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Costa Rica - A Central American Haven ?

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Costa Rica - A Central American Haven ?

A safe and sensible place to live?

=======================================

 

A friend here in HK is planning a trip to Costa Rica with friends, and suggested that we join them.

 

Her daughter was there recently, and she raved about it as a place to live. And she has provided us with links describing the merits of the country and suggested that we take a look at them.

 

800px-4-_Vue_San_Jose.jpg

San Jose - capital city of Costa Rica

 

Perhaps others have been there, or know someone who has - Or maybe you would like to help us research the merits of the place.

 

costarica_map_2010worldfactbook_300_1.jpg

 

Geography

Area: 51,100 sq. km (19,730 sq. mi.) about the size of the states of Vermont and New Hampshire combined.

Cities: Capital--San Jose (greater metropolitan area pop. 2.1 million, the greater metropolitan area as defined by the Ministry of Planning and Economic Policy includes the cities of Alajuela, Cartago, and Heredia). Other major cities outside the San Jose capital area--Puntarenas, Limon, and Liberia.

Terrain: A rugged, central range separates the eastern and western coastal plains.

Climate: Mild in the central highlands, tropical and subtropical in coastal areas.

 

People

Nationality: Noun and adjective--Costa Rican(s).

Population (2010): 4.516 million.

Annual population growth rate (2010 est.): 1.347%.

Ethnic groups: European and some mestizo 94%, African origin 3%, Chinese 1%, Amerindian 1%, other 1%.

Religion: Roman Catholic 76.3%, Evangelical Protestant 13.7%, other 4.8%, none 3.2%.

Languages: Spanish, with a southwestern Caribbean Creole dialect of English spoken around the Limon area.

 

Economy

GDP (2010): $38.27 billion.

GDP PPP (2009 est.): $48.19 billion.

Inflation (2010 est.): 6.9%.

Real growth rate (2010 est.): 3.6%.

Per capita income: (2009) $6,900; (2010 est., PPP) $10,569.

Unemployment (2010 est.): 6.7%.

Currency: Costa Rica Colon (CRC).

 

Natural resources: Hydroelectric power, forest products, fisheries products.

Agriculture (6.5% of GDP): Products--bananas, pineapples, coffee, beef, sugar, rice, dairy products, vegetables, fruits, ornamental plants, corn, beans, potatoes, timber.

Industry (25.5% of GDP): Types--electronic components, medical equipment, textiles and apparel, tires, food processing, construction materials, fertilizer, plastic products.

Commerce, tourism, and services (68% of GDP): Hotels, restaurants, tourist services, banks, and insurance.

 

Trade (2010 est.):

Exports--$10.01 billion: integrated circuits, medical equipment, bananas, pineapples, coffee, melons, ornamental plants, sugar, textiles, electronic components, medical equipment.

Major markets (2009)--U.S. 32.61%, Netherlands 12.82%, China 11.81%, Mexico 4.2%.

Imports--$13.32 billion: raw materials, consumer goods, capital equipment, petroleum. Major suppliers (2009)--U.S. 44.72%, Mexico 7.65%, Venezuela 5.56%, China 5.15%, Japan 4.36%

 

/more data: http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2019.htm

 

== == == ==

CR- Six Links :

=============

1/ http://www.ticotimes.com - - - : Current News of the Country

2/ http://www.welovecostarica.com/

3/ http://www.propertiesincostarica.com/properties/fromcostaricawithlove.html

4/ http://www.boomersoffshore.com

5/ http://unitedbiofuelsofamerica.org/

6/ http://internationalliving.com/

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MAP and VIEW OF DOWNTOWN

full_sanJoseCityDowntown.gif

Larger image of map: http://www.govisitcostarica.com/images/maps/pdf/full_sanJoseCityDowntown.pdf

 

San_Jose_pano.jpg

A sophisticated Metropolis ? (Is that what you are looking for?)

 

Some are screaming its praises

3764674060_0dd2d74815.jpg

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Sustainable Tourism - a goal of the Country

 

tabacon.jpg

 

From its stunning coastline, to its verdant rainforests and superb mountains, Costa Rica’s astounding beauty has made it the most sought after vacation destination. Millions of visitors from all around the world come to this tropical paradise every year and relish in its wondrous beauty.

