As original organizers of the World Car Free Days movement, we are always attentive to finding ways to make real use out of these generally festive occasions. We have been working consistently on this task since the first program announcement in Toledo Spain at a major European conference in October 1994 under the title of “Thursday: A breakthrough strategy for reducing car dependence in cities“. (See http://wp.me/psKUY-U9)
This year we propose that considering cities may give some thought to the possibility of organizing on a pilot basis a special core Car Free Day event — specifically intended to examine, encourage and support cycling in cities. This makes sense: a Car Free Day is seen as an occasion to step back and think together about how your city is doing in the challenging transition from an essentially private car-based to an equitable and efficient mobility-based society. With this in mind we are proposing at the core of the other planned CFD events this year the tool of a “Civil Society State of City Cycling Audit” — in order to provide independent background and perspective on the state of safe and abundant cycling in their city. The following posting sets out the latest proposal for this “collaborative citizen self-audit”.
By Friso Metz, CROW-KpVV, the Netherlands
Recently a medium sized Dutch city asked my counsel about carsharing. The city wants to promote carsharing and is looking for ideas. While discussing with the city officials and their marketeers, we discovered a particular issue in carsharing. I explained that an average parking bay for carsharing in the Netherlands only shows a sign explaining that it’s intended uniquely for carsharing. The road surface shows a white cross which tells you that it is prohibited to park there (unless you are driving the shared vehicle).
How, when and by whom exactly does the actual self-audit or collaborative benchmarking exercise take place. This is a matter for each city team to work out for themselves, but here are some first suggestions based on our past experience.
In laying the base for this project it is important to bear in mind that the three key elements include (a) the Twenty Key Questions and Criteria which are set out here, (b) the evaluation criteria (starting with the 0-4 scale), and (c) the composition and method of the local evaluating team.
Audit panel composition: (a) Local residents. (b) 100% daily cyclists. (c) Minimum 1/3, preferably full female parity. (d) Several seniors, several school cyclists.
With these in hand we are ready to start.
This is an interim report with suggested guidelines and background for organizing city cycling self-audits and events in support of cycling as a principle theme of World Car Free Days events in 2014.
As original organizers of the World Car Free Days movement, we are always attentive to finding ways to make real use out of these generally festive occasions. We have been working consistently on this task since the first program announcement in Toledo Spain at a major European conference in October 1994 under the title of “Thursday: A breakthrough strategy for reducing car dependence in cities“.
This year we are proposing that considering cities may give some thought to the possibility of organizing a core Car Free Day event specifically to encourage cycling in cities, and in particular at the core of the CFD events and preparations to encourage cities to conduct and share a “self-audit” in order to provide background and perspective on the state of safe and abundant cycling in their city.
The following is intended to provide for our readers a useful overview of the cycling component of the EC’s European Mobility Week, with a view to being useful both for cycle planning and programs and eventually as background for the planned city cycle audit activity presently being discussed as a possible component of a certain number off cooperating cities’ 2014 Car Free Days. This information has been extracted from their European Mobility Week Handbook which is available at http://goo.gl/ahWEyO
We are already close to one-seventh of the way through this very different 21st century: an era not of “order” in the older and more comfortable sense. But rather of chaos, that illusive universe that combines mystery and a certain sense of order . Chaos however is not the end; it is only a beginning. And while we are on the subject, this in from Jarrett Walker in his blog Human Transit in which he reminds us of the power and potential of informal transport. His concluding recommendation is especially interesting and to the point. The full original piece is available at http://goo.gl/TW5meY.
In the context of our search for creating a method for reliably and usefully benchmarking the sustainable transport performance of cities around the world – see https://worldstreets.wordpress.com/tag/benchmarking/ for first background – we would like to address our readers’ attention to the Copenhagenize Index for Bicycle Friendly Cities. In this short article you will find background information and reference on how they carry it out, as well as links to their results and conclusions.
We intend to continue to seek out and report on important benchmarking projects that can help us in our own thinking and efforts to create a more general approach to understanding city performance in the face of the tough challenges of sustainable transport, sustainable cities and sustainable lives. In addition to performance indicators for city cycling we are inventorying the state of the art in such areas as walking, public transport performance, parking, car restraint, mobility for specific underserved groups, shared transport, etc. Stay tuned.
