In 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.
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.
People 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.
This is short report was submitted by the participants of the city of Amsterdam in 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.
Challenging year ahead. Here are the main program areas to which we intend to give attention over the course 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.
If 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
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.
* Click here to go to archives covering period 2009 – 2014 *
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.
Phase 1 Report & Work Program for 2014
A Public Enquiry by Think City & EcoPlan International
Eric Britton, 21 November 2013
Carsharing is most unevenly distributed over the world map. There are great extremes, running from countries like Switzerland in which it is universally known and widely practiced, to the situation of most countries on the planet where even the word is not much known. For this reason our 2013 country profiles have to be ingenious and flexible, one size will not fit all, if we are to give our readers a feel for the full range of practices and issues. Let’s have a look, starting with some “carshare basics”.
Make it happen:
As you can well imagine, there is quite a bit of work that goes into a worldwide collaborative program at this level of ambition. And to achieve the level of results that this important policy topic deserves we need help. This can take any of several forms and that is where you come in:
This contribution by Susan Shaheen and Adam Cohen in which they pick out and analyze some of the main trends and eventual future prospects of the carshare “industry” in North America is the second country report in this World Streets 2013/14 series updating our readers on the latest developments internationally in this fast-moving, fast-developing field of new ways of owning and using cars. To access all the reports in this series thus far, you are invited to click to http://worldstreets.wordpress.com/category/carshare/
We have no money gentlemen, so we shall have to think.
– Ernest Rutherford, on taking over Cavendish Laboratory in 1919
World Streets is an independent public interest publication of the New Mobility Agenda made freely available to all who are looking to understand, support, and contribute to the sustainability agenda anywhere in the world. We firmly believe that there should be no barriers, and especially not commercial ones, to the free circulation of ideas, news, tools and peer exchanges when it comes to the important issues of sustainable development and social justice. To ensure our full independence we do not accept advertising. We depend on the support of our readers, concerned public agencies, foundations and actors in the private sector to keep going.
Dear World Streets Reader.
This is the first of three short letters I intend to send in the coming days to the 3,865 readers of World Streets who have signed in from a total of 149 different countries. It outlines our invitation for collaboration and cooperation in different cities and different parts of the world, aiming to advance the agenda for sustainable transport, sustainable cities and sustainable lives. Continue reading
New Mobility Consult is the advisory and consulting arm of World Streets and the New Mobility Agenda, its world-wide network of international partners, publications, programs, social media and focus groups. This open collaborative program has been dedicated to sustainable transport policy and practice since 1988. Here are some of the ways in which this international competence can be put to work for your city, agency or firm. Continue reading
The goal of this open collaborative project and crowd sourcing exercise, which spans the period January 2012 to December 2013, is to organize, hold and report on a series of public dialogues in a certain number of host cities and government groups on different continents, meeting with and seeking out the views of a broad cross-section of people, groups and interests who are ready to brainstorm on the concept of equity as a potential base for a new transport paradigm and strategy for the city.
In the last months of 2011 subject to a series of preparatory discussions, the author was invited to work with the support of a small team of professionals under the direction of the City Planning Department /Transportation in order to organize, carry out, and as appropriate follow up on these open public conversations. We spent close to two months laying the base for the public discussion stage of the project.
During the two weeks in Helsinki we met with almost 200 people representing a broad cross-section of interests and points of view, organized and participated in on the order of twenty interviews and brainstorming dialogues, three half-day master class sessions, and on 27 April a final plenary presentation organized to present and invite first feedback and recommendations on this intensive process. The final presentation was followed by a session of questions from the audience and general discussion, with a brief closing summary of observations and findings made by the Deputy Mayor of Helsinki Pekka Sauri, in charge of Public Works and Environmental Affairs for the city.
One year almost ot the day after the start-up of the first Helsinki project, I have carefully reviewed this original article, slightly rewritten it for clarity, but above all have added a fair number of observations, questions and cautions by distinguished colleagues following this project in many parts of the world. Valuable food for thought for anyone who wishes to get a handle on some of the fundamental issues to be considered for eventual equity-based transportation reform.
We understand that in the transport sector this is not a well-known nor much appreciated concept, at least in the positive sense we are trying to develop here. So we are making every effort to share broadly, to invite questions and to clarify. In this spirit I was discussing this program the other day with a bright young woman from the Emirates who is on an MBA program here, who smiled at me indulgently as I asked her views and said: ‘Don’t you understand Eric, life is not fair”. That gives us, I would say, a good point of departure.
The future of the car in the city is morphing fast and is going to be very different from the suddenly long gone 20th century. But this we here are all well aware of. After all we have been swapping information and insights on these issues and challenging each other for more than a decade on a number of New Mobility fora.
Today we want to share some information with you on a new collaborative project that is just forming up, namely to create an expert guide for mayors and local government specifically in the field of carsharing. Continue reading
Three years ago the Partnership on Sustainable, Low Carbon Transport (SLoCaT) was established to address the relative absence of sustainable transport in the global discussions on sustainable development and climate change. Rapid motorization in the developing world and its negative impacts motivated the organizations that came together in SLoCaT. There was agreement that SLoCaT should initially have a mandate for three years only and that by the end of 2012 a decision would be made whether to call it a day or to go on, possibly, with a revised mission. Those three years have gone by. So where is SLoCaT now and what is next; declare victory and move on, admit defeat and move on, or stay in the fight? Continue reading
In June of 2012 your editor was invited by the mayors of Tallinn to give a public talk to comment on how some of the policy concepts developed over the last two decades under the New Mobility Consult program might be put to work to support their decision to take new approaches to transport policy challenges starting in 2013. Subsequent to that visit we signed with the City of Tallinn a public agreement of strategic cooperation over 2013.
The first transformative event they were considering for 2013 was the first-ever Free Public Transport project in a European capital. After careful planning their project went into service on 1 January. In the run-up to this important event World Streets in cooperation with our readers has been developing and drawing to the city’s attention a broad repertory of expert comments on FPT, all of which you can see at http://worldstreets.wordpress.com/category/free-public-transport/. We invited contributing editor Anzir Boodoo to read through the various comments and see if he could put them in some kind of order for our busy readers in a single article, which you can now read here. Continue reading
Memorandum: First background on book in process to appear end-2013.
No ExcuseS, Sir!
(A tale of cities, indolence, complexity and finally . . . simplicity)
Introduction: No Excuses is a book in progress by Eric Britton about cities and people, and how we get around in our day-to-day lives. It is about the failure of a generation — but also how with a little imagination and a lot of willpower we can do it better on all scores, and in a way that is fairer for all.
If we say it is about cities and not transport, it is because the focus is not on the usual transport infrastructure, technology or big investments of hard-earned taxpayer money. That is the old way of looking at it, the mindset that effectively dominated transport policy and practice in the 20th century and which is just starting to lose its hold today. Good things are happening but still in far too few places. These are the places and projects, and the people and strategies, that No Excuses is all about. Continue reading