Deep stuff here on the Sustainable Cities blog.
It reminds me of the excellent diaries by ex-Talking Head David Byrne. He travels the globe taking a wee bike with him. He explains how you experience places differently - often better - on two wheels.
Certainly when I compare my current walk-train-bike commute with a previous all-car journey the differences are startling. You do feel more connected to what's around you, you'll see things you didn't notice before, bump into people you haven't met for ages and arrive at your destination healthier and happier.