Brad Weed

We need renewables and EVs – What about congestion and social isolation?

Conversation Date: 09/14/2022

Renewable EV charging can reduce fossil fuels, but will they relieve traffic congestion? If they become unaffordable to buy and own, they may only make it worse. What about the harmful tire particulates that continue to pollute the air and water? While convenient, cars isolate people from their community, increasing separation, polarization, and despair. How can we improve our interactions with people?

Brad Weed

I grew up in Norwalk, Iowa, home to two superheroes: Aquaman and Superman. I studied computer cartography at the University of California, Santa Barbara. As a result, I landed a job in Santa Barbara doing 3D computer graphics software development at Wavefront Technologies. 

In 1992 I joined Microsoft and got a break designing the Word ruler in 1993. I helped define the design and user research disciplines at Microsoft. Designing complex software like Office and Windows for billions of people worldwide is heady.  

The world is melting, cities are stuffed, streets are clogged, and I’m a geography major. It’s superhero time. I got my master of sustainable transportation degree at the University of Washington, having learned technology would indeed play a role in enabling a sustainable future. Yet, the bigger problem is nudging human behavior, mapping ethical policy paths, respecting the environment, and rethinking our economic models — the genesis of my newsletter, Interplace.

More Resources

  • Interplace: The interaction of people and place. A critical synthesis of human, economic, political, and physical geography.
  • Smart Growth America: Empowering communities through technical assistance, advocacy, and thought leadership to create livable places, healthy people, and shared prosperity.
  • Strong Towns: Replacing America’s post-war development pattern,
  • Suburban Experiment with a financially strong and resilient pattern of development.
  • Transportation for America: A new plan for infrastructure beyond “spend more money.” The more we spend, the more congestion, emissions, and pedestrian fatalities seem to rise, all while failing to address our most basic need: getting people where they need to go safely and efficiently.
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