CAPITALIST TRANSITION ON WHEELS: Cars, motorbikes and mobility in Hanoi

Arve Hansen’s excellent PhD thesis on the transition from bicycles and walking to motorbikes and cars in Hanoi is available here bit.ly/2MJEPOU. Thanks to Javier Caletrío <jmontfra@hotmail.com> and our friiends at the UTSG for the heads-up and to the Mobile Lives Forum for the following texte excerpts from their summary presentation at  </jmontfra@hotmail.com>http://bit.ly/2Np3BJB

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1. What is your research topic? What thesis are you defending?

 * Interview with the author, Arve Hansen of the Center for Development and the Environment, University of Oslo. 

My overall research topic is consumption and development, and I am particularly interested in changing consumption patterns in contexts of rapid social and economic changes. In my PhD thesis I studied the transition from bicycles and walking to motorbikes and cars in Hanoi. In other words, I studied a transition from very low-carbon mobilities to high-carbon mobilities. I approached the topic at the intersection between macro-scale processes of economic development and everyday mobility practices. And in Vietnam’s capital city, understanding contemporary mobilities first and foremost requires an understanding of the motorbike, a so far surprisingly understudied vehicle in the mobilities turn.

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WHAT’S THIS? VÉLO’V! VÉLO’V?

And just in case you may not happen to know . . .  back in early 2005, the City of Lyon, in close partnership  with  the firm JCDecaux (street furniture, outdoor advertising) , got together in a lively partnership and for the first time ever  in a city anywhere on the planet decided to dump  a couple of thousand “public bikes” onto the streets of a city, keep them working  and see what happens.   And they never looked back.

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Signs of Europe’s Emerging Sustainable Spring

cycle paths in Europe Map

MAP SHOWING LOCATION, DENSITY OF CYCLING PATHS IN EUROPE.

Invaluable for tourism, leisure and sports cycling. And for many of us our daily (sustainable) mobility.

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FRANCE CYCLING/FAST FORWARD 2024:  MULTIPLY MODAL SHARE BY A FACTOR OF FOUR. (Can we do it?)

Yes we can!

Report by Jérémie Almosni, head of ADEME’s transport and mobility department, Mathieu chassignet, expert in sustainable mobility, Véronique Michaud, general secretary of the Club des Villes et Territoires and Olivier Schneider, president of the French Federation of Bicycle Users ( FUB).

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“It’s the pace of the technology meeting the pace that our municipalities move at”

Dockless bike pile up image silenthill imagine China

Image: SilentHill

Ouch! And so well said!

These few telling words from  Stacy Thompson, director of the Livable Streets Alliance, a transportation advocacy group watching out for the public interest in Boston Massachusetts — in the context of a critical commentary on the dockless bike wars that are  presently ravaging cities and challenging governments around the world.

And this of course is what World Streets is supposed to be all about: The Politics of Transport in Cities.  Satcy has put our challenge into a nutshell.

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VÉLIB’ CRISIS IN PARIS: “THE HARDEST IS YET TO COME”

Happier days for Vélib’ in Paris

JCDecaux, which operated the Paris Vélib ‘self-service bicycle service for ten years before losing the market to Smovengo last year, said on March 8 that its successor was not up to the challenge of the delays accumulated in its launch.

The Smovengo consortium chosen last spring by the Autolib ‘Vélib’ Métropole union at the expense of JCDecaux, had promised to install 1,400 new stations (or 20,000 Vélib) by March 31st. According to the latest figures, only 345 stations were in service, making this schedule unreachable. Faced with the controversy and anger of Vélib’ users, the City of Paris announced that it was sending municipal staff to supervise the deployment and work of the provider, a rare decision

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TEN GREAT YEARS OF VELIB’ IN PARIS: 2007 – 2017. Introduction and researcher/student quick toolkit:

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.
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