Searching World Streets – An open library and toolkit at your fingertips

magnifying glassFew things are more frustrating in this needful world than to see useful ideas and hard work ending up anonymously on some distant dusty shelf, real or virtual, and not be accessible to people and groups who could put them to good work,  especially at a time of crisis as that we are living through right now. This was one of the challenges we faced at  World Streets  from the very beginning. How to keep all these good ideas and useful tools alive and available beyond the day on which they were first published  and made known  to the world.

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Reading World Streets in Translation

Have you ever had the opportunity to meet someone who has a lot to say about translation globe - ineedtranslationsthings that interest you very much, but who does not particularly well master your best language. What happens? Well, it depends on your personality type. Many people, perhaps most of us, would probably find it just too uncomfortable to try a real conversation, so after a bit of time either move respectfully into a mutual silence or venture to make a simple point from time to time on the grounds that this is about the best you can do.

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World’s Best Carsharing International Bibliography

Some may argue this, be that as it may, but if you ask World Streets for our advice for a great place to go to start your research into and understanding of carsharing from its semiformal origins in the years immediately after the second world war up to today, we would say go right to the international bibliography which has been organized by our Canadian friends and outstanding carshare innovators Communauto.

- – > Click here to find your way.

communauto logo

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Archives: Putting the Wikipedia to work for the New Mobility Agenda. (And for you.)

archives-smallerFrom the beginning in the late eighties the New Mobility Agenda was conceived as a sharing, communications and didactic tool zeroing in on our chosen topic from a number of angles,  and over the last five years World Streets has continued in this tradition. The following working paper comes from the Sustran archives, and dates back to the opening days of 2007. Even today years later it still is useful if for nothing else as a checklist and reminder of what one concerned citizen felt was worth knowing about as we make important policy decisions in our sector.

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World Streets on Facebook (Check it out)

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.)

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Hacking Sustainability: Part 2

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.

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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.)

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Gauging the socio-economic impacts of future urban transport initiatives

As we set out on the first of the city programs organized in this pioneering Equity/Transport series, the Helsinki project that gets underway on 1 March, it  is useful to bear in mind that to fully understand the concept of equity as a major driver of policy in the sector requires that we move well beyond the more traditional techniques of investment and impact analysis such as cost-benefit analysis. The authors take direct aim at this issue when they state: “The classical cost-benefit analysis, then, needs to be replaced by a socio-economic impact assessment methodology (SEIA) to get a measure of expected benefits and costs to different groups.”  So without further ado let’s turn to see what the authors have to share with us on this important topic.
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World City Modal Split Database: An invitation

This open project from EPOMM – the European Platform on Mobility Management — is an absolutely brilliant idea. It does not require much explanation to get started; you can be off and going if you simply to click here and dig into their Google map. That said, a few words of introduction may not be altogether without their use to help you take full advantage of their good work. Continue reading

Musing: What do you get if you use an iPad to access World Streets?

An iPad is not a PC, for a number of reasons. Always on, always near, always open, it provides the user with an entirely different and far more personal 21st century interface with the Internet and its extensions.  So for this reason we  decided to give a bit of attention to seeing how it might be useful to retrofit World Streets so that it provides a friendlier and more creative source for those deciding to come in via iPad or similar tablet technology. We shall look into this more analytically in the coming weeks; however for this weekend day let us simply invite you to point your iPad to us and tell us what you think. Continue reading

Readers’ Choice. “Top Twenty”, 2011

When we post an article in World Streets, as we do on most weekday mornings, we are always extremely careful about our selection of topic and the manner in which we present it for our busy readers. But once the day’s feature has its hours of front page glory and takes its place in our ever-expanding database, which at this point consists of more than a thousand original pieces by more than a hundred no less original collaborators worldwide, it often comes as a surprise to us which postings turn out to get most attention from our readers. Which article is going to have several thousands of readers, and which just a trickle? Fortunately, life in the twenty-first century being what it is, we are able to track readership and are now able to share with you this listing of the “top twenty” articles consulted here over 2011. To me this listing is nothing if not surprising, but let me get out of the way here so you can go at it yourself.

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Getting the most out of World Streets: Stocks and flows

As they put it in Economics 101 what you find here under this double-barrelled name functions both as a flow and as a stock. The “flow” component is basically the articles that appear here each week day on average, plus the abundant collection of related social media and discussion fora which variously stream in to and out of the flow.

