This for your weekend viewing pleasure just in from Clarence Eckerson, Streetfilms, NYC:
When I first got started making NYC bike advocacy and car-free streets videos back in the late-1990s on cable TV, I didn’t know who William “Holly” Whyte was or just how much influence his work and research had on New York City. A few years later I met Fred and Ethan Kent at Project for Public Spaces. I got a copy of Whyte’s 1980 classic, The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces, which in its marvelously-written, straightforward style is the one book all burgeoning urbanists should start with.
Recently, I read it again. With all the developments in video technology since his day, I wondered: How might Whyte capture information and present his research in a world which is now more attuned to the importance of public space? What would he appreciate? Are his words still valid?
So I excerpted some of my favorite passages from the book and tried to match it up with modern footage I’ve shot from all over the world while making Streetfilms. I hope he would feel honored and that it helps his research find a new audience.
This is the first in a series of four short films prepared by a faculty team from the Centre for Transport and Society at the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol). The four podcasts pose some interesting questions and give an insightful appraisal of what influences travel habits, delivered by nationally leading experts in the field of transport research: Professor Glenn Lyons, Dr Steve Melia, Professor Graham Parkhurst and Professor John Parkin. Today’s film is presented by Steve Melia and looks into some surprising questions from Steve’s forthcoming book ‘Urban Transport Without the Hot Air’. All four films can be viewed on the UWE Bristol web pages.
One of World Streets most consistent, persistent policy objectives is our long-term and firmly held recommendation that not only (a) should our transportation systems be designed to offer as the highest priority full and fair service for women of all ages and stations of life, but also that (b) the decision process must be structured so as involve something approaching a full quorum of female leaders and participants. For more on that we invite you to click here for World streets coverage of these issues since 2009, and for more on the Gender, Equity & Transport Forum 2.0 go here – http://gatnet.wordpress.com.
The following article on the status and role of women in transport in Uganda has been sent to us by the Civil Society Coalition on Transport (CICOT) in Uganda.
Back in March of 2001 a reporter from Grist Magazine got in touch with Eric Britton of EcoPlan’s long-standing World Car Free Day program for an interview concerning progress in the run-up for the first Earth Car Free Day, being jointly organized at the time in partnership with the Earth Day Network for a 19 April 2001 blast-off. The interview eventually morphed into a week-long series of articles and reflections on various aspects (real and imagined) of the Car Free Day push which you will find below. (For original articles click to Grist at http://grist.org/article/britton-earthcarfree/full/).
Celebrating Bandung’s Car Free Day. Known as “We shot Bandung” Credit: Ikhlasyl Amal.
At a terrible time in the history of mankind, I propose to you this photograph as a message of hope and a silent clue to a better, sweeter future for all. . . agreeing as I do with the poet Louis Aragon when he wrote so long ago: “La femme est l’avenir de l’homme” (“Woman is the Future of Mankind”).
What about this? Let’s get together, you and, I to see what we can do about making this the universal theme of World Car Free Day this year . . . in as many cities and countries around the world as we can. One city at a time.
World Streets readers will certainly want to stay on top of this project of the city of Helsinki to come up with what we call a “better than car transportation system”. The excerpts just below taken from an article published in the Guardian yesterday will lead you to the full piece. There is a mild irony to the extent to which the “technological core” of the project has to do with the mobility arrangements which have been receiving steady, and happily increasing, attention since the mid-1960s, namely DRT or Dial-a-Ride. The massive change elements which fundamentally transform and scale up the basic DRT of long past operational system is a combination of close to universal mobile phones, abounding apps, and Big Data. That plus a good dose of public entrepreneurship and outreach changes everything. We invite you to have a look and to share your thoughts with us about this intriguing real world adventure.
Glen Lyon of the University of the West of England draws our attention to a recent expert event in Britain looking critically at the evidence and debates surrounding ‘peak car’. The article to which he draws our attention provides a detailed written account of a roundtable discussion on the topic which took place in London on 20 May 2014. Much needed, it is now available at: http://eprints.uwe.ac.uk/23277/. A summary follows.
The editor of World Streets was invited by the organizers of the 2014 MobiPrize for Enterprising Cities/States to make a nomination for an international award in recognition for cities that have demonstrated active efforts to build a culture of innovation and encourage entrepreneurship in sustainable transportation through enabling policy changes, capacity building, data sharing, funding and other resource allocation efforts. We nominated the City of Paris for the award, concentrating on innovative world level services and innovations which involve extensive and continuing public/private partnerships.
Our draft nominating message appears here. We welcome comments, corrections and suggestions for improvement or extension.
In transportation circles, most often in Europe and North America but not uniquely there, we often hear 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 the behavior (and the modification thereof) of pedestrians, cyclists, commuters 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 HEREfor more on behavior and choice from World Streets
The construction of a well-defined, broadly accepted agenda for New Mobility until the present time has been sadly lacking. But what we and a numb er of our international colleagues have managed to develop over the last two decades is a certain number of agreed basic principles spanning many different areas and kinds of operational situations, but somehow until now we have failed to put them all together into a well-defined, convincing operational and policy package. We think of this as the move toward a new paradigm for transport in cities – and it all starts with . . . slowing down.
Today I would like to extract and comment on some of the graphics and thoughts developed by our colleague Carlosfelipe Pardo in a presentation which he entitled “The psychology of urban mobility”. I have extracted from his presentation three sets of images which I would now like to present you and comment briefly. (For the full original presentation please click here.)