 

Recognized worldwide for its diverse topography and complex cultural mosaic, Costa Rica has become a model for environment friendly practices and ecotourism sustainability. Tourism revenues of the country surpass those generated by all the other local commodities. Costa Ricans are now more aware of the long-term benefits of ecotourism and the peaceful retreats of the region proffer environmental awareness and sustainable tourism.

 

Costa Rica values its conservation culture. The government along with the private sector has been working hard to preserve the country’s natural resources. More and more significance is being given to eco-tourism and Costa Rica has truly become an eco-paradise.

 

The major organizations responsible for instigating sustainable tourism along with the Government of Costa Rica are the Costa Rican Tourism Institute, Ministry of Environment and the National Chamber of Tourism. Under their umbrella the hotels and lodges in Costa Rica are assessed and evaluated for sustainability and eco-friendly policies.

 

/more: http://www.govisitcostarica.com/sustainability/default.asp

 

(2)

As of October 2007, Costa Rica lead Latin America in certified sustainable tourism operations with 68 businesses certified by Certification for Sustainable Tourism, up from 51 in 2006. In all, Latin America now has 167 businesses certified by independent sustainable tourism certification programs. All are listed in the Rainforest Alliance’s SmartGuide to Sustainable Travel in the Americas.

 

/more: http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/01/costa_rica_lead.php

 

cr1jp.jpg

(3)

According to Ypartnership/Yankelovich Inc.’s 2009 National Travel Monitor, an astounding 44% of travelers said naturalistic travel activities were their primary purpose for travel, and 10% of leisure travelers went on an all-inclusive vacation – both statistics indicating a significant increase from previous years. Now, Hilton Papagayo Costa Rica Resort & Spa delivers the ideal choice for both.

 

With all-inclusive rates starting at $129* per person per night, Hilton Papagayo Costa Rica Resort & Spa is the epitome of “Pura Vida” – the local phrase often used to represent the joyfulness of living. At the resort, guests will “live” the ultimate all-inclusive eco-experience with superior accommodation, exquisite dining and seemingly limitless activities, complemented by the natural surroundings of this ecological paradise

 

/more: http://spa.me/hilton-papagayo-costa-rica-resort-spa-launches-all-inclusive-experience

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SAN Promotes climate-friendly agriculture

 

Over the past two decades, the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN) has worked for biodiversity conservation and human development through the development of social and environmental standards. Since 1992, more than 700 certificates have been awarded to approximately 80,000 farms in 27 countries that have met the SAN standards. These farms cover over 700,000 hectares and include more than 20 different crops.

 

Throughout this time, the SAN has addressed critical sustainable agriculture topics through new initiatives that aim to expand the reach of agricultural best practices for producers throughout the world. Today, the SAN continues the work of strengthening its sustainable agriculture standard, promoting the implementation of climate-friendly best practices that improve the adaptive capacity of ecosystems and rural communities while contributing to the reduction of agricultural emissions. The first result of this initiative is the development of a "Climate Module" that adds voluntary criteria specific to climate change mitigation and adaptation to the SAN’s Sustainable Agriculture Standard.

 

/more: http://sanstandards.org/sitio/

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Costa Rica - A Central American Haven ?

A safe and sensible place to live?

 

Safe- depends on where you are. There are numerous places all over the world, which are safe. There are pockets of safe areas everywhere.

 

Sensible? Tax purposes perhaps? If not why would Costa Rica be sensible, it is a so called developing world country - poor country.

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Safe- depends on where you are. There are numerous places all over the world, which are safe. There are pockets of safe areas everywhere.

 

Sensible? Tax purposes perhaps? If not why would Costa Rica be sensible, it is a so called developing world country - poor country.

 

Less room to fall when the global economy slides.

And it seems that they can feed themselves

 

Sea Levels?

Maybe not so safe, if the sea level rises, or if future tsunamis get bigger, as I expect to happen.

 

earth.jpg

 

According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), sea levels have been rising about 3 mm per year since 1993 – totalling a 200 mm increase (7.87 inches) in global averaged sea level since 1870.

 

This Google Map mashup shows how the world will look if it is effected by sea level rises. Unlike other sea-level rise maps that we have seen built on Google Maps this map lets you enter your own levels of rise to see its effect on the world.

