World Car Free Day 2014: “La femme est l’avenir de l’homme”

cropped-indnesia-bandugn-gils-cross-walki.jpg

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.

Your turn!

Continue reading

Ten Targets for Sustainable Penang: 2013/2014

The goal of this year’s Sustainable Penang Autumn project is to use the dialogues maylasia - street art childrenand other contacts in order to define a series of at least ten “transformative actions” that can be planned and carried out over the fifteen months following this first program. With an eye to then reviewing progress action by action in a second event to take place in Penang in the opening months of 2015. A sort of open progress report and collaborative reflection for next steps.

Continue reading

Late Night Thoughts on Equity from Helsinki

Equity? Hmm. This, it turns out on inspection,  is not quite so easy a concept to get across. In English, and after two days of discussions with a wide variety of groups and people here in Helsinki, it’s already tough enough.  And I have learned, it’s  even more challenging in Finnish. Here are some late night thoughts on this word that I share with you here in the hope that it may inspire comments and clarification. So here you have my notes, more or less in the order that they came to mind late in the night.  Continue reading

Crowdsourcing Equity/Transport/ Helsinki

What are, say, the five questions concerning transport and equity (and Helsinki) that you would like to have me ask in your behalf in Helsinki starting tomorrow in our first Stakeholder/Peer Group Dialogues? Maybe easiest if you might give me your list  via eric.britton@ecoplan.org  Continue reading

Equity/Transport 2012: Road map for Helsinki Stage 1

This collaborative project takes the form of an “open conversation” looking into the pros and cons, the possibilities, barriers and perhaps eventual impossibilities, of creating an equity-based transportation system at the level of a city and its surrounding region. This first pioneering project, in what we hope will become a series of leading world city projects building on this first example, is being carried out under the leadership of the Helsinki Department of City Planning and Transportation, and is taking place over the period mid-February through mid-April 2912. (You will find further working papers and supporting media sources in the second half of this introduction.)

Continue reading

Weekend pause: Equitable Music Flash from a Train Station in Helsinki

In the main rail station in Helsinki, host to the first Equity/Transport Civil Society project, a musical event that can help us to understand.

And should you wish some print background information on the city of Helsinki and its population, in addition to the usual useful synopsis offered by Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helsinki you can click here for a summary presentation prepared by the city.

Shortly we shall be presenting here as well information on the transport and mobility scene, including the good, the bad and the ugly (where we find it). But in the meantime it’s the weekend and you may wish to kick back and listen to Finlandia again.

And the lark of morning in the brightness sings,

More on public, private and social space. Andrew Curry reports from occupied London – Part II

Hopefully we have learned at least one hard lesson of life, and that is that a crisis is a terrible thing to waste. And here right before our eyes we have a case in point with the Occupy movements that are sweeping Europe and North America, a public crisis that is most unexpectedly taking place on “public land”. And then suddenly, with no advance notice, everything starts to morph and the issues involved start to encompass not only the continuing unchecked egregious abuses of the financial community but also important (for democracy) issues of public  space — one of our consistent concerns here at World Streets. So in an effort to make sure that we do not miss the opportunity behind this crisis, we pass the word back to Andrew Curry so that he can build further on his article under this title earlier this week Continue reading

Rethinking Car Free Days in Taipei City: Part I

Your editor was kindly invited by Mayor Hau Lung-pin to come to Taipei City this year to discuss preparations for the celebration of the city’s tenth successive Car Free Day — and as part of this collaborative brainstorming process to draw on my experience of some seventeen years working with this, one hopes, transformative transportation approach in different cities around the world.  The presentation is in three parts:

* Rethinking Car Free Days in Taipei City: Part I – This introduction

Part II – Keynote Address

Part III: Letter and comments from Jason Lin,  Commissioner of Transportation, City of Taipei

Continue reading

Towards Car Free Cities. Guadalajara, Mexico, 5-9 Sept. 2011

The time to move towards carfree cities has come. We must come from the cities that we don´t know to the ones we belong to. Step by step moving onto the right way. To make a call up, to share this view and to open our own mind in order to have a better future for all of us, to find better ways to transport ourselves in a conscious way. It´s time to move on. Continue reading

Homage to Lee Schipper: Physicist and Iconoclast

From the New York Times. Leon J. Schipper, a physicist whose passion for data led him to question the value of popular energy policies, like government subsidies for ethanol and for electric cars and the “cash for clunkers” program, died Tuesday in Berkeley, Calif. He was 64. Continue reading

In homage to Lee Schipper

Our long-time colleague and very dear friend Lee Shipper left us on Tuesday evening, warmly surrounded by family and loving friends. Since he meant so much to so many of us who have been involved in the uphill struggle for sustainability in all its forms and corners of our lives, I thought it would be appropriate to open up these pages over the next days, and possibly more than that, to a selection of pieces in which the author reflects on the kind of very special person that Lee was. Continue reading

Toward a new paradigm for transport in cities: Let’s see what Carlos Pardo has to say

The Stuttgart conference of Cities for Mobility this year represented an important step forward in the construction of a well-defined agenda for new mobility that up until the present time has been sadly lacking. But what we have managed to develop over the last two decades is a certain number of 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. Continue reading

Editorial: On private, public and . . . social space

Toward the end of last year I was asked by the team responsible for organizing this year’s fifth annual congress of the Cities for mobility program, which is to take place in Stuttgart from 3-5 July, to brainstorm with them about a central theme for the presentations. We ended up with the idea of trying to orient the congress around the theme of “social space”. Here is what we eventually produced to introduce the concept. Continue reading

Día sin Coches en Bogotá XI : Carlosfelipe Pardo reporting live from the street on occasion of the city’s 11th Car Free Day

This just in from our fearless embedded reporter on the streets of Bogotá Día sin coches XI. Carlos refers in his email to the seminal project which kicked off the basic structure for organizing days without cars back in 1994 under the title “Thursday: A Breakthrough Strategy for Reducing Car Dependence in Cities” . Later Thursday provided a part of the blueprint for the first Car Free Day to be organized in Bogotá under the exceptional leadership of then-mayor Enrique Penalosa on the first Thursday of the new millennium. You can download Thursday here. Continue reading

Happy Diwali. (Thank you Pallavi.)

Happy Diwali. (Thank you Pallavi.) Today at the end of the very first week of publication of our brave new India Streets, we like to take a page out of the book of our associate editor Pallavi Pant who wished us all today “Happy Diwali”. And since I for one (“I” in this case being Eric Britton, an editor of India Streets) really did not understand what it was about beyond a kind of “Hindu New Year + Thanksgiving” (sorry!), I had to look it up. And for those of you who share my ign … Read More

via India Streets

For your next Car Free Day, go on a diet.

“When it comes to transport, we’ve become obese. I mean this in multiple senses. Our population of vehicles has burgeoned; already around 1 billion worldwide, it’s expected to double within just 20 years. The vehicle miles we travel, or VMT, continue to swell; just in the U.S., for instance, VMT now fluctuates around 250 billion per month – trillions per year – and grows each month by an average 200 million more. Even our waistlines have expanded due to excess motor vehicle travel; one study attributes six extra pounds to the extra driving done by typical suburbanites.” Continue reading