* Ernest Rutherford, Nobel Laureate, on taking over troubled Cavendish Lab in 1919
Again, and again, and yet again, when it comes to “transport master planning”, it seems that all too often we end up circling to the same old structurally wrong thing. The search for the Big Bang, Big Money “solution”: More and wider roads, tunnels, bridges, flyovers, monorails, intersections, metros, light rail, and the long list of high cost infrastructure construction projects.
From a practical strategic perspective, this is almost always a huge mistake. In the 21st century we no longer solve a city’s mobility problems by more building and more infrastructure, but by managing them. From a well-defined, explicit strategic perspective.
Here is the simple 7-part question that the planners and policy makers need to ask and resolve.
- What is it that you can accomplish for the people of your city in tangible visible ways,
- To alleviate the day-to-day, many-to-many mobility problems of the people of your city . . .
- With especial attention to the needs of the poorer half of society and vulnerable populations (elderly, handicapped, poor, isolated, non-drivers) and
- Above all aiming to provide safe, affordable and timely mobility for women of all ages and stations of life,
- Working frugally with available resources,
- With broad public support
- And getting the bulk of the job done in the coming four years, i.e., 2017-2020.
How hard is that?
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9, rue Gabillot, 69003 Lyon France
Bio: Britton is an American political scientist and sustainability activist who has lived and worked in Paris since 1969. Professor of Sustainable Development, Economy and Democracy at the Institut Supérieur de Gestion (Paris), he is also MD of EcoPlan Association, an independent advisory network providing strategic counsel for government and business on policy and decision issues involving complex systems, social-technical change and sustainable development. Founding editor of World Streets, his latest book, "BETTER CHOICES: Bringing Sustainable Transport to Your City" focuses on the subject of environment, equity, economy and efficiency in city transport and public space, and helping governments to ask the right questions. A pre-publication edition of Better Choices is currently undergoing an international peer review during Sept.- Oct. 2017, with the goal of publication in English and Chinese editions by end-year. If you wish to participate drop a line to BetterChoices@ecoplan.org .