 

/more: http://googlemapsmania.blogspot.com/2009/08/google-maps-of-sea-level-rises.html

 

Costa Rica : http://globalfloodmap.org/Costa_Rica

Fares better than Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong on the above map

 

Here's the DATA that I pulled off the map:

(I wanted to see how many people would be displaced by a 1,000 inch rise in sealevels):

 

Location--- : Elevation : Elev.later : Pop. : Homeless

========

London, UK : 0,827 in : - 0,173 : 7.4mn : 100%

New York -- : 0,079 in : - 0,921 : 8.0mn : 100%

Boston ----- : 0,433 in : - 0,567 : 589 k : 100%

Detroit ------ : 7,126 in : +6,126 : 951 K : 000%

Denver ----- : 62,913 in : 61,913 : 554 k : 000%

SanFranCA : 2,362 in : +1,362 : 732 k : 000%

Washtn DC : 0,433 in : - 0,567 : 552 k : 100%

SanJoseCR: 45,157 in : 44,157 : 335 k : 000%

Sant'g.Chile: 20,197 in : 19,197 : 4.8mn : 000%

Singapore- : 0,039 in : - 0,961 : 3.5mn : 100%

Tokyo, Jap : 0,591 in : - 0,409 : 8.3mn : 100%

Kowloon HK: 1,024 in : +0,024 : 2.0mn : 42 %

Kuala L. MY: 2,441 in : +1,441 : 1.4mn : 000%

Christch.NZ : 0,276 in : -0,724 : 364 k : 100%

 

The 83 foot rise in sealevel wipes out: London, NY, Boston Washington; plus: Tokyo, Singapore, Christchurch NZ, and half of Kowloon/HK. 100 foot waves have been seen in the oceans in recent years, so perhaps this is not so crazy. And the thread about Remote Viewer, Lyn Buchanan, may give some further credence to this risk, if you have any faith in RV techniques which puport to examine possible future timelines.

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I know people that travel to San Jose for work occasionally. Apparently the streets are so unsafe after dark that travel by taxi is mandatory. Everything I've heard about the city sounds absolutely hellish, violent and downright frightening. No doubt there is some beautiful coast and countryside, but that's insufficient compensation.

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And she has provided us with links describing the merits of the country and suggested that we take a look at them.

 

 

My big regret work-wise, many years ago. I was offered the CR long stay research trip...& didn't go :(

Very dodgy fauna (even worse than Oz) is one DEmerit.

How is your colloquial Spanish? - I like to mix it with the locals wherever I go.

 

My own preference, after a recent Caribbean trip, is for minor English speaking islands.

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My big regret work-wise, many years ago. I was offered the CR long stay research trip...& didn't go :(

Very dodgy fauna (even worse than Oz) is one DEmerit.

How is your colloquial Spanish? - I like to mix it with the locals wherever I go.

 

My own preference, after a recent Caribbean trip, is for minor English speaking islands.

Not far enough above sea level to suit my tastes.

 

Hong Kong actually fares - not so bad, provided you live on the peak or a higher elevation of Kowloon.

But if a flood knocks out the transport, you may survive a tsunami, but have no food in a city with many hungry survivors.

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There was a documentary on UK TV several years ago about a London family that went to build a house and live on a small island they bought there.

 

"Get A New Life": Costa Rica

 

It was horrific, their island was invaded by locals (who didn't agree with the island being sold to outsiders), they got kidnapped by drug dealers (managed to escape, but with quite bad burns), then the husband died (asthma)!

 

Turns out the wife (an ex porn star) had been scr**ing the builders etc and also quickly cosied up with the layer they were using.

 

This was not a made up story, but who knows the real truth of their experiences.

 

It’s probably a great place to live if you try to fit in.

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I know people that travel to San Jose for work occasionally. Apparently the streets are so unsafe after dark that travel by taxi is mandatory. Everything I've heard about the city sounds absolutely hellish, violent and downright frightening. No doubt there is some beautiful coast and countryside, but that's insufficient compensation.

You could say the same about Capetown, SA - a place I visit every year, and was in at the beginning of February.

 

Even with the problem of "safety at night" in much of the city, it could be a nice place to live. It might even be somewhere in my top 25 places, if I thought them through.