In a recent report issued by Author D Little under the title “The Future of Urban Mobility 2.0”, (freely available at http://goo.gl/Jb6fX1), the authors provide two interesting graphics and thoughts about carsharing and where it might be going. What is interesting about their analysis is that they are looking at the sector from outside — that is, both as one part of the move a broader New Mobility package, and from a business perspective. We have extracted here the two graphics illustrating their findings, along with their page of observations . At the end of the extracts we provide some contextual information and background references from our extensive carshare archives.
As is by now well known to our regular readers, as part of our 2015/15 program to make progress in the development of a general theory of transport in cities, we are giving especial attention to the possibility and usefulness of improving understanding of how different cities around the world stack up with each other when it comes to the performance in terms of sustainability of their urban mobility arrangements. You can see more on that background by clicking to two recent entries at “Weekend fishing expedition: You have heard of about PISA course. But what about PISTA?” at http://wp.me/psKUY-3EU and International Sustainable Transport/Cities Award Programs at http://wp.me/psKUY-3F5.
Public Bicycle Share (PBS) Systems are growing in popularity and spreading across many cities and countries. In Asia, the number of PBS’ has grown close to a 100 from just one in 2007 and Asia also boasts of the largest system with about 90,000 cycles in Wuhan, China. Europe too saw the number of systems grow six fold in just six years.
Clean Air Asia has been working to raise the profile of Non Motorized Transport (NMT) and now with the University of Queensland is conducting this survey to understand the perception on PBS, especially in Asian cities. We request you to answer the questions to gives us better insights on PBS.
Work in progress: Over the last dozen years or so we are seeing a growing number of international award programs aiming at naming and compensating cities which are leading the way to sustainable transport. We are opening this posting today with short descriptions of programs already known to us, and it is our hope that with the help of our readers we will be able to extend this listing and make it more useful. Let’s have a look at what we have found thus far.
PS. Our special interest in all this of course is the nomination process, and above all the multiple criteria for selection, weighing and judgment. Eventually we intend to expand coverage to take into account some the leading national and regional award programs.
“If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it” vs. “The important stuff can’t be measured”.
In this critical spirit let us see what happens if we put this idea of somehow addressing the performance of cities and countries when it comes to sustainable transport, in front of the collective intelligence of our readers in order to see if something useful can be done with it. But first to get the ball rolling, some disorganized pre-thoughts about PISA and . . . PISTA. And oh yes, stay tuned because this thing is just getting started.
(And why it is a critical 1%)
This article is excerpted from the opening pages of our on-going report for the Dutch government Knowledge Platform for Transport and Mobility (KpVV)which will be available from them this month. Contact: Mr. Friso Metz, Friso.Metz@kpvv.nl. Your comments are welcome here or to the author: firstname.lastname@example.org
The learning process has been long and painful. But it is soon 2015, the results are in, and we now know this one thing for sure: There are no one single, mega-dollar, build-it, big bang, fix-it solutions for transportation systems reform.
No, the process is far more complex than that. Successful 21st century transport policy depends on the coordination and integration of large numbers of, for the most part, often quite small things. Small perhaps in themselves, one by one, but when you put all these small things together you start to get the new and far better transportation systems that we need and deserve. Large numbers of small things, each doing their part in concert. We call them “one percent solutions”. And carsharing is part of that complex , heavily interactive process.
The “humble” bicycle has a major role in 21st century cities, large or small, North or South, rich or poor. Getting city cycling right is a matter of high priority when it comes to local and planetary environmental impacts, solid economics, affordability, fossil fuel and resource savings, public health, equity, democracy and quality of life. For all of those of our cities around the world who have over the last decades bought into the car-plus-speed lifestyle without giving it much thought, getting this transition right is a significant technical, social and political challenge.
Fortunately there is a large and fast expanding base of experience and information on the topic, which should guarantee success for all those who are not too lazy or in too much in a hurry to do their homework properly and lay a successful base for their project.
See the latest government announcements, vigorous discussions and media coverage of the proposed 2015 public bicycle project for George Town on our supporting Facebook site at https://www.facebook.com/SustainablePenang.
Since 2002 European Mobility Week has sought to influence mobility and urban transport issues, as well as improve the health and quality of life of citizens. The campaign gives citizens the chance to explore what the role of city streets really is, and to explore concrete solutions to tackle urban challenges, such as air pollution. Local authorities are strongly encouraged to use the Week to test new transport measures and get feedback from citizens. It is also an excellent opportunity for local stakeholders to get together and discuss the different aspects of mobility and air quality, find innovative solutions to reduce car-use and thus emissions, and test new technologies or planning measures.