very quickly. In a not-too-distant future we will no longer be able to fill the tanks of the 140 million cars driven in the United States today, nor shift from one port to another the 100 million freight containers loaded every year onto cargo ships, nor manage to keep in the air the 500,000 people who are presently flying somewhere around the world.

What alternatives will we have in a world without petrol? How will we move about? How will we do business?COLORSattempts to answer these and other questions in the new issue, Transport: a veritable “user manual” (and survival guide) about how we can all make our own alternative, sustainable means of transport with our own hands. Ingenious solutions that many populations in the “rest of the world”, grappling with poverty, war or local situations, have long adopted.

Like Wu Yulu, a creative Chinese farmer who decided to build a customised vehicle to transport himself and his wife to market. Seated comfortably on his rickshaw, he lets Wu Lao 32 ferry him around. Wu Lao 32 is a robot powered by an electric motor that enables it to walk for six hours with a full load at a rate of 30-40 steps per minute.

Mansoor, a 31-year-old Kenyan, had a revelation one day as he looked at the piles of rubbish tourists left on the beach. He realised that the rubbish was a resource that could be recovered and that he could use to build a crucial product for the people of Lamu: boats.

As he observed the photovoltaic street lamps and the cars on the road, Chinese Chen Shengui, decided to find his own solution to the transport problem in China, the leading solar panel manufacturing country in the world today. Chen invented the first prototype of a solar energy car. He hopes that, sooner or later, the government will give financial support to this project in a country where more than 500 million vehicles will be on the roads by 2020.

The 38-year-old Abrahim, a Libyan bank executive, was horrified by the growing violence during the fighting in Benghazi and felt he should provide documentary evidence of the bloodbath. He stuck photos of the conflict on his car, which, for the local population, became a visual testimony of the war.

Ever since he retired in 1984, Leonid Murlyanchik, a former employee of the Yaroslavl railways inRussia, has been digging an underground railway to connect his home to neighbouring houses, using homemade tools. He started it so he could make unobserved visits to Ekaterina, a lady he was smitten with in a nearby village. Today the network should connect Leonid’s neighbourhood to the railway station.

The Brit Buzz, on the other hand, burns fat fast. He uses his Womble showcase-car fuelled by vegetable oil to awaken his fellow countrymen to the use of alternative fuel like hydrogen, coffee beans or other local natural resources.

Ten leading figures from the academic and social worlds, including Carlo Petrini, the founder of Slow Food; Domenico Luciani, an international landscape and gardens expert with the Benetton Studies Foundation in Treviso; and U.S. designer and engineer Jacques Fresco, spoke to COLORS about their personal vision of transport in the future.

COLORS 81 – Transport

Published in July 2011 in four bilingual editions (English + Italian, French, Spanish or Korean).

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