About us

Keep up to date with all the latest news and views from UDS

Summed up in nine words

23th November 2011

By Rob Cowan

Urban Design Group director Robert Huxford once said to me: ‘I have spent four years studying the law and practice of highway risk. Would you like me to tell you my conclusions?’ I have great respect for Huxford’s wisdom, but it sounded as though it would be a long session. ‘Yes,’ I said, ‘but not just know.’ He told me: ‘I can do it in nine words.’

Now I was interested. I like compressed sense. I like the Nobel-prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman’s summary of physics in a single sentence: ‘All things are made of atoms – little particles that that move around in perpetual motion, attracting each other when they are a little distance apart, but repelling upon being squeezed into one another.’ So I thought I would hear Huxford out. ‘Nine words?’ I said. ‘Tell me.’

And he did. ‘Never make a place appear safer than it is.’

If you took a three-year course in highway risk, at least half of the syllabus would be covered by those nine words. The man's a genius.  

« back Post a comment

comments

post a comment