- – > Check it out at https://www.facebook.com/groups/worldcarshare/
Did someone say, White Chairs?
During Rotterdam’s public art festival Wereld van Witte de With, urbanism office M.E.S.T. reanimated this idea. But instead of bikes, the designers left 350 white chairs in public space in Rotterdam. The chairs served as a terrace for all the decentralized performances, and fed a discussion about public space and ownership at the same time. People were allowed to use the white chairs freely and to take them to any other location as long as they remained part of public space. The white chairs were slowly spread across the city. According to the festival organization, they were even spotted at the Central Station of Leiden, a town somewhere between Rotterdam and Amsterdam. Continue reading
In our world-wide outreach to readers we are trying to put to work the full range of available contact and sharing tools to best serve and to make best use of these carefully developed networks. Among them a certain number of Facebook Groups which seem to lend themselves pretty well to these purposes, and also LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, Scribd, Picasa (public photo galleries) and Twitter (still something of which we are hard pressed to see the fit, but one perseveres). Continue reading
Heads-up: To avoid duplicate mailings from Facebook
Dear Patient Reader,
To avoid duplicate mailings from our various programs and fora, it may be useful to note the difference between our two main FB pages at (1) http://www.facebook.com/NewMobilityAgenda and (2) http://www.facebook.com/worldstreets. The former posts only information that appears in World Streets (http://worldstreets.org), while the latter includes all these but also contains other pieces, heads-up and observations from our vigilant editor. Continue reading
Take a break. And in case you missed them the first time around check out the Piano Stairs from Stockholm this weekend.
WEB, BLOGS & SUPPORTING SOCIAL MEDIA
When it comes to the multiplicity of internet sites and media that together make up the at-times somewhat labyrinthine New Mobility Agenda, there is a certain if not always immediately app[rent underlying logic in our gameplan. Here in summary how things look today in the hope that it will help you make better use of the considerable potential of these tools. in your work. Continue reading
Why consider joining one or more of these focus groups on Facebook? Well, because for better of worse social media are here to stay, and warts and all Facebook definitely has its uses — as we are showing with these fora. So put aside your reservations and at least check in and have a look for yourself. (And if you don’t want to sign in as an identifiable human being, this is no problem. Sign in as your dog (even if you don’t have one) and no one will be the wiser for it.)
Information + Choice + Feedback:
The basic idea is familiar: i.e., putting that smart phone in our pocket to work to help us calibrate and understand a range of inter-connected variables related to our mobility choices. An app to handle not one but two sets of related challenges: personal and environmental.
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,
If that’s a question, then the answer is a resounding . . . kind of. The truth is that we are not embarrassed to say that when it comes to the new network media we are entirely improvising. On the net today there are no straight lines: everything changes so fast that what may look pretty good at one point may suddenly become absolutely vital to our operations — or, at the other end of the spectrum, deceive, or worse yet even offer some dangers. It is, in a phrase, a real existential drama, but since we are trying to communicate on a world wide scale, we really have no chance but to try to take all these bits and pieces in hand and do with them the best we can. E pur si muove! Continue reading
After considerable and at times quite contentious discussions over the last months with colleagues around the world through various discussion fora, social media, programs, conferences and personal visits, we have decided to make one of the principal themes of our work here at World Streets for the coming year that of Safe Streets.
Oops. I have been asked to open the plenary on “Urban mobility: Achieving social efficiency” at next week’s Smart Cities conference in Barcelona (full details on which available here , and one of the central themes of the talk is the high importance of taking a strategic approach to slowing down and smoothing traffic in cities. As part of my due diligence I decided to check out the Zone 30 and Twenty is Plenty entries in Wikipedia. Where I found to my disappointment: (a) that there was no entry on Zone 30 in English (and if in French, German, Italian and Dutch, not (yet) in Portuguese, Spanish, etc.) and (b) nothing at all on the important Twenty Is Plenty program out of the UK. Continue reading
Not everything the auto lobby does today is greenwash. There is plenty of that about of course, but in addition the honeyed words that are constantly articulated to calm our raging democratic spirits and to bring us to believe that we are all in the same side in this one big happy sustainable family, there are occasions in which the industry and its more hapless proponents fall back into a blatant posture of pure meanness of spirit. As an example let us take a look at a recent vicious campaign of General Motors to sell their cars to young people, at any cost to their future well-being. Continue reading
It is a rare day that World Streets comes out in favor of cars in cities. But even that of course is not quite true. At best there will be plenty of cars in our cities, but they will not be parked and they will be chauffeuring not just their drivers but offering affordable services to flexible groups of people safely and efficiently. Great way to get around when you get it right.
