Visitors coming in from North America in the last 48 hours. Do you think this may correlate with something when it comes to policy and practice?
In the day before the opening of the World Cup in Brazil, where traffic chaos is expected to be the rule of the day (missed opportunities there?) this is a video transcript of a 20 November 2013 interview with Bolivar Torres, Brazilian journalist with O Globo, a leading Brazilian newspaper. His topic: Notably unsustainable transportation and trends in Brazilian cities — seen from an international perspective. What to do? How to move from today’s failing and inconsistent ad hoc Old Mobility policies which are not getting at the roots of the problems? Perhaps toward a New Mobility Agenda? And what if anything could have been introduced in time to improve traffic and life quality conditions for all during the coming World Cup and Olympics?
* See corrective note on photo below.
Since World Streets was taken by assault last week by something like 4000 hits as a result of our article announcing and providing some strategic commentary of the Paris project in which they are committed to reduce speeds to the top limit of 30 Kph page through the entire city – click here if you have not yet seen it – we ended up taking a good critical look at our website, the good, the bad and the frankly ugly, and decided to do some fairly radical spring cleaning. So if you click today to http://worldstreets.wordpress.com/ today, you will see our new look.
Normally your editor tries very hard to keep all postings here focused on the important topics which you will find introduced in our original Mission Statement of 2009, but here exceptionally is a more personal short story which raises some puzzling problems. And I may not be the only one in our extended sustainability family who has run up against this particular weirdness. Continue reading
Few 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.
World Streets needs to catch on before my feet get wet.
- Dirk van Dijl, Netherlands
1827 calendar days have passed since World Streets opened its stacks for consultation on 31 March 2009. Ad the results are there for all to see and judge: 1,196 original articles, 128 contributors, 1,365 photographs, maps, drawings and illustrations, 5443 registered readers, from some 149 different countries, and on an average day anywhere from 150 to 250 visitors click in (best ever: 2002). But is what we are doing useful and worthy of support? We asked 100 expert readers for their views – and 101 of them picked up their pens and responded. Continue reading
Have you ever had the opportunity to meet someone who has a lot to say about things 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.
World Streets is an open collaborative public interest program. We are entirely dependent on the support of contributors, authors, readers, subscribers and others who share our deep concerns about sustainable transportation, sustainable development and social justice. Subscription is free for all, and as a matter policy we do not accept advertising. We count on your counsel and support to be able to continue to do our part in 2014 and beyond.
Today marks the fifth anniversary edition of World Streets. Our first number appeared on 31 March 2009 with an opening message by the editor — click here – announcing the targets, intent and proposed method of this new collaborative media venture. On the same day we published our Mission Statement — Say Goodbye to Old Mobility — which you can read here. Today we would like to spend a few minutes with you to review the accomplishments and, yes!, the shortcomings and disappointments of these first five years. And then go on to look out to our hopes and intentions for the rest of this decade. Continue reading
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.
This is a simple fact! Free Public Transport (FPT) has no possible justification whatsoever unless your governing officials are willing to do something about adjusting the other half of the modal mix to bring down car ownership and use in the city strategically and as quickly as possible . . . SCR – Systematic Car Reductions.
The tools for achieving these necessary adjustments in the modal split are well known, experience-proven and widely used in cities of all sizes in many parts of the world. There is no possible justification that competent public authorities not be aware of these proven tools and policies. They include most notably: Continue reading
World Streets: The Politics of Transport in Cities
Each week subscribers to World Streets – presently numbering 5,407 from 149 countries on all continents – received a single mailing in the form of a weekly digest which briefly resumes all of the activity of the preceding week. Below you will find a listing of the articles published over the period 3-10 March 2014, during which we were hard at work on a series of carsharing projects. In a world of information overload, this is a handy way to keep up on what is going on at the leading edge of the new Mobility Agenda..
– - > * Click here for your free subscription.
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 *
Matthew Bradley and Jeff Kenworthy help us to set out on our search for economic instruments that can be effective in reducing traffic congestion while leveling the playing field between cars and other transport in ways that are both efficient and equitable. They tell us that: “A major part of the urban transport problem today is a failure from the very beginning to acknowledge that congestion is fundamentally inequitable and unfair, impractical to construct away, and therefore must be properly charged for and controlled to eliminate the transport system dysfunction which is systemic in cities today.” Recommended reading for anyone with a serious interest in how to get the most out of economic instruments in our troubled, seriously underperforming sector.
I write this column from my bed, recovering from an accident that broke my bones. I was hit by a speeding car when cycling. The car fled the scene, leaving me bleeding on the road. This is what happens again and again, in every city of our country, on every road as we plan without care for the safety of pedestrians and cyclists. These are the invisible users. They die doing nothing more than the most ordinary thing like crossing a road. I was more fortunate. Two cars stopped, strangers helped me and took me to hospital. I got treatment. I will be back fighting fit.
This issue of WTPP returns to some earlier themes that are central to an improved understanding of how to get things right and reduce the likelihood of wrong-headedness. Jeff Kenworthy opens 19/4 with a robust study of 42 cities and demonstrates that car use and GDP growth are decoupling. Helmut Holzapfel looks at German road and motorway planning and building and shows that it is totally removed from the reality of life as lived by citizens. Editor John Whitelegg closes this latest edition of WTPP with a critical review of a compendium of articles, Transport Beyond Oil, while in his opening editorial reminding us of the work and contributions of our greatly missed colleague Paul Mees, a world-class transport researcher and policy analyst,who died in Melbourne on 19th June 2013, aged 52. Far too young and still so much to do.
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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 Association EcoPlan International and 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. As of today, we can report 4,798 subscribers, from 149 countries. That must mean something.
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- Is World Streets doing its job? We asked 100 experts for their views – – and 101 responded – Click here to view their responses
From 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.
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.
One of the main strategic underpinnings of New Mobility Agenda, and certainly of everything that appears here in World Streets, is that if we are ever to reinvent transportation in our cities, as we so badly need to do, we must in the process free ourselves from our old ways of seeing, thinking and doing things. For example, when you think “bicycle” . . .