Australia, blogging

How is Australia like Europe?

Often time in comments with other bloggers, we compare our lives in various parts of the world. People approaching retirement seek a lifestyle change. Country folks who have farmed all their lives will often move to the city whilst city dwellers move to the beach or a quiet country areas.

In selecting where we live and thinking about lifestyle benefits, can we really compare our lives given that our demographics are vastly different?

The acutely different rates of population density compared to land area in different countries, is startling and naturally, has far-reaching implications. Nevermore so in the management of social issues, chosen location and perhaps, even more importantly, also in the management of the Covid pandemic.

Consider the differences between a large city in Europe/UK, Australia and India.

Is it useful to compare apples with apples? ie. Two large centres. Let’s pick Shanghai and New York. What does that reveal?

There’s more space in China, but population density remains the same.

Let us also look at a smaller European city compared to the largest city in Australia. Population density appears the same as London, Delhi and New York.

Comparison Copenhagen and Sydney by area and population

comparecities.org/en/compare/

What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Urban Living

Australia has been touted as the land of wide, open spaces. Is that always an advantage?

  • Distances between centres necessitates a heavy reliance on petroleum-based transport options which exacerbates climate change.
  • Urban sprawl impinges on animal habitat resulting in loss of species diversity and extinction.
  • Decentralisation strategies struggle to keep up with population growth. In cities with slowing population growth, an ageing population has economic ramifications for future properity.
  • Large cities offer a range of facilities and services, and more choice of products and resources, but can be as socially isolating.
  • Traffic is a nightmare and commutes are long and time-consuming.
  • Mental Health and Social services are exponentially in demand.
  • Rural Areas have poor access to services, eg. specialist medical and ancillary
  • Communication is more difficult in country areas – at least in Australia.

Given the world as it is today, where would you rather live?

A small, dense city, country area or a large metropolis?

Me, I am pretty content here at the Home by the Sea.

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Home by the Sea
Travel

Shuffling through Shibuya

It doesn’t take long for the uninitiated to get their head around the rather logical Japanese transport system, however it’s negotiating the myriad of entrances and exits, at the stations themselves, that can be daunting for the novice traveller.

Entering the wrong one, can leave you lost or disorientated.

Where am I

Google maps appears to work really well for getting in and out of some of the busiest stations in japan, as it gives you directions and even platforms numbers.

There are also various apps that are useful, such as MapswithMe, (can be viewed when offline) and Hyperidia, or you can go old school with a free tourist map, but remember it is essential you have 20/20 vision to read the small print and they are hard to read at night.

Shinjuku station, seen below, which is really five stations in one, has over 200 exits.

Just one of the exits from Shinjuku station

3.5 million people pass through Shinjuku station daily.

shinkjuku
Another entrance to Shinjuku station – a bit different from the above picture

Shibuya in Tokyo, is renowned for being the busiest pedestrian crossing in the world, and that was where we were headed – if Google was leading us correctly. Following a sign leading up from the Shibuya station platform that indicated the Hachiko exit, we ended up in a large and busy shopping mall, so when I spotted a large window, I looked out to see just where we were:-

Exiting Shibuya station towards the crossing

It looked like we were headed the correct way – I could see the famous Shibuya Starbucks.

And here we are taking it all in, not yet game to cross. Looking this way and that.

Sometimes Japan can give the traveller sensory overload. But in the nicest way.

Everyone in Japan, is so polite and respectful.

Are you ready to cross Shibuya? Here we go….

That wasn’t so bad at all…….

And a view from the top – kind of magical really!

Do you use Google maps or some other navigation app?

Which ones have you found useful on your travels?

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Something to Ponder About