And getting it right is the theme of the day today in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where, as you all surely are aware, a few – we will possibly never know the exact number – Saudi women have decided that they have a rightful place in society, in the public space, and that this also includes being behind the wheel when they need to get somewhere. And today is their great day: Women2Drive is social media-driven campaign and sisterhood project in which a certain number of intrepid women are getting behind the wheel and defying the Kingdom’s long ban on female drivers. Here is a fine article from the New York Times introducing the topic, and for more we and our readers will be adding more in the days to come.
La femme est l’avenir de l’homme. Or in English: Go for it Sisters. Continue reading
Too often when it comes to new transport initiatives, the practice is to concentrate on laying the base for the project in close working relationships with people and groups who a priori are favorably disposed to your idea, basically your choir. Leaving the potential “trouble makers” aside for another day. Experience shows that’s a big mistake. We have to take a . . .
If anyone knows where this whole business of balancing what just might be highly useful linking with the constraints imposed by a seriously time-challenged 24 hour day, I hope they will let the editor of this journal know. True there is a great deal that is out there, and every bit of it is in constant kaleidoscopic evolution. My first temptation is to stick to what I know works, and give the rest a pass. But another part of my brain tells me that this could be a big mistake.
What was the song? “If you can do it here you can do it anywhere. New York New York”? Well there just may be something to that. Here is some of the latest on how the proponents of more and safer biking in New York City are using social media to gain support from the citizen base, while at the same time an irate lobby is doing its best to keep the streets as they were and, as they hope, ever shall be. Amen Sister. (BTW, this is by no means a unique conflict. It could be your city.) Continue reading
Porto Alegre Brazil. 25 February 2011. At least forty people were injured when a mad driver slammed his car into a pack of more than 100 cyclists in the city of Porto Alegre in Brazil. The cyclists, mainly young people, were staging a peaceful demonstration calling for a reduction in the number of cars on the streets. The 47-year-old male driver fled the scene of the incident Friday evening and was later arrested after authorities found his abandoned car over the weekend.
We try very hard to stay on topic in World Streets, not always easy since our bailiwick is so vast. But there are times when, if we are to do our self-assigned job, we need to look even broader yet.
One of the fundamental tenets of World Streets is that the decisions that in the past have shaped the streets and mobility arrangements of our cities now have to be sharply revised and brought into the realities of this very different 21st century. In the past the shaping decisions and investments in the sector were made in more or less closed committees manned (I chose my word carefully) by a very narrow range of social-economic groups (mainly more or less educated males, with secure jobs, fast cars and fat pensions). With the utterly unsurprising results that the mobility system they ordered up was the one that served them best: i.e., lots of roads for fast driving, cheap gas, and plenty of free places to park. Bien sûr mon ami. Continue reading
The Swedish government’s annual instructions to the National Transport Administration now include a mission to support and improve conditions for virtual meetings across the country. The goal is to find practical ways to harness “Green IT” as an efficient travel substitute as well as to provide both more efficient management and reduced environmental impacts. The core proposal is based on a “ten step method” which the Administration released last year to champion and support virtual meetings within an organization. The project behind this strategy is introduced here. And you are warmly invited to comment and share the fruit of your own experiences. Continue reading
It might make some sense, in reviewing the potential of HS2, to take a few samplings on how the year-old HS1 domestic services are performing – or not. S N Barnes reports to World Streets from a crowded rail platform somewhere in the UK.
World Streets Social Media/Networking Game Plan in Brief (Working notes)
Target: Let’s see if and how we can best select and apply a batch of hopefully synergistic available social media tools to extend readership, content and support for World Streets in 2011.
Our approach/Exec. Summary: Do it as well as we can/Inspect feedback/Adjust as we go along/Invite creative articles from colleagues working directly with these tools/Share all this with our readers.
Question: Is there some way (or good reason) to integrate, link, make talk to each other usefully, whatever, the various social media to which we are trying to hook World Streets in some way. We at present have created two-way links (of sorts) between World Streets, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. We are seeing some utility in the individual hookups (but not all that much thus far), however I am baffled when it comes to figuring out how to orchestrate them in some useful way. Are we wasting our time or is there a creative fit? And what might that be? Kind thanks for your thoughts and leads on this puzzling problem/opportunity. Continue reading