 

In fact, the photos above of San Jose do look a little like Capetown, but there is not Table Mountain, and no sea coast in the immediate vicinity.

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I've heard really good things about CR. There is a raw food guy who was building a sustainable community over there and also raved about it.

 

In Sovereign Man Simon has mentioned it several times. There was a link from his ezine to a video called "breaking free" which had stories of

people who moved to CR as a permanent lifestyle change. Fascinating. I agree with the idea of having alternative countries to flee to should

the need arise so CR sounds like a good back up to me.

 

Suggest you ask Simon his opinion about CR as he is a permanent traveller so very knowledgeable on benefits/downsides of any country.

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You could say the same about Capetown, SA - a place I visit every year, and was in at the beginning of February.

 

Even with the problem of "safety at night" in much of the city, it could be a nice place to live. It might even be somewhere in my top 25 places, if I thought them through.

 

In fact, the photos above of San Jose do look a little like Capetown, but there is not Table Mountain, and no sea coast in the immediate vicinity.

We were there some years back.

 

Lovely city and scenery (even saw the "table cloth", the weather event where the cloud sits on top of Table Mountain and looks like, well, a table cloth) but the poverty in the surrounding areas was horrendous. From first seeing it coming in from the airport, with the old guard towers where the soldiers used to keep watch then the >£1M flats by the harbours (with the nice little canals running through) the rich poor divide was really brought home. I felt bad.

 

The "Group 4 Armed Response" signs on nearly every walled and gated home was a bit worrying as well.

 

We visited some of the townships. I asked one of the locals why they didn't "rise up"! "What are we going to do", he said, "burn our shacks? then what"?

 

I couldn't answer.

 

Would you really like to live there? Give me Copenhagen any day. Safe - friendly - caring - and much more fair.

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According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), sea levels have been rising about 3 mm per year since 1993 totalling a 200 mm increase (7.87 inches) in global averaged sea level since 1870.

Sorry Dr B, but does WMO says the change has been a constant 3mm/year since 1870?

 

Just that you can't extrapolate a trend back to 1870 from data only collected since 1993.

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... >£1M flats by the harbours (with the nice little canals running through) the rich poor divide was really brought home. I felt bad.

The "Group 4 Armed Response" signs on nearly every walled and gated home was a bit worrying as well.

We visited some of the townships. I asked one of the locals why they didn't "rise up"! "What are we going to do", he said, "burn our shacks? then what"?

 

I couldn't answer.

 

Would you really like to live there? Give me Copenhagen any day. Safe - friendly - caring - and much more fair.

You want the answer?

Go watch a film called "Kingdom of Heaven", (

) and you may find the answer to why they should not "rise up", and how you can find a balanced life in such a place - it isn't by sitting in a "£1M flat by the harbour" eating doritos and drinking diet coke.

 

In the apocalyptic world we are headed into, I think you need to be in a country that grows most of its own food, is not too "complex", and is not too exposed to the floods and other "earth changes" that may continue to hit with increasing frequency.

 

Copenhagen is a lovely place, and Danish people are friendly and happy. But it is too close to sea level. Most of the country could find itself underwater if the flooding and tsunamis become bad enough.

 

As it happens, I spoke briefly with Gonzalo Lira about this last night, and he speaks highly of Santiago and its environs as a place to weather hard times. Perhaps I will move to CR or Chile and spend a year learning to speak Spanish. My partner is willing to make a visit, especially if we can go along with one of her oldest friends.

 

Sorry Dr B, but does WMO says the change has been a constant 3mm/year since 1870?

Just that you can't extrapolate a trend back to 1870 from data only collected since 1993.

Location--- : Elevation : Elev.later : Pop. : Homeless

========

Denver ----- : 62,913 in : 61,913 : 554 k : 000%

Washtn DC : 0,433 in : - 0,567 : 552 k : 100%

Copenhagen* 0,630 in :

SanJoseCR: 45,157 in : 44,157 : 335 k : 000%

Sant'g.Chile: 20,197 in : 19,197 : 4.8mn : 000%.

 

*I used nearby Tastrup, since Copenhagen was not in the database for some reason

= = =

 

There is too much evidence from psychics and other sources that the risks of rising water levels are real for me to ignore this in considering alternative places to live.

