Shortlist of Transformative Realities and Trends
One 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 trends, 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.
Let’s start with a simple listing and then go on to brief comments in an attempt to clarify.
Too often when it comes to new transport initiatives, the practice is to concentrate on laying the base for the project in close working relationships with people and groups who a priori are favorably disposed to your idea, basically your choir. Leaving the potential “trouble makers” aside for another day. Experience shows that’s a big mistake. We have to take a . . .
If you get it, New Mobility policy reform is a no-brainer. However, while the New Mobility Agenda is a great starting place, it is not going to get the job somehow miraculously done just because it is the only game in town when it comes to sustainable transport. There is plenty of competition for your thin wallet, all that space on the street, and especially for that space between our ears. We have a few potential sticking points here that need to be overcome first.
Let’s have a quick look. After some years of talking with cities, and working and observing in many different circumstances, here is my personal shortlist of the barriers most frequently encountered in trying to get innovative transportation reform programs off the ground, including even in cities that really do badly need a major mobility overhaul.
In the late spring of 2012 the diligent editor of World Streets was visited by a young Canadian writer who announced that he was working on a book about “Happy Cities”, and in this context wanted to talk about my experience in and thoughts on the happiness arena, with particular attention to issues concerning ordinary people, people like Thee and Me, in our day-to-day lives: issues of mobility and public space, needs meet and unmet, individualism and community, time and distance, behavior and equity, economy and democracy . . . in Paris and around the world. Why not? What the hell, maybe I will learn something from him.
Charles Montgomery’s merciless interrogation lasted a full day,followed by extensive correspondence over the course of the next year. Toward the end of 2013 his book “Happy City: Transforming Our Lives through Urban Design” was published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in New York. One year later the 368 page volume has just appeared in an affordable paperback edition, and is now widely available in bookshops, and of course the Internet. (PS. Support your local bookshop, it is a happier experience!) We thank the author and the publisher for permission to share the following extracts with our readers to celebrate the low-cost editions now available.
WHY ARE THEY THERE? NOW? (Work trip in Jakarta on one more busy morning) Each person behind a wheel there made a choice to be there. For better or worse. How can we give them Better Choices? That’s the rub.
What many people call “transportation” . . is at its very essence not about road or bridges, nor vehicles or technology, and not even about money. Above all it is about people, their needs, fears, desires and the decisions they make. And the backdrop — real and mental — against which they make those decision. The transport planner needs to know more them and take this knowledge into the center of the planning and policy process. What makes them tick, individually and collectively. What do they want and what they are likely to resist. And people, as we all know, are intensely complicated, personal and generally change-resistant. .But if we take the time and care we can start to understand them, at least a bit better. Which is a start.
Speed is a fact and cars have priority in urban areas. Source: © iStockphoto.com / Sze Kit Poon.
The “Slow Cities” movement promotes the deceleration of urban life. In Spain, six urban centers are already attached to this initiative, which began in Italy in 1999
“Slow Cities” are characterized by a way of life in which their citizens slow down, traditional tradition and ways are valued, without neglecting the technological advances that help to improve the quality of life. These cities acquire a personalized style and are no longer part of a homogenized world. It is the movement “Cittaslow”, which began in Italy in October 1999 has spread throughout the world.
* Article by Rosae Martín, from Microtendencias21, Nov. 7, 2013
Full and open access to key documents and reports necessary for full public, NGO, media and international expert review, questions and commentary on the costs, technical details, analysis and justifications for the RM27-50 billion (it apparently depends on who you ask and when) Penang Transport Master Plan has been seriously inhibited by the State government and their property development consultants and partners (SRS Consortium).
In the face of this resistance an informal citizen alliance and NGO task force has emerged and started to assemble and make freely available a growing library of key documents. At present there are more than 200 volumes and working papers already assembled in the library at https://goo.gl/xjCRT9.
Insights into the work that led to Mexico City’s parking reforms.
