(BC) Planners Bookshelf: Putting Wikipedia to work


virtual-library-hand-book-penangFrom the beginning in the late eighties the New Mobility Agenda was conceived as a shared space for communications and didactic tools zeroing in on our chosen topic from a number of angles,  and over the last eight years World Streets has  continued in this tradition. I hope that what follows may be useful to some of you.  As you will see, I think it is an important and powerful tool — which those of us who care can help shape and put to work for the good cause.

You will also find a shelf in the Better Choices Planners Bookshelf – at https://goo.gl/fv3Giv — which provides a first set of references from WP’s vast collection.


For the last decade-plus I have tried to work with and shape the Wikipedia (not always so wikipedia-logo-largereasy) to ensure that the matters which are important for our valiant collaboration to reform our transport arrangements in cities for all the reasons so well-known to us here. And for this I have developed, hitched on to, and try to maintain a certain number of entries on what I believe to be key concepts for out joint efforts.  And once I have them logged in, I then try to make them known to people and groups around the world who have real expertise and authority in each of these areas. People like, for instance you.

This is all part of our attempts to create an informed and  consistent agenda for mobility, cities and yes! people.

So as part of my housekeeping (busy busy) each morning I have a ‘Watchlist” that pulls up the latest entries, changes or discussions of any of the items on the following list (in fact my do- and watch-list also includes entries on a couple dozen of our more senior colleagues whose work I believe needs to be more broadly recognized, including by media folk as they come in looking for ideas and support).

If, as Simon Norton suggests on numerous occasions, we need a consistent set of principles to get around the many harmful anomalies that today populate our piecemeal approaches, this strike me as a good starting point. So here is my morning watchlist for your attention — and hopefully for your comments and suggestions as to how we can complete and further refine.  And, might I hope?, your eventual good use. Off we go!


[ You need a strategy. Section to follow. Following from Jamie Bartlett’s “How much should we trust Wikipedia?” 

By any measure, Wikipedia is truly remarkable. It’s the first real wonder of the digital age. Far larger than any other body of collected knowledge (almost five million English language articles and counting), it’s also free, and thanks to a large community of active editors and clever ways to resolve disagreements between them, usually accurate. . . .

Not always. First, things aren’t always what they seem online. For example, several major companies have been fined for manipulating or faking reviews of their own products. . . Then there are people . . . who “deface” pages with made-up stories. Wikipedia’s editors aren’t exactly a cross section of society either: only 10 per cent of its editors are women – and many “Wikipedians” as they call themselves, are worried by what this might mean for what’s produced.

Despite the difficulties, on the whole, Wikipedia works remarkably well. In a famous study conducted by the journal Nature it was found to be roughly as accurate as the mighty Encyclopedia Britannica, painstakingly written by the world’s experts. Facts and memory is what wins you University Challenge – and for its range and volume of facts, Wikipedia is peerless.

But it works less well for encouraging independent thinking, for forming opinions, for critical thoughts, for judgment – for knowing how to learn or how to evaluate information. We’re herding animals: we tend to trust something because everyone else does – and often in life that’s no good at all. Wikipedia works well enough to help you win University Challenge. But for the rest, I’d still prefer a book.

These are the entries and concepts on which I try to  keep out a watchful eye and make a real effort to stay abreast of as they develop.  They are among the principal building blocks of our hoped-for integrated New Mobility systems, and if you check them out you will see that most of them are in fairly heady evolution, thus giving a good example of the state of development of this fast-emerging field.   ‎

1.                  ‎Autopartage <http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Autopartage&action=edit>

2.                  ‎BRT – Bus rapid transit <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bus_rapid_transit>

3.                   ‎Car-free Cities <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Car-free_Cities>

4.                  ‎Car-free movement <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Car-free_movement>

5.                 ‎Car-free Free Zones  <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Car-free_zone>

6.                   ‎Car Free Days <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Car_Free_Days>

7.                   ‎Carsharing <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Car_sharing

8.                   ‎Carfree Cities <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carfree_Cities>

9.                  ‎Carpool <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carpool>

10.               ‎Carshare <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carshare>

11.                ‎Carsharing <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carsharing>

12.                ‎Community bicycle program <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Community_bicycle_program>

13.                ‎E-Work <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E-Work>

14.               ‎Electronic toll collection <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_toll_collection>

