This issue of WTPP reminds us that India has been in the news a lot in recent months mainly for its poor air quality, deaths and injuries on the roads and the serious damage this does to quality of life, family life and the economy. In the 23 years of World Transport Policy & Practice (WTPP) we have not carried enough material by Indian authors and want to use this editorial to encourage more submissions from that country.
We would like to explore the underlying factors that have produced such a large loss of life and decline in quality of life and also to explore the links between transport and poverty alleviation. We know that Kolkata has one of the world’s oldest tram systems, a metro, an urban railway and river ferries but we hear very little about how these assets are being put to use to encourage higher levels of use and lower level of car use. We hear about the abolition of diesel fuelled vehicles and car rationing by odd/even number systems in Delhi but we don’t know how effective these have been. We also hear very little about pedestrian and cyclist facilities in Indian cities and the contribution they can make to air quality, reducing congestion and alleviating poverty. So please contact us!
But there is more to Vol 21, No. 4 than that. Let’s have a look . . .
Researchers in Canada have determined that mandatory helmet laws have no impact on bicycling injury hospitalization rates. Other factors, namely mode share, were much more likely to affect the outcome.
Morning rush hour in Kolkata
Professor John Whitelegg writes in the lead editorial of the latest edition of World Transport Policy & Practice (WTPP Vol 21, No. 4, February 2016) *:
India has been in the news a lot in recent months mainly for its poor air quality, deaths and injuries on the roads and the serious damage this does to quality of life, family life and the economy. In the 23 years of World Transport Policy & Practice (WTPP) we have not carried enough material by Indian authors and want to use this editorial to encourage more submissions from that country.
LET’S SEE WHAT HAPPENS IF WE LOOK AT THE LAST TWO YEARS FROM A POSITIVE PERSPECTIVE?
This is the first of a series of three articles given over to commenting on the life and usefulness of a report commissioned by the Director General of Transport in South Australia in 1979, entitled Adelaide into the Eighties: Strategies & Directions for Transport Policy in South Australia. The following article by Dr. Derek Scrafton, the former Director General of Transport at that time, introduces and provides brief background on the motivations and uses of the project and report which it eventually generated.
In support of project underway of United Nations University’s Global Health Institute
- COHABIT – Design with nature. Human and ecosystem health stand centre stage in good place design. If it is good for our small planet, we are well on the way to healthy and sustainable places, and sustainable lives. Sustainability and sharing is a defining context! It changes everything.
- SENSES – Humans like all animals are intimately connected to place through our senses – hearing, touch, smell, taste and sight. And a sense of compassion. Beautiful, vibrant and culturally distinct places ignite the senses, bringing a feeling of wellbeing, security, creativity and generosity of spirit.
- COMPLEXITY – Natural, economic and cultural diversity make for complex but equally interesting and resilient places. So forget everything you think you know. Welcome chaos and complexity as a necessary first step in the solution process. Engage with diverse ideas, cultures and approaches.
- OPPORTUNITY – Given the level, dynamics and sheer overwhelming complexity of the challenges, we will not solve 21st century challenges with measures based on the old paradigms. So much has changed in terms of imagination, technologies and the way we use them. So prepare to be very different.
- PROXIMITY – Physical activity, social connection and healthy eating are fostered through proximity, and natural and built environments that are designed to connect, respect and protect. Retire distance, speed and indifference. Replace with proximity, safety and neighborliness.
- EQUITY – Justice and equity are vibrant beacons for health, democracy and development in human settlements. Burdens of climate change and unsustainable development must not be carried by the most vulnerable citizens, cities and countries.
- DEMOCRACY – Good governance holds the key to the future of human settlements. Citizens cannot be not passive spectators. There is more to democracy than occasional elections. Mobilise civil society in all its diversity and differences around big questions and strive for local answers.
- PARITY – Sustainability cannot be planned, decided and administered by a minority. Daily life needs and perceptions of women differ in many ways. The only path to planning and implementing sustainable, efficient and just communities is to ensure full gender parity in all decision fora.
- RESISTANCE– Most human beings are change-averse and ready to challenge anything they perceive see as invasions in any part of their daily lives. So we must anticipate this from the beginning and have a multi-level strategy which takes this into account from the beginning.
- TIME– Make time our ally. We need to be very clever in the many ways that we can put it to work for our good cause. We can knit together the strands of our solution, putting time on our side
- COLLABORATION – By creating and pushing to their limit flat, open, citizen peer knowledge networks we enter a new age of problem solving capabilities far beyond anything available to us in the past. (Which is to say, we have a chance!)
- NEVER GIVE UP
 Revised working draft by Eric Britton submitted in response to a request from an on-going research project of the United Nations University’s Global Health Institute (http://iigh.unu.edu/) that is setting out Principles of Healthy and Sustainable Places. In support of their Health and Wellbeing in the City We Need symposium to meet in Kuching, Malaysia from January 24-27, 2016 – http://unhabitat.org/urbanthinkers/ for more.
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About the author:
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Bio: Founding editor of World Streets (1988), Eric Britton is an American political scientist, teacher, occasional consultant, and sustainability activist who has observed, learned, taught and worked on missions and advisory assignments on all continents. In the autumn of 2019, he committed his remaining life work to the challenges of aggressively countering climate change and specifically greenhouse gas emissions emanating from the mobility sector. He is not worried about running out of work. Further background and updates: @ericbritton | http://bit.ly/2Ti8LsX | #fekbritton | https://twitter.com/ericbritton | and | https://www.linkedin.com/in/ericbritton/ Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org) | +336 508 80787 (Also WhatApp) | Skype: newmobility.)
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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).