* * Source: https://www.itdp.org/mexico-city-became-leader-parking-reform/
“This major policy change is a result of ITDP Mexico’s advocacy over the last 10 years…. So in 2014, with the support of the Ministry of Urban Development and Housing (SEDUVI), the research study “Less parking, more city” (“Menos cajones, más ciudad”) was born providing enough evidence to show the need of a change of paradigm. This study evolved into a proposal to modify the Construction Code that ITDP delivered to Mexico City’s Government in 2015. …
“A change of policy of this importance is not the work of a single individual or institution. ITDP Mexico supported the Ministry of Urban Development and Housing, and the Ministry of Mobility in the process of technical discussion with the different important guilds that are essential in the on-the-ground implications of this, such as the Real Estate Association (ADI). At the same time, agreements were made with the National Association of Supermarkets, Convenience and Departments Stores and also with the National Chamber of the Industry of Development and Promotion of Housing with the best of intentions to reach win-win agreements. The Legislative Assembly also recognized the need to reform the policy, and the role of civil society was incredibly important. Bicitekas, WRI, editorial house Arquine and, of course, IMCO, were all key to creating this more powerful, cross-cutting and lasting public policy.”
Penang Street of Harmony Project celebrates mutual tolerance illustrated by this amazingly cosmopolitan microcosm.
– Anwar Fazal takes us for a walk down the Street of Harmony in Penang.
The island of Penang, Malaysia, has long been a magnet for a multitude of people from all over the world and has over the last two centuries succeeded in integrating countless cultures and religions into its very fabric.
Penang is very special. It was a place that opened up for all the communities of the world. That particular special flavor, sometimes in many places in the world, is all too often lost over history. But in Penang, uniquely, it continued.
There is much Penang can teach the world today about acceptance and harmony in diversity.
* * * Walk down the streets of Penang with Anwar Fazal. | View: https://vimeo.com/219493364
* * * SPECIAL RATES FOR PARTICIPANTS FROM PENANG * * *
The 8th International Symposium On Travel Demand Management is taking place in Taiwan from 27-29 September. All details at http://2017tdm.ntu.edu.tw/.
In recognition to those who are involved in the present vigorous public debate on a viable transport strategy and plan for Penang, the organizers are offering sharp discounts to anyone working on these issues in Penang – whether government, university, NGOs, civil society, researchers, consultants and investigative media. Instead of the full price (USD 350.00) as per 1 August the following prices are available for participants from Penang:
In a city, as in life, we normally register only what we set out to look for. The anomalies, the absences, the troubling, somehow escape our attention. But when it comes to transport, everywhere the eye might wander there are valuable clues, both visible and invisible, for planners and policy makers. However, if we fail to use our eyes we miss out on valuable information. And as a result our cities do just that much less well.
The transport sector still has a good way to go to be in tune with circular economy and sustainable development principles. But solutions are emerging.
The transport sector tops the CO2 emissions ratings in France. By 2015, for the first time in more than 10 years, greenhouse gas emissions from transport increased by 0.9%… Transport is also one of the highest consumers of fossil fuels (produced from oil, coal or natural gas). To develop a greener approach to the environment and find better ways of getting around, four areas are now emerging and shaping the transport of the future.
Circular Economy: The Future of Business
Symposium of 23 June 2017 – https://goo.gl/af5oEU
École des Ponts Business School
Closing commentary, Eric Britton.
Professor. Sustainable Development, Economy and Democracy.
Institut Supérieur de Gestion, Paris
firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter @ericbritton | Skype newmobility
INTRODUCTION: I was invited by the Dean and faculty of the Ecole des Ponts Business School to participate in a full day Symposium on the Circular Economy at their campus on 23 June 2017,. The objective of the event was to introduce and invite peer comments on a new program of graduate seminars and faculty research exploring the boundaries and potential of this relatively new, environmentally sensitive planning and process technique, which takes as its starting point to scrutinize and reorganize productive units to eradicate waste systematically, throughout the life cycles and uses of products and their components. I was invited to provide a brief closing summary of what I had observed and heard over the day, with a certain number of recommendations if that should prove useful. My closing remarks are summarized below. For background on the program click to https://lineupr.com/ecole-des-ponts-business-school/circular-economy.