Delhi’s mindless traffic causing breakups since Papu learnt how to drive. The BIG WHITE elephant in the city. Oho! Not Papu, the traffic silly. The unnecessary evil. I genuinely believe that Delhiiets fortunately or unfortunately spend at least 50% of their waking hours in the car listening to Radio Mirchi, while simultaneously banging their heads on the steering wheel, texting, taking Instagram worthy shots, and not to mention swearing once in a while.
The Ring Road’s total length is 48km and is a six-lane carriageway. This was designed to carry about 75,000 vehicles a day. But the road carries 1.6 lakh vehicles per day and is expected to carry about 4 lakh vehicles by 2016!
Since we are tackling in these three days a topic of such complexity and overarching importance that it is eluding the world’s best and brightest statesmen, scholars, scientists, governments, international organizations, great corporations, NGOs, the media, civil society, and caring citizens, the least we can do is to make sure that we get our basic organization in shape so as to take best advantage of our short time together.
For the last several years the internationally fabled Worst Practices Department has taken its place of honor in World Streets and the world more generally, because when it comes to transportation there has never been a shortage of flakey ideas.
This year we shall for the first time be handing out handsome Awards in a planet- spanning ceremony that will be the object of an open virtual conference (details to follow) perhaps on the same day that the Sustainable Transport Awards for 2014 are announced in parallel with the annual TRB conference. The keen-eyed, unafraid WSWPD program Dear Leader will of course figure prominently on the trophies. (Details to follow shortly.)
But what we are looking to draw attention to here are not just the little stuff that may be the joy of an intrepid inventor with blinders on or group of gung-ho supporters fearlessly attached to some favorite notion, but the kinds of wrong-headed mega projects that often keep popping up in many parts of the world, sold hard by their sponsors and (if I may) fellow travelers -;)
Before your blood pressure start to go off the chart dear colleague, have a careful look at what Dr. Aaron Carroll, also known as the Incidental Economist, has to say on what may appear to be a counterintuitive approach to our favorite topic (or at least one of them) speed and safety.
- Indian Institute of Technology Delhi. New Delhi. 22 June 2014
In response to your invitation to comment on the possible new launching of the Streets of India 2.0:
1. I think you should [continue on this] because a lot of people seem to get information from such sources.
2. Many expats out of India and other well wishers want to help their “unfortunate brothers and sisters” living here in a “corrupt inefficient land” They want us to get our act together and reproduce an America or Europe in India. I guess that’s not going to happen.
In order to help the reader find appropriate articles and references on identified important themes from our commodious library of postings and comments, World Streets offers a handful of Search Engines of different types. One of these that you will see to your immediate right here, allows the reader to search according to various keyed topic areas, of which approximately one hundred have been identified thus far. One of the more consulted of these categories is that of “governance”.
A few weeks ago four of our friends lost their lives in a horrific car crash on the road to Jaisalmer. A few weeks later another three were victims of a motorcycle crash in our neighboring institution, the Jawaharlal Nehru University. These events have prompted deep introspection on our campus and some of us met last week to discuss what we can do to do move toward safer roads and traffic management in India.
Maxime Jean writes: When I started dealing with car sharing 20 years ago, we were talking of a “missing link”. Today the situation has changed and car sharing has begun to play its part among the sustainable modes of transport. Let me briefly introduce the current situation, the development factors and some suggestions to overcome the brakes, the role of electric vehicles in car sharing and some elements concerning the prospective. I present this overview in the form of a PowerPoint presentation made to the European Conference on Mobility Management held in Florence from 7th to 9th of May 2014.
We are inviting comments and background information on this our central concept behind this project, i.e., what is this thing we call transportation equity all about? We are looking for a variety of views and perspectives on our topic and not some kind of warm and glass-eyed unanimity. If we cannot handle contradictions and fuzziness, then we are not about to make headway on a challenge of this level of complexity. The following valuable contribution and bibliography comes in from Todd Litman, executive director of the Victoria Transport Policy Institute in Victoria Canada.
And this is the ONLY way to get this important job done! We need a hammer . . . not a paint brush. This leadership function cannot be passively sub-contracted to the other sex (at least not in the first years of necessary transition and true accomplishment). Full gender parity and get on with the game. No excuses or temporizing.
World Streets and the New Mobility Agenda have since 1988 been vigorous proponents of full gender parity in all planning and decision counsel. In this section you will find a number of the articles that we have published arguing in favor of gender parity in recent years.
Think you might wish to participate in a short collaborative survey in which we trying to improve our understanding of the relationship between carshare suppliers and local government in a cross-section of countries and environments? We are hoping to cover cities of a range of sizes, including both high performers and those as yet without much of a strategy. It will be important to cover both ends of the spectrum.
You will find a PDF of the one page survey – – > here. (In MS Word – – > here.)
In the day before the opening of the World Cup in Brazil, where traffic chaos is expected to be the rule of the day (missed opportunities there?) this is a video transcript of a 20 November 2013 interview with Bolivar Torres, Brazilian journalist with O Globo, a leading Brazilian newspaper. His topic: Notably unsustainable transportation and trends in Brazilian cities — seen from an international perspective. What to do? How to move from today’s failing and inconsistent ad hoc Old Mobility policies which are not getting at the roots of the problems? Perhaps toward a New Mobility Agenda? And what if anything could have been introduced in time to improve traffic and life quality conditions for all during the coming World Cup and Olympics?