 

INGO SWAN : "2012 could be the year the Greenland icecap slips into the ocean"

 

Have you heard that the US has a back-up plan to move its seat of government from Washington to Denver? Why do you suppose they chose the "Mile High City" as the alternative?

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As it happens, I spoke briefly with Gonzalo Lira about this last night, and he speaks highly of Santiago and its environs as a place to weather hard times. Perhaps I will move to CR or Chile and spend a year learning to speak Spanish. My partner is willing to make a visit, especially if we can go along with one of her oldest friends.

What about Doug Casey's Argentinian Estanza de Bonanza, or whatever the name was? You wouldn't like that? At least on the web it looked really nice.

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The problem with moving a lot around is always friends and family. If it wasn't so far, I'd possibly consider Australia, or NZ, although in NZ I would only want to live far from volcanoes and in an absolutely quake proof house.

 

I like it very much where I live right now, and I think the place is very well positioned for gloomier times ahead (also far enough above sea level). A natural catastrophe would be truly a Black Swan here, as there are no known dangers really (as long as you stay far enough above the local river, of course). Well, the nuclear power plant is some 17 miles (27 km) away, but at least the wind hardly ever blows from that direction. <_<

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The problem with moving a lot around is always friends and family. If it wasn't so far, I'd possibly consider Australia, or NZ, although in NZ I would only want to live far from volcanoes and in an absolutely quake proof house.

 

I like it very much where I live right now, and I think the place is very well positioned for gloomier times ahead (also far enough above sea level). A natural catastrophe would be truly a Black Swan here, as there are no known dangers really (as long as you stay far enough above the local river, of course). Well, the nuclear power plant is some 17 miles (27 km) away, but at least the wind hardly ever blows from that direction. <_<

Actually Gonzalo wondered why I did not look closely at NZ, since it is so much closer to Hong Kong - And maybe I shall.

 

But as you say, it is also in the Ring of Fire, on the edge of a plate I believe and earthquakes are an issue.

 

Germany may be a good place. But a German friend of mine who lives in HK, said he thought it would be overrun by other Europeans when the water runs out in Spain and other countries to the south.

 

In fact, there is no perfectly safe place, and you have to live with some risks, wherever you are.

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I know Costa Rica well, in fact I was there about six months ago with my kids and we had one of the holidays of a lifetime.

 

Fantastic climate, amazing natural geography, stunning beaches, amazing rain forest, in fact I was watchig a volcano erupt and receiving texts about the Icelandic volcano at the same time. Bizarre.

 

It is highly Americanized. the US army isvery present. As are NASA (!). And there are a lot of Americans who go there to have their teeth whitened, for plastic surgery or to enjoy the pleasures of women young eneough to be the daughters (or grand daughters). Or all three.

 

As with all of central America it is highly dependent on the car.

 

property is expensive. In fact the country is not as cheap as its neighbours but quite a long chalk.

 

Sit on the beach and watch the global economy unravel online. Maybe. But there are a lot of very poor people there. At what point do they rise up and revolt against the very rich , both indiginous and from overseas who have come there to retire?

 

But anyone's life will be considerably better for two weeks in Costa Rica.

 

And while you there, you can take in a mine visit to Ascot ...

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Thanks for the comment. I recall you were there.

As with all of central America it is highly dependent on the car.

property is expensive. In fact the country is not as cheap as its neighbours but quite a long chalk.

I don't see any rail tracks on the city map, and I noticed that they import petroleum, so CR must share the US addiction to imported oil.

 

Our friend's friend has been thinking of buying land in the mountains and growing his own food, I believe.

The sort of neighbors he may have, and his relationship with them will be terribly important, I believe.

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If you own property in a region with a lot of poverty, it is very difficult to protect it if you're not there all year round and if you're not in a gated community (but even then). Essentially, you need someone full time on the property, or most of your belongings might be gone next time you come back. In the 1980s, this was still a problem even in places like the Canary Islands. Has changed a lot since then.

 

I might want to add that this problem is worse for a farm, since you have to take care of all the crops and animals etc. Again, you'd need staff, and you'd need good staff.

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You want the answer?

