– – – – – – > Working draft of 1 May 2020
WORLD STREETS is betting its future on the coming immediate-term transition led by certain ambitious, responsible cities, nations, organizations and citizens in different parts of the world to come together to break the downward pattern of ever-increasing climate stress — and before the challenge to plan and execute highly aggressive near-term initiatives aimed at sharply cutting greenhouse gas emissions from the mobility sector. And doing all this while working with proven tools, policies and strategies that harness cost-effective, readily available, measures, technologies, operational and management competence. Our job is to support them as best we can.
CONTEXT/KEYWORDS:: Climate/Emergency Cities/Mobility Vision/Strategy Streets/Cars Time/Space Private/Shared Equity/Women Action/Manage
- You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete. – Buckminster Fuller
THE 2020 FIVE PERCENT CLIMATE/MOBILITY CHALLENGE
The COVID-19 pandemic is an opportunity to embrace the future of work-from-home and the greater adoption of walking and cycling.
By Lloyd Wright, Senior Urban Development Transport Specialists, Asian Development Bank – https://blogs.adb.org/author/lloyd-wright https://blogs.adb.org/let-s-use-the-pandemic-to-expand-our-transport-options
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted lives and livelihoods, and has become a devastating global human tragedy. A change event of this magnitude also affects fundamentally how we work and interact. Personal mobility in the age of COVID-19 may never be quite the same again. The new normal of mobility, though, may represent a unique opportunity.
Work-from-home has always represented an option to both reduce emissions and promote family time. However, work-from-home’s potential has never been fully realized in terms of actual practice, as long-standing practices and cultures in Asia and the Pacific often prioritize physical time in the office.
New information technologies have meant that work-from-home does not have to substantially reduce the quality of workplace interactions. A plethora of software apps, such as Google Hangout, Skype, Cisco Webex, MS Teams, and Zoom, are now available to give a visual space for sharing information and facilitating decision-making. We are moving away from mere tele-conferencing to lifelike virtual interaction. While work-from-home may never fully replace workplace presence, the new technologies at least offer the potential to reduce the need for everyday commuting.
Lockdowns across many cities and countries has meant that a unique global experiment is underway. The World Health Organization estimates that 7 million persons suffer premature deaths each year from air pollution, and that 1.3 million persons perish in car crashes. For cities with air quality problems, such as Beijing, Delhi, and Manila, the lockdowns have visibly brought pristine skies, as also evidenced by satellite imagery. In addition, the University of California at Davis has been tracking reductions in car crashes in California during the state’s partial lockdown conditions. Serious injuries and fatalities in the past week have been halved from 400 to just 200 per day.
None of this is to minimize the appalling human tragedy of COVID-19’s trail of death and illness. The social and economic cost of the pandemic is staggering. But these types of comparisons do indicate what could be achieved if we adopted sustainable energy and transport practices once the pandemic has passed.
Of course, the virus also hits certain forms of sustainable personal mobility quite hard. Buses and trains place passengers in close proximity, heightening disease transmission risk. During this time of crisis, to the extent persons have options, passengers do appear to be avoiding public transport, and many cities have closed public transport in its entirety. Most likely, governments will need to step forward with financial support to public transport operators for both short-term and long-term viability.
Conversely, this situation does represent a large potential opportunity for walking and cycling. Already, in the early days of the virus, New York City is recording record levels of cyclists. The city’s Department of Transport reports a 50 percent increase in cycling over the same period last year, and a 67 percent increase in usage of New York’s CitiBike bicycle sharing system.
Home delivery services also appear to be experiencing a significant increase in the wake of virus lockdowns. Such services hold the potential to reduce overall transport congestion and emissions by effectively achieving economies of scales in urban delivery logistics.
With streets now operating under dramatically reduced traffic levels, an opportunity exists to quickly address long-standing needs that are difficult to implement under day-to-day realities. Upgrading footpaths and developing cycleways is the type of quick win that can utilize the economic stimulus spending being deployed to shore up falling economies. These investments can be done quickly and create jobs at a time when it is most needed.
The pandemic is a change event like few others. The dramatic break in personal mobility from past habits represents an opportunity to view cities in a new way. From this moment, we could embrace the future of work-from-home and the greater adoption of walking and cycling. Perhaps there is yet a small silver lining from this unfolding tragedy.
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Climate crisis: UK Government unveils ‘unprecedented’ vision of future travel with focus on walking, cycling and public transport, targeting ‘net zero’ greenhouse gas emissions by 2050
UK MINISTERIAL FOREWORD
Micro-mobility is a category of modes of transport that are provided by very light vehicles such as electric scooters, electric skateboards, shared bicycles and electric pedal assisted, pedelec, bicycles. The primary condition for inclusion in the category is a gross vehicle weight of less than 500 kg. Additional conditions are the provision of a motor, primary utility use, and availability as a shared service. (Thanks WP.) Note: Additional graphics below purloined from the net. Creative Commons –
Micro-mobility’s 15,000-mile checkup
January 2019 | Article By Kersten Heineke, Benedikt Kloss, Darius Scurtu, and Florian Weig Source and full text, graphics and links: https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/automotive-and-assembly/our-insights/micromobilitys-15000-mile-checkup
What is Lunchtime Streets?