The “stock” is a considerable base of resources which have been collected here through the extensive international work of the New Mobility Agenda in our assigned field over more than a decade. In the present website you will see them listed for the most part in your left-hand column, and since they are both extensive and useful it seems like a useful idea to explain it briefly. Let’s take it from the top. Continue reading

Best transport research database we have ever seen.

The overflowing inbox this morning brought a reminder of a tool to which in this age of info-overload we had not given much thought of late – the expanded and honed TRID database. This is not just a good database and handy resource —  it is an EXCELLENT tool for planners, policy makers,  academics, and quite possibly you. If you are not already using it, at the very least check  out the quick presentation here. We shall shortly publish a more complete critical introduction to this excellent transportation research resource. In the meantime, here is a quick intro and key to putting it to work. Continue reading

New tools: Assessing damage of the Queensland Flood – 3

These ‘new’ tools are amazing and in this case, were produced very quickly. However as with most innovations (?), the consequences are often more interesting. What has happened of course is that it has become obvious that despite the state and local government knowing the risk of flood in these flooded areas is very high (in geological terms, just look at the landscape), the fact the history only extends a little over 100 years of reliable evidence in western scientific terms, means that relying on the assessed risk is very unreliable. Continue reading

Honk! OpenStreetMap: Visualizing spatial data

Going into our third year of publication, World Streets thus far offers to our readers close to one thousand easily retrievable original articles and twice as many illustrative graphics on a broad range of tools, measures and topics that relate in some useful way to the up-hill push to sustainable transport policy and practice in and around cities, worldwide. But until now we have not published a single article on OpenStreetMap. This is a significant oversight of an important tool which we would now like to remedy. Continue reading

2011 World Streets Bright Awards: City of Basel Mobility Ticket

We have often said that new mobility is a strategy which is ultimately made up of a very large number of often very small things that together make a difference. And so it is just in this spirit that we have decided to launch a new series in which you are invited to participate. It is the 2011 World Streets Bright Awards, celebrating “great small convivial ideas that are easy on the pocket and can be multiplied by thousands and make a difference”.  It’s simple and works like this.
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New tools: Assessing damage of the Queensland Flood – 2

In today from Gordon Price and Price Tags:
The Queensland Flood - 2Gladys We sends along a link to a remarkable set of dynamic before-and-after shots of the floods in Brisbane posted by ABC News, Australia’s broadcaster. These aerials were taken in flyovers on January 13 and January 14 – and then matched up exactly. When loaded, you can use your mouse to hover over each photo, and move the line back and forth to view the devastation caused by flooding.

Click for full article from Price Tags and aerial maps from ABC News and Nearmap.com

Grading Sustainable Transport: Scholarship A. Leadership C-

One of the often voiced claims of World Streets is that those who best understand the issues and priorities behind sustainable transport and sustainable cities are failing to command the high ground in the debate and the politics of decision simply because we are just not good enough at communicating our ideas, first to each other and then to the world. All too often when confronted with a decision issue, with our strong academic orientation and backgrounds, we prefer to turn to the familiar world of more research, fatter reports and that next great conference, while at the end of the day what we really need is a concise, credible, understandable presentation of our best ideas and the choices that need to be made. Continue reading

Editorial: World Streets Profile Guidelines for Contributors

Preparing a World Streets Profile
(Program, Project, Event, Tool)

World Streets welcomes well written articles that report in a balanced manner to our international readers on the work and accomplishments, and hopes and plans, of outstanding groups, projects and programs in various corners of the world leading the way in face of the tough challenges in our chosen sector — looking for exemplary approaches and tools that have potential for very broad, hopefully universal application. Continue reading

Victoria Transport Policy Institute Summer 2010 Newsletter

This carefully compiled seasonal report from Todd Litman of the Victoria Transport Policy Institute is a fine tool and up to date source guide for researchers and policy makers worldwide. We are pleased to present it in its entirety here, together with references you will find handy to take these entries further. Thanks for your continuing fine work Todd.


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Get your copy of “World Streets Weekly Edition” (Or, if you prefer, the daily or monthly edition)

Three-step Executive Summary:
1. Log into World Streets/Open Edition at www.worldstreets.org.
2. On top right, you will see a To Subscribe box, where you plug in your email.
3. Minutes later you will receive a welcoming email, offering you the following one-click choices
• Email format – Select to receive in HTML or plain text.
• Delivery window – Select daily or weekly delivery.
From there on you will find clear step by step instructions to note your preferences. But now if your time permits here is a bit of background with more subscription details, if you wish:

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