Government, Civil Society and The Commons

Penang land model government SRS.PNG

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
— Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Democracy in the 21st century.

To what extent can a “temporarily elected government” dispose at their will of large swaths of the natural, historical, environmental, cultural, social, economic, etc. , patrimony — “The Commons”, as it is well known —  in order to put some pennies (or billions) into the government coffers, or those of their contractual partners, to do with what they want during their short time in office.

Continue reading

Penang: Peer exchange on PTMP tasks and accomplishments to date

We hear once again from Mr. Teoh Huey Hooi who comments on July 23 on the following graphic issued by the SRS team with government support. He tells us that “this comparison is obvious, Halcrow just a conceptual guideline, Penang Forum just opposing and did nothing. SRS is the most professional one.”

Interesting interpretation, but let’s have a closer look.

Continue reading

Moldova New Mobility Dialogues: Getting around here

fb moldova - black board

From: https://sustainablemoldova.wordpress.com/

We try to make this site a friendly and efficient way to get around in what is already a considerable body of materials and tools, and which will only continue to grow as the program moves ahead. Here is what we have done.

The keys to getting efficiently into the growing content of this site are basically two: (a) the top menu and (b) the left working menu. Let’s look at them in order:

Continue reading

The Penang NGO Challenge Dialogue

reading a map - lostThe goal of this section of the S/P supporting websites is to provide easy access to anyone from within Penang or beyond in order to get a clear understanding of what is going on in the at-times painful path of contradictory  and withheld information on the topic of how best to go about creating a sustainable, efficient and equitable mobility system for all in Penang. It works like this.

Continue reading

Sustainable Transportation – 101 Things You Have to Keep Your Eye On

brain2One of the reasons why such a small proportion of the world cities are working on having more sustainable transportation systems has to do with the fact that these are literally “complex systems”, a category of social and economic interactions which is far more complicated than laying down additional meters of concrete.

A complex system is filled with nuances and surprises, as a result of the fact that all of the bits and pieces that constitute them interact with each other, and all too often yields contradictory results which are quite opposite from what the initial practitiones or policymakers may have wished to bring about.  The classic example of this is of course the discredited “predict and provide” approach to transport which famously creates a mindset which consistently favors more traffic.  So even with all of the goodwill and hope in the world, many of these policies or approaches achieve results which are contrary to the initial expectations and often deleterious.

Continue reading