Searching World Streets – An open library and toolkit at your fingertips

magnifying glassFew things are more frustrating in this needful world than to see useful ideas and hard work ending up anonymously on some distant dusty shelf, real or virtual, and not be accessible to people and groups who could put them to good work,  especially at a time of crisis as that we are living through right now. This was one of the challenges we faced at  World Streets  from the very beginning. How to keep all these good ideas and useful tools alive and available beyond the day on which they were first published  and made known  to the world.

Continue reading

Selected issues defining carsharing in your country

FB xcars 28oct13In the context of the ongoing World Carshare 2014 program, we have been asked by several considering authors to provide some context and perhaps indicate some issues or questions concerning matters that our readers might be interested to know more about in order to better understand the evolution of carsharing in their country.

Continue reading

A New Moment for Carsharing in the Netherlands

Over the last decade carsharing has increasingly proven itself to be an effective mobility option in cities around the world, serving for well more than 1000 cities on all continents. A key element of an integrated mobility strategy for people and for cities, it is a thrifty transport mode and largely self-financing.

netherlands carshare green wheelsPeople choose to carshare not because they are obliged to, but because it offers a choice. They do it because they see it as a better, more economical way to get around for a portion of their trips. Properly positioned it has been shown that carsharing can offer significant potential for energy savings, pollution reduction, space savings on the street, and reduced requirement for expensive public investments in infrastructure to support cars and/or conventional public transport. However in the last several years the sector has begun to change in some unexpected ways.

Continue reading

Fair Mobility: Make no small gestures

On fairness in the domain of transportation

The upper and lower limit of government intervention

- Karel Martens

A different perspective: Concerns about the environment have long been seen as a trigger for a transition in transportation planning and policy across the world. While certainly steps in the right direction have been made, so far little fundamental change can be discerned in the policies of most (national) governments.

My claim is that real transition in the domain of transportation, and thus ultimately in the way we travel, can only come about if we recognize that mobility is a prerequisite for full participation in society – and that government policies have to guarantee, as much as reasonably possible, that all can partake in society.
Continue reading

Is World Streets doing its job? We asked 100 experts for their views – - and 101 responded.

World Streets needs to catch on before my feet get wet.
- Dirk van Dijl, Netherlands

1827 calendar days have passed since World Streets opened its stacks for consultation on 31 March 2009.  Ad the results are there for all to see and judge: 1,196 original articles, 128 contributors, 1,365 photographs, maps, drawings and illustrations, 5443 registered readers, from some 149 different countries, and on an average day anywhere from 150 to 250 visitors click in (best ever: 2002).   But is what we are doing useful and worthy of support? We asked 100 expert readers for their views  – and 101 of them picked up their pens and responded. Continue reading

Reading World Streets in Translation

Have you ever had the opportunity to meet someone who has a lot to say about translation globe - ineedtranslationsthings that interest you very much, but who does not particularly well master your best language. What happens? Well, it depends on your personality type. Many people, perhaps most of us, would probably find it just too uncomfortable to try a real conversation, so after a bit of time either move respectfully into a mutual silence or venture to make a simple point from time to time on the grounds that this is about the best you can do.

Continue reading

Support World Streets and the New Mobility Agenda

World Streets is an open collaborative public interest program. We are entirely dependent on the support of contributors, authors, readers, subscribers and others who share our deep concerns about sustainable transportation, sustainable development and social justice. Subscription is free for all, and as a matter policy we do not accept advertising. We count on your counsel and support to be able to continue to do our part in 2014 and beyond.

Continue reading

Victoria Transport Policy Institute. Spring 2014 Newsletter

This carefully compiled seasonal report from Todd Litman of the Victoria Transport Policy Institute is a fine tool and up to date source guide for researchers and policy makers worldwide. We are pleased to present it in its entirety here, together with references you will find handy to take these entries further. Thanks for your continuing fine work Todd.

canada vicgtoria ped crossing in rainPedestrian crossing in Victoria  Continue reading

State of World Streets: 2009-2014

Today marks the fifth anniversary edition of World Streets. Our first number ws-newsstandappeared on 31 March 2009 with an opening message by the editor — click here – announcing the targets, intent and proposed method of this new collaborative media venture. On the same day we published our Mission Statement — Say Goodbye to Old Mobility —  which you can read here. Today we would like to spend a few minutes with you to review  the accomplishments and, yes!,  the shortcomings and disappointments  of these first five years.  And then go on to look out to our hopes and intentions for the rest of this decade. Continue reading

Short report on carsharing in Amsterdam (From Going Dutch/Carshare Strategies project)

This is short report was submitted by the participants of the city of Amsterdam carshare-onlyin the 20 February 2014 workshop in the Utrecht for the project Going Dutch: Carshare Strategies for Cities being carried out by the KpVV (think tank of the Dutch ministry of transport) in cooperation with EcoPlan.  The latest draft report on that meeting and the recommendations of those present from a cross-section of Dutch cities and agencies is available in our project library at http://goo.gl/clWKnD. Your comment and suggestions are most welcome.

