In 1979 we carried out a strategic policy study with the Director General of Transport of South Australia, under the title”Adelaide into the Eighties: Strategies and Directions for Transport Policy. Here you have a copy of the cover of the final report written back in 1980, but in which you will surely see many parallels to the present situation in Penang.
(The following article appeared on 6 February 2016 in the Penang social justice blog anilnetto.com . The original is available here .)
Our guest contributor is Eric Britton, a sustainable transport expert who visited Penang a couple of years ago. He says, “The priority is not to further expand supply of inefficiently used infrastructure, but rather to manage and use it better.” This was written in December 16 2013 before the latest Penang transport master plan.
4 Feb. 2016. https://web.whatsapp.com/-Sustainable Penang
11:31. Lim Thean-heng (LTH, Site initiator). Shares a picture of Mayor Enrique Peñalosa of Bogotá on a bike.
11:59. Britton (EB):
To draw your attention to one small detail in the photo of Mayor Enrique Peñalosa of Bogotá on a bike. He is an everyday city cyclist, and like the vast majority of such cyclists in cities with good bike policies, he is not wearing a helmet. That means he perceives cycling in his city as safe enough not to have to wear a helmet.
For those of you who do not know it, we do have a “publication arm” that works rather effectively, a collaborative blog which we set up in 2013 during my first visit to Penang, under the title Sustainable Penang: Toward a New Mobility Agenda. It is freely available at https://sustainablepenangagenda.wordpress.com/. A section of the home page is shown here, and to get the feel for how it works I recommend that you start with . . . START.
I mention this now because the blog invites contributions from those with useful knowledge or questions to share with our 173 international readers, while each posting is picked up by parallel social media sites on Facebook ( https://www.facebook.com/SustainablePenang , 153 readers), LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/groups/5084715), and Twitter (https://twitter.com/SustainPenang). Selected articles are also posted in World Streets (https://worldstreets.wordpress.com/), for the attention of our 4403 international readers).
Dear Friends and members of this open public forum,
We are now getting into the true nitty-gritty fundamentals here and I would not like to leave this behind us too quickly. The disagreements are creative and as far as I am concerned a critical part of the reason we are here. Here are a few points I would like to share with you.
- SELF-ORGANIZED SYSTEM. First, this is — as we can see if we just look — an example of a self-organized system. Yes, LTH had the brilliant — the word is not too strong – idea of inviting this group’s 24/7 open conversations, and as I think we all pretty much understood on the topic of “Sustainable Penang “, and within that broad frame the issues and contradictions that exist and that are holding back the necessary move to a well thought-out, thoroughly professional strategic vision and plan of sustainable transportation, land use and public spaces in Penang.
But in self-organizing systems, what happens is that the various participants express a variety of opinions and desires on their particular areas of expertise and concern, and gradually a– and with a little luck — the whole complicated mechanism of discussion and exchanges lurches to uncover opportunities and priorities for a truly Sustainable Penang . And that is pretty much what is happening here and which you can see clearly if you page through the full record of the discussions, either directly here (takes time) or more easily on the first of a series of regular updates on these exchanges which anyone can freely follow through our Public Library at https://goo.gl/gJTJZD.
All that said, what I think is going to happen here is that within this discussion we are going together to lurch toward a number of greater truths, together and at times uncomfortably.