Go watch a film called "Kingdom of Heaven", (

) and you may find the answer to why they should not "rise up", and how you can find a balanced life in such a place - it isn't by sitting in a "£1M flat by the harbour" eating doritos and drinking diet coke.

Do you have any more info on the film? I would like to watch that, assuming it's not the one about the crusades that keeps coming up.

 

In the apocalyptic world we are headed into, I think you need to be in a country that grows most of its own food, is not too "complex", and is not too exposed to the floods and other "earth changes" that may continue to hit with increasing frequency.

 

If you really believe this, (the apocalyptic bit) then that explains quite a few of your posts that have previously had me scratching my head.

 

There is too much evidence from psychics and other sources that the risks of rising water levels are real for me to ignore this in considering alternative places to live.

 

Ah, I think I have found the problem, It's physics that you should be reading, not psychics :P

 

Have you heard that the US has a back-up plan to move its seat of government from Washington to Denver? Why do you suppose they chose the "Mile High City" as the alternative?

 

Of course, even physics predicts a rise in sea level in the future. Although, even the worst case scenario only predicts a rise of ~40cm over your lifetime (assuming you are middle aged now) and Holland (for example) has been living well below sea level for 100s of years. I agree that the knock on effects could be significant though.

 

I suppose it depends on how long you are planning to live somewhere, and quickly you could move if you had to. The effects of sea level rise will give plenty of warning. The old “catastrophic climate change” (CCC) theories – where major changes happen in a very small time frame - have been superseded as more detailed studies and better understanding has emerged over the years.

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As with all of central America it is highly dependent on the car.

True that.

But I suppose it is unfair to compare CR with London or Hong Kong, which both have world beating transport...

 

The 5 Best Mass Transit Systems in the World

(let's consider what makes them so):

5. Chicago

The huge Chicago Transit Authority covers the Windy City as well as 40 suburbs and operates 24 hours a day, moving 1.6 Million people daily. With over 144 stations for the elevated train, not much of the city is out of range for the famed "el." There are even commuter rail spurs that go as far away as South Bend, Indiana. Nice.

 

4. Paris

The Paris Metro boasts being both the second-most heavily trafficked subway system in the world, carrying 4.5 Million people every day, and having more stations closer to one another than any other system – 245 stations in 41 square kilometers. You might want to bring a book to escape from the sardine can.

 

3. London

London, which features the oldest subway system in the world, moves 3.4 million people every day on the tube alone, but that's only part of the story. Transport for London, the comprehensive system administered from the mayor's office, operates light and commuter rail and buses, and offers comprehensive trip and traffic information in real-time on their website.Traveling on the tube is not a particularly pleasant experience, but is by far the most efficient way to get round.

 

2. New York

One in every three mass transit users in the entire United States, uses the New York system or if you like, 4.5 Million people a day. They're so effective as a matter of fact, that New York is the only city in the U.S. where more than half of the households don't own a car. Up to 75% of the population of Manhattan is without four-wheeled transport. Now that’s a statistic to beat.

 

1. Hong Kong

For sheer volume, Hong Kong is the most effective system in the world: 90% of all traveling is done by mass transit. The 7 million daily riders have access to something known as an "octopus card" which is accepted as currency not just to move them around the city, but also at parking meters, convenience stores, and fast-food restaurants. Looking towards the future, shouldn’t all cities be copying this system?

 

/source: http://www.environmentalgraffiti.com/green-living/free-ride-the-five-best-mass-transit-systems-worldwide/1095?image=1

 

I have lived in 4 out of 5 of these cities (missing only Paris, and realise that it would be unrealistio to expect a third world country to come anywhee near to them. Of the 5, Chicago is most secure from Coastal flooding, being inland, and at a xx inches above sea level. Chicago is near agricultural areas, too. But the US is exposed to some tough economic, financial and political challenges in the years ahead. The coutry may need to "tax the spots off" its citizens to try to reach some sort of sustainable balance.

 

 

A law has even been proposed that will stop citizens of the USA growing their own food as to do so will be a crime.

Congrats to the small town of Sedgwick, Maine for ascerting itself.

Talk of laws like that is the sort of nonsense that is keeping me from seriously considering a move back to the USA.

Maybe I should wait for it to split into 5 pieces (as Edgar Cayce predicted), and then chose a part that speaks some sense - if they will have me. (?!)

