The Mobility Complex: John Whitelegg lights a fire.

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.)

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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.

 

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AFRICA STREETS 2018: LETTER OF INVITATION TO AN OPEN COLLABORATIVE PROJECT 

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Another day in morning traffic in Lagos

AFRICA STREETS:

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.)

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Answered: What’s Next for Carfree Times?

Carfree times - cover photo Issue 89 march 2018

Carfree Times #89, 19 March 2018 is now on line at

This issue contains the usual News Bits, but the focus is now exclusively on carfree cities (broadly interpreted), a change supported by nearly all correspondents.

This issue also includes a photo essay by Robin Bassett on Fes-al-Bali, Morocco.

 – J.H. Crawford. carfreecrawford@gmail.com

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HOW MOBILE ARE WE AND HOW DID WE GET HERE? (2018 New Mobility Master Class: Draft for comment)

The mobility/growth paradigm (or the mobility complex)

– By John Whitelegg, extract from his book MOBILITY. A New Urban Design and Transport Planning Philosophy for a Sustainable Future, Chapters 2 and 3. For more on the New Mobility Master Class program click here –  https://goo.gl/BB2pPE

Mobility is most commonly measured, if at all, as total distance travelled per annum per capita in kilometres and/or total distance travelled per day per capita. There are other important dimensions e.g. number of trips made per day or number of destinations that can be accessed by different modes of transport in a defined unit of time but these are not generally measured in a systematic way or included in data sets. Usually mobility is not defined. It has become a rather vague concept associated with quality of life or progress and it is invoked as a “good thing” and something that should be increased. This is very clear in most national transport policies and at the European level where major transport policies and funding mechanisms are increasingly framed.

A recent EU research and development document (European Commission 2013a) begins with the main heading “Mobility for growth.” It does not define mobility. The document is an undiluted manifesto accepting and promoting the growth of mobility and advocating the importance of this growth for the success of wider economic policy objectives, asserting the unquestioned importance of endless economic growth and ignoring the voluminous literature on the impossibility of endless economic growth and of ecological and resource limits to growth (Douthwaite, 1992, Schneidewind, 2014).

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Book review. Urban Re-Industrialization: An alternative economic model

URBAN RE-INDUSTRIALIZATION (Punctum Books 2017) Krzysztof Nawratek editor (Reviewed in the LSE Review of Books)
This is a book with a revolutionary aim – a collection of essays which probe for lacunae in the neoliberal truth of the creative city – and one finds multiple references to the utopian Marxist geographer, Henri Lefebvre, in the different contributions. It is in this utopian light that the call for urban ‘re-industrialisation’ should be seen: not as a nostalgic clamour for a return of heavy industry, but as a vehicle for bringing about new forms of urban coexistence involving communitarian and sustainable forms of production. As Nawratek argues, ‘progressive re-industrialization could be a way towards an alternative, effective economic model’.”

In Urban Re-Industrialization, editor Krzysztof Nawratek brings together scholars to discuss the constitutive elements of the image of the creative city and explore ways of moving beyond it towards what Nawratek calls the ‘Industrial City 2.0’. While the nature and contribution of the individual essays are at times uneven, this is a kaleidoscopic work which weaves together diverse and intriguing lines of worthwhile investigation, finds Frederik Weissenborn.

 The following has been abstracted from a review by Frederik Weissenborn appearing in the LSE Review of Books of  October 23, 2017. The full article is available here – https://goo.gl/uAa41e

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Why are we losing the sustainability wars? In transport, in cities, in our lives? Because we are . . .

Consider these irrefutable, unpleasant truths:

There may be successes and improvements in this project, in this  place, in this way, but when we look at the bottom line — i.e., the aggregate impact of our transport choices and actions on the planet  — it is clear that we (that’s the collective “we” including all of us who have in some way committed to or accepted this great responsiblity, this author certainly included) are failing, big time in this challene. And if we are frank with ourselves, we can see that this is quite simply because . . . Continue reading