Departmental Papers (ESE)


From the introductory paragraphs:

"If we observe a herd of sheep who want to pass through a gate to a green pasture, we see them pushing so hard that they get stuck at the gate and pass through it only very torturously and with great delay. It is obvious that if they would not push, but pass one or two at a time, the sheep would get through the gate much faster and more easily. The problem is, we conclude, that the sheep are animals with a rather low level of intelligence. If a creature from Outer Space observes one of our cities from a Spaceship ("flying saucer") on a weekday morning, he will certainly come to conclusions about the behavior of humans in traffic very similar to those we reached about the sheep. The observer from Space would be surprised that the humans, who build beautiful buildings, excellent vehicles and have tools for sophisticated controls, do not manage their cities and their travel as an intelligent system. Traffic in streets mostly consists of individuals driving vehicles for their own immediate benefit. The control that could make the entire system work much more efficiently virtually does not exist. Operation of the transportation system is not much better than what the sheep would arrange. Analyzing our policies and practices in urban transportation, one can easily discover a number of irrational situations which prevent urban transport from efficient functioning."

Document Type

Conference Paper

Date of this Version


Publication Source

Proceedings of 2nd Mastro e Convegno lnternazionale per la Gestione Coordinata della Città



Date Posted: 16 May 2017