Continue reading

2014: The Battle of Ideas

Challenging year ahead. Here are the main program areas to which we intend to give attention over the complex systems networkcourse of the year ahead. All of these are complex system challenges and require patient attention and mental flexibility if we are to find the best way to proceed in each case. And in each case it is not enough to be right in terms of the basic principles — it is every bit as important to be able to communicate them and to convince the public, government and other key actors that these ideas and approaches are worth getting behind. Nobody ever said that the move to sustainable transport and sustainable cities was going to be simple.

Continue reading

Signals, Perceptions, Behaviour: Questions, Blurs & Clues

In transportation circles, most often in Europe and North America but not uniquely there, we often brain2hear the term “behavior modification”, which is usually brandished as something that somebody else has to learn to do and cope with. More often than not this matter of behavior modification crops up when it comes to  considering how, when and where people drive cars. But we can also hear about it with reference to pedestrians, cyclists and other drivers and street denizens. And as we can see from the results, this matter of behavior and modification turns out to be quite a challenge. We are opening up the pages of World Streets and others of our projects and work to these discussions over the course of 2014.

- – - > Click here for more  on behavior and choice from World Streets

Continue reading

Rural carshare project – A thinking exercise & Invitation for comment

rural carshare cowWe keep reading and are repeatedly informed that for carsharing to work there must be good public transport, cycling and other mobility arrangements as indispensable complements. In other words, for carsharing to work you have to be not only in a city, but in a certain kind of city. This position has been an article of faith for many carshare observers for more than a decade, and while there is a certain logic to it, upon inspection it turns out  there is a lot more to successful carsharing than that.

Continue reading

Editorial: No FPT without SCR (Systematic Car Reductions)

This is a simple fact! Free Public Transport (FPT) has no possible justification whatsoever unless your governing officials are willing to do something about adjusting the other half of the modal mix to bring down car ownership and use in the city strategically and as quickly as possible . . . SCR – Systematic Car Reductions.

canada-vancouver-road closed - smaller

The tools for achieving these necessary adjustments in the modal split are well known, experience-proven and widely used in cities of all sizes in many parts of the world. There is no possible justification that competent public authorities not be aware of these proven tools and policies. They include most notably: Continue reading

Broadening the market for carshare?

Results of pilot project in the Netherlands

This paper describes a pilot project consisting of a substantial increase in the number of carshare vehicles in a neighborhood in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. The goal was to explore, first, the impact on the demand for carshare services and, second, the impact on the socio-economic composition of netherlands greenwheels imagethe new carshare members. The results show a substantial increase in the number of carshare members, but little proof for the diversification hypothesis. While households interested in carshare membership had a different socio-economic profile from existing carshare members, the households that eventually became carshare members more closely resembled the existing members.

Continue reading

Letter from Stockholm: Public Transport is a Common Good

World Streets welcomes discussion of fare free sweden planka nu fair jumpingpublic transport because we believe that it is important to listen to alternative views from different organizations and countries in order to arrive at wise public policy. This contribution comes from one of the most active international groups pushing zero fair public transport, Planka.nu in Sweden.

Continue reading

Bike sharing project at Makerere University Kampala, Uganda

World Streets and the New Mobility Agenda are strong and consistent supporters of bike sharing projects created in university settings, particularly uganda makerere universitywhen planned and implemented on the basis of collaboration with students and faculty. We have reported on the excellent bike sharing project at Taiwan National University, and today we are pleased to share with you information just in from the Bike Sharing Project at Makerere University in Kampala Uganda. Projects like this not only improve mobility and environment for all within the target area, but also serve to prepare future leaders.

