Cities live and flourish when they find their own way to combine density, mixed use, access, active citizenry and quality of life. And thus every square meter that today is not being used in the public interest is a waste, a failure of imagination and citizen engagement. Happily this idea of reclaiming the unoccupied, the abandoned, or the hijacked spaces of the city for the community as a whole is a movement that is now in full flower, and we intend to report on it in World Streets. We are calling this: The un/OCCUPIED movement.
Today the International Energy Agency has published a new report, A Tale of Renewed Cities. The report draws on examples from more than 30 cities across the globe to show how to improve transport efficiency through better urban planning and travel demand management. Extra benefits include lower greenhouse-gas emissions and higher quality of life. According to the report, policies that improve the energy efficiency of urban transport systems could help save as much as USD 70 trillion in spending on vehicles, fuel and transportation infrastructure between now and 2050.
From the World Carshare Consortium: I would like to offer a “thought experiment” with anyone here who may wish to jump in with their ideas. criticism and/or proposals — or perhaps only to pull up a chair and see what happens in a case like this. The short story is that I would like to see what, if anything, happens with a simple change of title and focus for this group — the World Carshare Consortium at http//worldcarshare.com + + World Streets on Carsharing at http://worldstreets.wordpress.com/category/sharetransport/carshare + Facebook page on carsharing http://www.facebook.com/groups/worldcarshare/ + YahooGroups discussion forum at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/WorldCarShare — which for almost 15 years now has been focusing its attention strictly on the varieties of carsharing that are fast multiplying and taking an increasingly important role in the mobility options of people in cities around the world. Carsharing has a brilliant, in many ways surprising and certainly very different future, which in fact is already well in process. But there is more to our story than that. Continue reading
It is well established by now, in leading circles of knowledge, policy and practice at least, that mixed use is the fourth dimension of the tetraptych of the four interlocking axes of Transport/Mobility/Access/Presence. And in this case namely presence.
To my thinking, the concept of mixed use in a society that puts a premium on job creation and local entrepreneurship as well as sheer mobility per se, has not until now gotten a fair run, either in the literature or in practice. And yet it is vital to the future well-being of our cities and all those who live and work there. Continue reading
This is not the first time anyone addressed these themes. In the City in History, a classic text of urban design. Mumford urged in 1963 that technology achieves a balance with nature and hoped for a rediscovery of urban principles that emphasised humanity’s organic relationship to its environment. Forty-five years on, the film clips look incredibly old and the message delivered in a rather morbid and factious manner (to quote Jane Jacobs), with a slightly ‘Outer Limits’ or ‘Twilight Zone’ ambience. Yet some of the key ideas promoted by Mumford have increasing resonance with the sustainability and green agenda of the early 21st century. In the increasingly praxis orientated and commodified world of urban design, whether anyone is listening or not is another matter.
Michael Alba reports from Boston on this new guide for transport planners:
Sustainable Transportation Planning seeks to tackle the greatest social and environmental concerns of the 21st century, focusing on the role of transportation in creating more sustainable communities. It is a how-to guide for anyone interested in the economic, social and ecological health of cities. Continue reading
What? You know all about transport in cities and you have never heard of Groningen? Well, check out this : an unexpected street interview in Groningen, a slice of life as filmed by our old friend and transport innovating colleague Robert Stussi. He has titled it: “A Homage to Hans Monderman”. Hear, hear! Continue reading