Why I am Reasonably Optimistic about the Sustainability Transition for 2015-2020

Shortlist of Transformative Realities and Trends

eb-tallinn-statementOne of the great recompenses of having watched the sustainable transportation and related technology developments evolve over the course of several decades, is that if one takes the time to step back and scan the evidence for pattern breaks, one can readily spot a certain number of fundamental structural changes, quite a few of which bode well for a different and better future for transport in and around cities. Here are a handful of the fundamental underlying changes which I have spotted over the last decades and which I would like to share with you this morning.

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Make Way for Buses – Delhi India

Campaign Meeting, Delhi India, Saturday, April 25

INdia Delhi Make way for buses campaign

World Streets strongly supports this important citizen initiative and congratulates the organizers.

* Details at https://www.facebook.com/events/359903980885844/

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Editorial: World Transport Policy and Practice. Vol. 21, No.2

Little girl in trafficThis issue of World Transport Policy and Practice marks the migration of the journal and its associated web site to a new location.  The new web site address is: http://worldtransportjournal.com

The new site will also contain information from our US partners, Transportation Choices for Sustainable Communities Research & Policy Institute and occasional announcements about new books and resources that will assist the global community seeking to accelerate the transition to a genuinely sustainable transport future.  This transition is now more urgently needed than ever and future issues of the journal will try very hard to communicate the urgency and practicality of this transition to those who make the decisions.

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SKY CAB BLUES IN PENANG

penang skycab - reversed
* See article in today’s The Star Online at Source: http://goo.gl/JmlZ1D

There are two things that are badly wrong with this proposal.

The first, and by far the easiest to deal with, is that it is a silly, amateurish and quite inappropriate mobility project, a waste of taxpayer money, unacceptably ad hoc and a waste of valuable time (in that it distracts attention and resources from the real challenges). Every international transportation professional with a serious education in the field has known that for the last two decades– other of course than those who just love this kind of technology and/or are in the hire of the eventual suppliers. So off it goes.

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Spring Break: Happy City Weekend on World Streets – Part 2

Charles Montgomery in traffic =-2

Charles Montgomery digs into his book “Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design” in this 19 minute TEDx talk, and explains to us how happiness can be not only a wish or dream, but can be approached by policy makers and city builders as a measurable and achievable goal.

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Solving traffic problems by talking about them in the Netherlands

It would be an awful thing indeed if around the world each of us, each person, each group, each city, each country had to learn only our own lessons in isolation, without being able to open our eyes and look beyond our borders and what we know. In the following short report, roughly translated by Google and the editor from the original Dutch article which appeared yesterday morning in the web journal KpVV Travel Behaviour, Friso Metz tells us a story of low cost problem solving based on social analysis and citizen participation from the beginnings, as opposed to treating all problems of transport as infrastructure considerations to be sorted out by experts and politicians.

Netherlands Groningen cycling education program

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Relayed: Seven Cities That Are Starting To Go Car-Free

The author of this brief illustrated article appearing in a recent issue of Fast Company & Inc  provides us with an easy read with pencil sketches in which she looks at and comments very briefly on a hand-picked collection of cities, each of which making their own way to their New Mobility Agenda. The selection of the seven cities is excellent (of course one can always argue, but you have picked among the top contenders) and the writer has done a good job in her short statements on each. Plus a number of very nice and evocative photos that help us first to dream, then to dare and then to do.

Milano.  Car free zone. Credit: Flickr- Chris Yunker

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Let’s get disabled kids to school

USA - Access Exchange International

This illustration shows how it should be: Disabled kids in developing countries should be able to get to school using a variety of accessible transport in order to learn alongside other kids. We hope you will help us as we work with others to turn this vision into a reality.

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Sempé: A Short History of Social Mobility

A Short History of Social Mobility in five small frames – from a collection of drawings and pastels that first appeared in the edition “Nothing is easy” (Rien n’est simple) by Jean-Jacques Sempé, published a half century ago in 1962.  And even back then the message was howlingly clear. Amazing to think of how little it is understood two generations later in most cities around the world, rich and poor, even though the indisputable proof is right before our eyes. If only we choose to look. (From World Streets Archives)

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Nobody saw it coming (Well almost nobody)

Netherlands Amsterdam civic action block street to cars filmTwo decades after the end of the Second World War,  a totally unexpected pattern was surreptitiously taking over cities across Europe, as each day more cars were being put on the road — and in the process began to unceasingly take over and threaten  public space and quality of life  in city after city. There it was plain for all to see, and yet few cities were prepared to take on the challenge. The metastasis was so grindingly persistent and so day by day that it simply seemed to be an inevitable part of the less desirable edge of Europe’s  new and hard-won prosperity. And after all, who can be against progress?  Certainly not most politicians.

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