Source: Active City Network – https://www.activecitynetwork.com/lunchtime-streets
We use this type of temporary project to measure the effects and perceptions of the local community when reducing traffic at a peak times, when most people are travelling on foot or bicycle will be key to making the streets safer. The results of the study may lead to future enhancements of the public realm.
It is also a great way to enjoy your lunchtimes. We welcome the involvement of local working, studying and residential community.
- Mobility is not gender neutral, and may have a male bias.
- Women have different needs and behaviours when it comes to transportation.
- Understanding their perspective could improve mobility for everyone.
As multiple studies have shown, women have different patterns, needs and behaviours. Female mobility is characterized by trip-chaining and time poverty. The main reasons for this are that women do 75% of the world’s unpaid care work, the gender pay gap, and women’s physical condition. Women have a smaller range when traveling the same amount of time. Women carry luggage and accompany people, more often on public transport and by foot. The car is less often the default solution.
Say Good-bye to Old Mobility
Plan Zero – also known as “old mobility” or “no plan in sight” – with its stress on more supply, more vehicles and more infrastructure as the knee-jerk answer to all our mobility problems — has been the favored path for conceptualizing, decision-making and investment in the sector over the last 70 years. It is well-known and easy to see where it is leading. Aggressing the planet, costing us a bundle, draining the world’s petroleum reserves, and delivering poor service for the majority . . . Plan Zero is a clear failure. It’s time for directive, coherent, effective action without waiting around for reprieve or good news from some evasive short term fix of distant technology promise. It is time to move to a New Mobility Agenda and fifteen pragmatic, affordable, near-term steps to sustainable transport, sustainable cities and sustainable lives. Continue reading
EARNING A PUBLIC SPACE DIVIDEND IN THE STREETS
Abstract: Experiments with shared space or “naked streets” have captured imaginations and considerable media coverage in recent years. Most of the excitement stems from surprise that streets without kerbs, road markings or signage can work well and achieve “safety through uncertainty”. This paper looks at another equally important insight from shared space.
It focuses on a series of innovations that, like shared space, re-arrange the roles of streets in new ways to yield a “dividend” of expanded urban public realm, with little or no loss of transport utility. Such a space dividend should be especially welcome in dense cities that are both congested and short of public space.
What are streets and roadways for? An obvious answer is traffic movement. But that is clearly not the whole story. A second role is to allow the reaching of final destinations— the role we call “access”. Thirdly, streets can be valuable public places in their own right. In addition, moving high-speed motor vehicles differ enormously from movement by low-speed, vulnerable modes such as bicycles. Unfortunately, speedy motor traffic movement and the other roles of streets are in serious conflict. For almost a century, the tension between these roles has been at the heart of debate over street design (Hass-Klau 1990; Jacobs et al. 2002). This article reviews emerging resolutions to this tension.
The Battle for Street Space
. . . invitation to join an open collaborative action plan to cut GHG emissions from mobility sector in cities by 5% starting in 2021.
“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” – Buckminster Fuller
Climate/Space/Mobility Action Plan: 2021
EXEC SUM: This open collaborative project just getting underway on World Streets aims to demonstrate how cities can reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the mobility sector by at least five percent in the first year after startup. And this by working from a well-prepared two-pronged push and pull strategy based on a combination of (a) sharp VKT reductions (Vehicle Kilometers Traveled) and (b) an expanding ecosystem of Better Choices while working with proven, cost-effective, available technologies and processes.
The project aims to get sharp, measurable results in short time with an approach that is, we argue, Better, Faster and Cheaper — and through this basically reshaping the city’s basic mobility ecosystem. This bold initiative is only possible with very strong leadership and commitment, high technical competence, and an exceptional ability to communicate and engage the population in a fully equitable and positive manner.
COLLABORATIVE STARTUP: Now seeking critical feedback on working materials and proposals, collaborators, presentation opportunities, partners and eventual demonstration projects and sponsors.
We are trying to get a better look at how sustainable transportation is coming along in Australia, as an example of one of the several handfuls of heavily motorized countries which have for decades concentrated on building (and in the process unknowingly locking themselves into) what is basically an all-car infrastructure. This is the second in what we intend to be a series of articles on this topic. Published with the permission of the author, a professor in the media department of a leading Australian university, it takes an outside-looking-in perspective of our topic. Continue reading