15.               ‎High-occupancy vehicle lane <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-occupancy_vehicle_lane>

16.               ‎Home zone  <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Home_zone>

17.                ‎Jitney <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jitney>   <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Jitney>

18.                ‎Livable Streets <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Livable_Streets>

19.                ‎Living street  <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Living_street>

20.                ‎London congestion charge <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_congestion_charge>

21.               ‎New Mobility Agenda <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Mobility_Agenda>

22.               ‎New mobility  <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_mobility>

23.                ‎No-Car Zone  <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No-Car_Zone>

24.                ‎Paratransit <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paratransit>

25.               ‎Park and ride  <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Park_and_ride>

26.               ‎Parking <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parking>

27.               ‎Pedestrian-friendly <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pedestrian-friendly>

28.              ‎Public space  <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_space>

29.             ‎Public transport <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_transport>

30.             ‎Reclaim the Streets <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reclaim_the_Streets>

31.              ‎Road-traffic safety <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Road-traffic_safety>

32.              ‎Road pricing  <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Road_pricing>

33.             ‎Share taxi  <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Share_taxi>

34.             ‎Shared space   <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shared_space>

35.             ‎Shared transport <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shared_transport>

36.             ‎Singapore Area Licensing Scheme  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singapore_Area_Licensing_Scheme

37.             ‎Stockholm congestion tax <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stockholm_congestion_tax>

38.             ‎Street <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stockholm_congestion_tax>

39.             ‎Sustainable transport <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sustainable_transportation>

40.             ‎Taxicab <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxicab>

41.             ‎Telecommuting <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telecommuting>

42.             ‎Toll road  <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toll_road>

43.             ‎Traffic calming <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traffic_calming>

44.             ‎Transit-oriented development <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transit-oriented_development>

45.             ‎Transportation Demand Management <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transportation_Demand_Management>

46.             ‎Vanpool <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vanpool>

47.              ‎Vehicle for hire <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vehicle_for_hire>

48.             ‎Witkar <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Witkar>

49.             ‎Woonerf <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woonerf>


telework-21The following which are also on my automatic morning check list (the Wikipedia people kindly handle this for us) I tend to treat more as background concepts. Certainly we need to have a good feel for what is going on under these headings. My thought is that once we have read and taken in the current state of development of each of these concepts, as basic building blocks in a more background sense, it will be useful to keep an eye on them as they too develop in terms of the maturity of the entries.

1.                   ‎Alternative propulsion <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alternative_propulsion>

   2.                ‎Alternative Transportation Movement <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alternative_Transportation_Movement>

3.                 ‎Battery electric vehicle <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battery_electric_vehicle>

4.                ‎Bicycle culture <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle_culture>

5.                ‎Carbon footprint <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_footprint>

6.                ‎Collaborative Innovation Networks <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collaborative_Innovation_Networks>

7.                ‎Collaborative Working Environment <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collaborative_Working_Environment>

8.                ‎Common   good <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_good

9.                ‎Commune (intentional community) <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commune_%28intentional_community%29>

10.             ‎Complex adaptive systems <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Complex_adaptive_systems>

11.             ‎Conceptual thinking <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conceptual_thinking>

12.              ‎Cooperative <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cooperative>

13.             ‎Corporate social responsibility <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporate_social_responsibility>

14.             ‎Critical Mass (cycling) <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_Mass_%28cycling%29>

15.             ‎Ecocities <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecocities>

16.             ‎Electric vehicle <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_vehicle>

17.             ‎Environmental journalism <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_journalism>

18.             ‎Environmentalism <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmentalism>

19.              ‎Flextime plan  <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flextime_plan>

20.             ‎Free-market environmentalism <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free-market_environmentalism

21.             ‎Future of the car <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Future_of_the_car>

22.             ‎Gatnet <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gatnet>

23.             ‎Gender differences <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender_differences>

24.             ‎Global warming <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_warming>   <http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Global_warming&action=history>

25.             ‎Gridlock <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gridlock>

26.             ‎Hierarchy of roads <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hierarchy_of_roads>

27.             ‎Human Genome Project <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_Genome_Project>

28.             ‎Hydrogen economy <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogen_economy>

29.             ‎Hydrogen vehicle <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogen_vehicle>

30.             ‎Intelligent transportation system <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intelligent_transportation_system>

31.              ‎Jeepney <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeepney>