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Costa Rica does have a plan to reduce its reliance on oil - but you have to wonder how realistic it is...

 

Costa Rica: Setting the Pace for Reducing Global Warming Pollution and Phasing Out Oil

 

President Arias has declared a goal of making Costa Rica the world’s first carbon neutral country, reducing net global warming emissions to zero.

 

Offsetting current emissions through forest conservation and reforestation programs can help the country get there, but Costa Rica has the potential to do even more. Costa Rica is already a world leader in renewable energy use and tropical forest conservation, but the transport sector is entirely dependent on oil. By increasing investment in domestic renewable energy production and demand reduction strategies, Costa Rica could be the first fossil fuel–free country in the world.

 

The time to act is now: Costa Rica should capitalize on the investor interest in clean technology and maximize the potential for rural development and jobs in new industries. NRDC recommends a suite of four key strategies that will help pave the way for Costa Rica to become a global pioneer in solving one of the biggest—and most urgent—challenges the world’s citizens face today.

== ==

 

Four key strategies for reducing global warming pollution in Costa Rica -

By investing in sustainable domestic energy strategies, Costa Rica can meet its energy needs without fossil fuels—diverting US$1 billion annually in oil imports for investment in domestic renewable resources—and reduce global warming pollution. NRDC recommends four strategies:

1/ Increase eficiency in production and use of energy

2/ Encourage sustainable production of biomass for electricity and transportation fuels

3/ Increase the eficiency and use of public transportation

4/ Raise the average fuel economy and adopt cleaner vehicles

 

DETAIL -#4: Increasing the efficiency and use of public transport :

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The transport sector is responsible for 25 percent of global warming pollution worldwide—and signiicant air pollution that threatens the health of urban residents in city centers such as San Jose in the Central Valley of Costa Rica. A mass transit plan for Costa Rica’s Central Valley, similar to the system in Bogota, Colombia, could displace millions of gallons of oil per year while providing safer, faster, and more convenient transport. And if new, eficient public transport programs, such as express busways and electric buses, partially replaced current private transport, Costa Rica could qualify for Clean Development Mechanism financing for this strategy

 

interview, november 24, 2006 : www.nrdc.org/policy

SOURCE: http://www.laparios.com/images/articles/pdfs/global_warming_climate_facts.pdf

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So that's it: More efficient buses ?? No talk of densification, or light rail.

But at least they have been thinking about the problem of their oil addiction.

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So that's it: More efficient buses ?? No talk of densification, or light rail.

I spoke too soon, relying on a 2006 report

 

Here's something newer... (2009 report with a 2013 target date)

 

Costa Rica to launch tender for TREM project

 

The Transport and Public Works Ministry of Costa Rica has introduced its metropolitan electric tram rail concession tender draft.

 

The tender, which will be launched by the end of October, will grant the operator rights to operate three routes connecting San José to Heredia province, San Pedro and Sabana Sur. The bids are due in February or March 2010. The successful bidder will construct, operate and maintain the commuter train services for 35 years.

 

The project involves the construction of a double track railway line and the supply of around 18 four-car trains capable of transporting 340 passengers each. Pre-feasibility studies carried out by Brazil-based firm Engevix indicate that the total cost of the project is around USD345 million. The state will contribute USD100 million towards the reconstruction of the line from Heredia and Montes de Oca and Sabana Sur, while the winning bidder will put in the balance.

 

train-map.jpeg

map source: http://www.top10costarica.com/san-jose-city/san-jose-train/

 

("The Tren Urbano began service between Ulatina and Pavas in October 2005./ Blue Line.

Daily thousands of commuters use the train service to get to and from work.")

 

The initial 10 km section connecting Hospital de Heredia with Ferrocarril al Atlántico station in San José is expected to start operations in 2013. Phases 2 and 3 linking Atlántico — San Pedro de Montes de Oca and Atlántico — Ferrocarril al Pacífico station

— Sabana Sur will follow a year later.

 

Eleven international companies have expressed interest in the project including Alstom, CAF, Siemens, Bombardier and a South Korean consortium of Daebon Engineering and Hyundai Rotem.

 

/source: GlobaMassTransitReport-November2009

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