Continue reading

Inside world: 2014 Haiku Sustainability Slam

Sustainability is not a four letter word

(but maybe it should be)

japen statue BashoThe second annual Haiku Sustainability Slam is being organized by World Streets and its friends as an ecumenical  pagan celebration to the coming Rite of Spring, in part inspired by  the exhilarating  French annual speak-out program The Springtime of Poets (Le printemps des poètes) opens this year  on the 23rd of March.  A few words of background to set the stage for what we hope will be your own valiant poeticizing efforts.

lend me your arms
fast as thunderbolts
for a pillow on my journey

Continue reading

Will the real cost of car ownership kindly stand up

Carsharing changes our relationship with the cars we owned and loved and hated over much of the century just behind us. And one of the points we hear from proponents again and again is that carsharing offers substantial savings, because the cost of owning a car has become much higher than in the past. Surely the cost of car ownership in the 21st century —  and all that goes with it including direct and indirect costs, among them depreciation, insurance, petrol, maintenance, parking, etc.,  — is no light burden. But how expensive is it really? In this article, carsharing expert Dave Brook digs into the numbers and reflects on the true cost of ownership for most car owners in the United States.

canada cost car ownership

Continue reading

Carsharing in Germany: 2014 Perspectives

Germany is among the world leaders when it comes to the development of germany carsharing parking signcarsharing, as the following figures and graphics clearly illustrate. One of the primary reasons for this success has been the existence of strong networks and relationships between the cities and carshare operators over the last decade and more. And in this process the Bundesverband CarSharing e.V. (bcs) — the industry association of the traditional car sharing organisations in Germany – has played an important role. Let us have a look at their summary information on the situation in 2014, as well as in the preceding 17 years which have shown steady development and strong growth.

Continue reading

This Week on World Streets: Weekly Digest, 10 March 2014

World Streets: The Politics of Transport in Cities

ws-newsstandEach week  subscribers to World Streets – presently numbering 5,407 from 149 countries on all continents – received a single mailing in the form of a weekly digest which briefly resumes all of the activity of the preceding week. Below you will find a listing of the articles published over the period 3-10 March 2014, during which we were hard at work on a series of carsharing projects.  In a world of information overload, this is a handy way to keep up on what is going on at the leading edge of the new Mobility Agenda..

– - > * Click  here for your free subscription.

Continue reading

Van autobezit naar autogebruik (Going Dutch, in Dutch)

netherlands witkar smallIf you are interested in carsharing, if you understand that public policy has an important role to play . . . and if you read Dutch, then Van autobezit naar autogebruik (“From car ownership to car use”) on LinkedIn at http://goo.gl/VEPRMG is for you.

The project is being carried out  under the leadership of the KpVV:  (Kennisplatform Verkeer en Vervoer –Knowledge Platform for Mobility and Transport).  The KpVV supports local and regional authorities in their efforts to develop and implement mobility and transport policy by providing practical know-how, developing reports and guidelines, arranging meetings, and setting up networks. For more: http://www.kpvv.nl

Continue reading

XCars and Carsharing on World Streets: 2009 – 2014

xCARS: NEW WAYS OF OWNING AND USING CARS IN  21ST CENTURY.

The 2014 work program focuses on carsharing, but not limited to this one new form of car use.  Coverage of different main forms: Traditional, One-way,  P2P and private.  Carsharing by its various names and different forms is one of the fastest-growing new ways of getting around in cities and outlying areas for day-to-day travel. Over the last decade it has increasingly proven itself to be an effective mobility option, serving thousands of cities on all continents.

carshare invis1ble parked car

*  Click here to go to archives covering period 2009 – 2014 *

Continue reading

World Carshare 2014: Policy/Strategies Program for Local Government

Carsharing has a brilliant, in many ways surprising and certainly very different future — a future which is already well in process. Carsharing is one of the fastest growing new mobility modes, with until now almost all services occurring in the high income countries. But it is by and large new, unfamiliar and does not fit well with the more traditional planning and policy structures at the level of the city. This is a problem. And addressing this problem is the goal of this cycle of reports and events in the year ahead.

CS -mindmap-horiz-20feb13

Continue reading

To fix Sustainable Transport: Ensure Full Gender Parity in all Decision and Investment Fora (QED)

Today is International Women’s Day. And not only that, 2011 marked the one hundredth anniversary of this great and necessary idea. So what better occasion for World Streets to announce publicly, loudly and yet once again our firm belief that the most important single thing that our society, our nations and our cities could do to increase the fairness and the effectiveness of our transportation arrangements would be to make it a matter of the law that all decisions determining how taxpayer money is invested in the sector should be decided by councils that respect full gender parity. We invite you to join us in this challenge and make it one of the major themes of sustainable transport policy worldwide in the year immediately ahead.

Continue reading