32.             ‎Knowledge creation <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knowledge_creation>

33.              ‎Land use planning <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land_use_planning>

34.             ‎Land value tax <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land_value_tax>

35.             ‎List of people who died >  in road accidents <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_people_who_died_in_road_accidents

36.             ‎Low-carbon economy <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Low-carbon_economy>

37.             ‎Mitigation of global warming <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitigation_of_global_warming>

38.             ‎New urbanism <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_urbanism>

39.             ‎Pedestrian <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pedestrian>

40.             ‎Petroleum electric hybrid <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petroleum_electric_hybrid_vehicle>

41.              ‎Road rage <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Road_rage>

42.            ‎Roadcraft <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roadcraft>

43.             ‎Rush <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rush_hour>  hour

44.             ‎Self-Organizing <http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Self-Organizing_Collaborative_Network s&action=edit>  Collaborative Networks

45.             ‎Self-organization <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-organization>

46.             ‎Simple living <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simple_living>

47.             ‎Smart growth <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smart_growth>

48.             ‎Stockholm Partnerships for Sustainable Cities <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stockholm_Partnerships_for_Sustainable_Cities>

49.              ‎Street hierarchy <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Street_hierarchy>

50.             ‎Sustainable transport <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sustainable_transport>

51.             ‎Sustainability <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sustainability>

52.             ‎Sustainability Advocates <http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Sustainability_Advocates&action=edit>

53.             ‎Sustainable city <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sustainable_city>

54.             ‎Sustainable community <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sustainable_community>

55.             ‎Sustainable development <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sustainable_development>

56.             ‎Sustainable energy <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sustainable_energy>

57.             ‎Sustainable living <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sustainable_living>

58.             ‎Swarm intelligence <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swarm_intelligence>

59.              ‎Traffic <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traffic>

60.             ‎Traffic congestion <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traffic_congestion>

61.             ‎Traffic flow  <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traffic_flow>

62.             ‎Traffic psychology <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traffic_psychology>

63.          ‎Tragedy of the commons <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tragedy_of_the_commons>

 64.          Transport <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transport>

65.             ‎Transport economics <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transport_economics>

66.              ‎Transportation forecasting <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transportation_forecasting>

67.             ‎Transportation planning <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transportation_planning>

68.          ‎Urban park  <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urban_park>

69.             ‎Urban renaissance <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urban_renaissance>

70.             ‎Urban sprawl  <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urban_sprawl>

71.             ‎User interface <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_interface>

72.             ‎United Nations Car Free Days <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Car_Free_Days>

73.             ‎Value  Capture  <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Value_Capture>

74.             ‎Vehicle Infrastructure Integration <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vehicle_Infrastructure_Integration>

75.             ‎Women and the  environment http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women_and_the_environment_through_history


Okay. You still there? If so, my question to you is how can we (a) improve what we already have here and (b) further add to this entries and definitions of important concepts and implements which are missing from this listing. Even as I look it over this morning, I can spot a couple of big holes. For example, a couple of missing entries come to mind on . ..

  • School transport, mobility?
  • Slow transport” or maybe ‘slowth’?
  • Walk to school

Let's clean up the Wikipedia entry on 'carsharing 'The rules of the road for work in the Wikipedia are very explicit and require discipline as well as energy and good thoughts on all this, as you can well imagine. Thus we cannot of at least should not in my view talk about specific call them ‘trade mark’ implementations no matter how general they may be, but rather stick to board principles and important concepts such as those you see above.

One of the first of these that I would draw to your attention is their dogged instance on NPOV – Neutral point of view. You can see all about that before you begin to dig in at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NPOV.

As a final word, to the extent that you decide to take advantage of these good tools and leads for your own work, you may also find some interest in having a look at both the Discussions and the History sections of your favorite entries. I find them often most instructive. And I hope you will too.

Eric Britton, Paris.  January 12, 2017

# # #
About the author:

Eric Britton
9, rue Gabillot, 69003 Lyon France

Bio: Trained as a development economist, Eric Britton is a public entrepreneur specializing in the field of sustainability and social justice. 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 work focuses on the subject of equity, economy and efficiency in city transport and public space, and helping governments to ask the right questions -- and in the process, find practical solutions to urgent climate, mobility, life quality and job creation issues. More at: http://wp.me/PsKUY-2p7

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