Scientists Discover Tipping Point for Spread of New Ideas

Our challenge in Penang has three main parts: (a) to see if we can help to complex systems networkcreate and reinforce a “new majority” for equitable and efficient transport system reform; (b) build capacity for sustainable mobility,  innovation, and new approaches in the sector; and (c) train and influence at least a small core groups future leaders.  This article which has just appeared in Science Daily (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110725190044.htm) provides a good idea of the dimensions  of the task before us.

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Medium-Sized Cities in Asia: What, How Many, How Different, and What to Do about it?

malaysia penang bus in trafficAs we look at the city of George Town, with a population of some 750,000 living with the city limits of ca. 120 sq/km (roughly the size of the city of Paris), one of the things that comes most immediately to mind is that, despite the significant challenges posed by the current transportation  arrangements, it is certainly not an example of a major Asian megalopolis, or even a “large city” by Asian standards. And even if we take into account the entire George Town Conurbation, the total population is just a bit more than 2.2 million.

So what can we call it? What about a medium-sized Asian city?

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Letters: Citizen participation in cycling provision in the UK

– Ian Perry, Independent consultant and consultant. Cardiff, Wales

The importance of citizen participation in decision-making was highlighted yesterday evening at a public meeting in Penarth, South Wales, attended by 147 frustrated citizens who showed their willingness to participate in their communities decision-making.  An attempt to force the Vale of Glamorgan (county) council (Vale council) to hold a referendum on proposals for the National Cycle Network (NCN) failed by just 17 votes.  133 votes against 5 were for a referendum on the matter, with 150 votes needed under current legislation.

UK Wakes Penarth cycle protest

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Master Class on Sustainable Transport Planning and Policy for Penang

malaysia - penang think city porch

It’s official. The joint project of Think City and New Mobility Consult has been formally signed and will take place this year from 23 September to 4 October in George Town, Penang.

Stay tuned to World Streets (http://worldstreets.org) and Sustainable Penang (https://sustainablepenang.wordpress.com/) for more in the coming days.

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Electric Cars: Time to level the playing field

Electric cars inspire dreaming, not only on the part of some consumers, observers and enthusiasts but also vanguard citicar-2by public authorities who are trying hard to work their way out of the twin-headed hydra of finding the difficult path to sustainable transport in cities, and in many cases also having to deal with an auto industry in painful transition. As someone who drove a small ecar every day for ten years in Paris traffic (see attached pic), I personally found it a grand way to get around the city. But is that the crux of the issue here? I think not.

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Announcing the un/OCCUPIED Movement at World Streets

guerrilla-gardner-unoccupiedCities live and flourish when they find their own way to combine density, mixed use, access, active citizenry and quality of life.  And thus every square meter that today is not being used in the public interest is a waste, a failure of imagination and citizen engagement. Happily this idea of reclaiming the unoccupied, the abandoned, or the hijacked  spaces of the city for the community as a whole is a movement that is now in full flower, and we intend to report on it in World Streets.  We are calling this: The un/OCCUPIED movement.

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Report. Policy Pathways: A Tale of Renewed Cities

report cover - IEA on Renewed CitiesToday the International Energy Agency has published a new report,  A Tale of Renewed Cities.   The report draws on examples from more than 30 cities across the globe to show how to improve transport efficiency through better urban planning and travel demand management. Extra benefits include lower greenhouse-gas emissions and higher quality of life.  According to the report, policies that improve the energy efficiency of urban transport systems could help save as much as USD 70 trillion in spending on vehicles, fuel and transportation infrastructure between now and 2050.

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