Vélib’ station in Paris in happier days – 2008
Vélib’ was for ten years an exemplary large-scale public bicycle sharing system in Paris, France. Launched on 15 July 2007, the system encompassed around 14,500 bicycles and 1,230 bicycle stations, conveniently located across Paris and in some surrounding municipalities, with an average daily ridership topping 100,000 in 2017. (Ridership, other key data to be updated.) The name Vélib’ is a portmanteau of the French words vélo (English: “bicycle”) and liberté (“freedom”).
After ten years of sensational performance offering handy and almost free bikes to hundreds of thousands of satisfied Parisians and visitors every day, the project suddenly went terribly wrong as it was preparing to go into a new phase, and has in the last months crashed out of existence. As a result Paris and the world are poorer places
Why did this happen? What are the losses? Were they inevitable? And what are the lessons to be learned? Yes of course in Paris for the future of shared bikes there, but also in towns and cities around the world who might wish to learn these lessons for their own shared bicycle initiatives.
We here at World Streets, who have been following and riding Vélib’s (and Vélo’v’s) literally every day since opening day in Paris on 15 July 2007, have decided to have a look-in on this unexpected story — and in the coming months see what happens if we can share our observations and findings with our international readers and others who may care to drop in here to see if they can find useful information and views on this strange and most unexpected turn of events. Let’s get started.
Exclusive: America has been afflicted by an ideology that doesn’t work, says Joseph Stiglitz
Excerpts from article by Ajith Vijay Kumar, April 28, 2018 | http://www.timesnownews.com/ https://bit.ly/2HWc1EQ
Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz, in an exclusive interview with timesnownews.com, talks about what is wrong with current American capitalism, rise of a new kind of politics emerging from dissent towards government and more. Here are some excerpts from the interview:
Important announcement: Mobility has been priced to move. Available in both paper and eBook form for less than USD 10.00. See http://tinyurl.com/zxclcz4
(Thank you John for thinking about students, fund-strapped NGOs and readers in developing, smaller cities with tight budgets.)
John Whitelegg, Professor John Whitelegg, is a remarkable man. He has spent his entire professional life as a scholar, teacher, critic, publisher, activist and politician, trying to make sense out of our curious world and the contradictions of transport and mobility. And in a successful attempt to bring all the threads together, what he has learned about our topic in three decades of international work spanning all continents, he has just produced for our reading and instruction a remarkable and, I truly believe, much-needed book. His title gives away the game – Mobility: Transport Planning Philosophy for a Sustainable Future.
India’s hurried quest for development and its disregard for road safety have resulted in a major public health problem that demands serious thought and action.
This article by Professor K.S. Jacob, which is central to the matters which bring us together here in the Safe City 2018 Challenge, originally appeared in the pages of The Hindu of 6 October 2010 and was reprinted immediately in our sister publication Streets of India. As with John Whitelegg’s prescient 1993 piece on Time Pollution which was published here on Monday of this week, this independent expert commentary on safe, or rather unsafe, streets helps us to better understand the realities we need to face on the streets of our cities. Continue reading
Reinventing mobility in the era of disruption and creativity
Arthur D. Little has just released the third edition of its Future of Mobility study, including an updated version of its Urban Mobility Index, which ranks 100 global cities based on the maturity, innovativeness and performance of their urban mobility systems. The study, “The Future of Mobility 3.0 Reinventing mobility in the era of disruption and creativity”, was launched at the UITP Asia-Pacific Assembly in Taipei.
Arthur D. Little highlights what is holding cities back, and, together with its partner the UITP – the International Association of Public Transport – identifies three strategic directions for cities to better shape the future of urban mobility. The study also describes 25 imperatives to consider when defining sustainable urban mobility policies and case studies of cities demonstrating good practice.
This report is a good read and test ground for your own ideas. A copy of the study can be downloaded from https://bit.ly/2qrDDH4 . Now let’s see if we can get you started.
DRAFT FOR PEER REVIEW AND COMMENT
What about women as cyclists at Velo-city 2017?
Benoit Beroud, Mobility Designed for All consultant at Mobiped, attended, the World Cycling Congress, which occurred in Nijmegen (Netherlands) last June. He shares his notes and comments with World Streets after reflection some inspiring thoughts about women and cycling in their day-to-day lives.
“First impression was given by pictures of the website, program (see above), and flyers of the conference: set of various women cycling. And it is not a misleading advertisement.”
Another day in morning traffic in Lagos
Stories of New Mobility Projects in Africa: Successes, Failures and Work in Progress
World Streets. Paris. 21 April 2018
Dear African friends and colleagues,
I’m in the process of trying to gather my thoughts on a book bringing together a collection of lively real world stories of attempted new mobility — what I like to think of as “pattern break” – projects that have been carried out in cities and rural areas in a dozen or so African countries. I want to emphasize here the choice of the word “stories” as opposed to when we hear more often in the literature, titles such as “case studies” or “best practices”. I think it is important to try to reach in and understand (Anyway, I do not believe in the concept of “best practices”, and tend to prefer the less blatant wording of better practices.)
Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.
– William Butler Yeats
World Streets has from the beginning been intended to serve as a journal of record of the difficult world wide transition to sustainable transport, sustainable cities and sustainable lives. And as a lively world-wide partner, free resource and multi-faceted toolkit for concerned citizens and decision makers as they try to sort their way through the complexity and contradictions of bringing sustainable transport to our cities and their hard to serve hinterlands. Many of our seven thousand-plus signed-in readers will for the most part keep their eye on the latest articles as they appear.
But there are others — students, educators, researchers, consultants, those working in concerned government agencies, transporters and other suppliers to the sector, city planners, activists, civil society, journalists, citizens looking for international background on specific topics — who need to have quick access to what the site has to offer. Which, it turns out, is quite a lot. Let’s have a look.
Lessons from a Stakeholder Engagement Process for Penang, Malaysia
– Author: Minal Pathak • MIT-UTM Malaysia Sustainable Cities Program 2017
– Commentary by Eric Britton, Professor of Sustainable Development, Institut Supérieur de Gestion Paris
The above map reports the locations of the 561 readers checking into World Streets over the last five days. (Of our total 7,280 registered readers as of this date.)
But what about them? Where are they coming from? And what do they read? Let’s have a look.
Few things are more frustrating in this needful world than to see useful ideas and hard work ending up anonymously cloistered on some distant dusty shelf, real or virtual, and not be accessible to people and groups who could put them to good work, especially at a time of crisis as that we are living through right now. This was one of the challenges we faced at World Streets from the very beginning. How to keep all these good ideas and useful tools alive and available beyond the day on which they were first published and made known to the world.