Archives: Keynote address to World Share/Transport Forum II in Changzhi, China

From the World Streets archives: Eric Britton keynote to 2011 World Share/Transport Forum II in Changzhi, PRC. (with Chinese sub-titles).  For background and comprehensive details see World Streets article  at

Keynote summary intro:
Hello and greetings from Paris. This is not just one more ambitious expert workshop on sustainable transportation. I am joining you in Changzhi today with a single idea in mind.Specifically to see if, along with my esteemed colleagues who will also be sharing their experience with you, I can convince at least a certain number of you in this room of the importance , the relevance and indeed the absolute necessity of introducing the concept of share/transport in the future of not only your own city and cities across China more generally, but in cities around the world

I do not need you all to agree with all the ideas that are set out here. Indeed I do not expect you to. It is my experience that when it comes to exploring new approaches that break with past practices, that it is more likely to be the young people and younger minds (not always the same thing) that are more open to new ideas. If that’s you, you are the person whom I now want to address.

When someone talks about sharing in the transport sector in China these days,because of all of the activity and publicity that has gone with that over the last two years or so, the first thing that comes to mind is shared bicycle projects. And then when we think about it a bit more and perhaps we get to projects like BRT’s, this leads us to think about sharing the street with other users,including cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians. And of course cars. 

The concept of shared transport is at once old and new, formal and informal, but above all it is an element of the transport sector that is growing very fast. Something important is clearly going on, and the Changzhi event will look at this carefully, in the hope of providing a broader strategic understanding for advancing not just the individual shared modes (e.g., car/share, ride/share, bike/share, street/share,taxi/share, etc.), but of combining them to advance the sustainable transport agenda of our cities more broadly. 

Are we at a turning point? Is sharing already starting to be a more broadly used and relevant social/economic pattern? Is there an over-arching concept which we can identify and put to work for people and the planet? And what do you need to look at and do to make your specific sharing projecwork? These are some of the issues that we shall be examining with prominent invited guests from the fields of economics, politics, psychology, who will join transportation experts to discuss these trends.
Thus my main interest here in this first stage is not in digging into details on specific kinds of sharing — that’s important of course but it came come later. Rather what we need to sort out together anted get right here at the start is our understanding of the overall strategy and justification for and behind the concept of sharing,both in general and in the transport sector . At this early point it is not the specifics of any one kind of sharing approach, but rather the broader human issues which it necessarily touches. Let’s have a look.

Changzhi, China. 24 October 2011:

The Second World Share/Transport Forum opens in Changzhi today, with the mission of looking into the concept of Share/Transport for selective adaptation, application and extension in Chinese cities. The Forum is supported by a collaborative effort led by the China Urban Transport Development Strategy and Partnership Demonstration Project (CUTPP): National Development and Reform Commission, the World Bank and the Global Environment Facility (GEF). It builds on and extends the pioneering work on share/transport initiated by the international team who laid the base for the first World Forum that was convened in Kaohsiung Taiwan in September 2010.

Today’s announcement will be followed up in these pages in the days ahead by a selection of conference presentations, materials and findings. In the meantime you can find the full Changzhi conference program here – .
And for comprehensive background on the first forum in Kaohsiung in 2010 click here –
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About the speaker:

Eric Britton
13, rue Pasteur. Courbevoie 92400 France

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 | | #fekbritton | | and | Contact: | +336 508 80787 (Also WhatApp) | Skype: newmobility.)

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