The program for the recent Tallinn international conference contains useful information and contacts for researchers, planners, policy makers and others wishing to understand the variety of approaches, projects and perceptions which make up this fast-growing and highly varied field of interest for cities and their citizens around the world.
Stockholm’s professional fare dodgers
For almost two decades a Swedish group of campaigners have defied authority and flipped the passenger-operator power balance by banding together to avoid fares. Their unconventional brand of activism continues to stir feathers and attract stigma – but how does the group justify it?
Around the world, authorities, together with governments and campaign groups, are pushing for increased public transport usage. For their part, people comply, if often out of necessity rather than a personal preference for shared transit.
But in some cities, the price for public commuting is fast becoming prohibitively expensive for low-income citizens. This, together with the argument that more public transport ridership is better for the environment, is why a growing network of supporters are campaigning for free public transport as an intrinsic right of every citizen. Some have taken it one step further, by forming a group of ‘professional fare-dodgers’.
* From a nicely balanced, nicely illustrated article by Eva Gary published in Future Rail on 1 May 2018 at https://bit.ly/2IFdrV9. Thanks Future Rail. Creative Commons Non-commercial share alike
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
Part I: Flashmob in Helsinki
A flashmob choral intrusion that took place on one more winter day in the main train station of Helsinki, the capital of Finland. But what are they singling about?
(A flash mob (just to recall and in case you were out shopping at the time) is an unannounced event involving, by all appearance,s an unrelated group of people who suddenly emerge from the shadows and assemble in a public place, perform an unusual and unexplained act for a brief time, then quickly disperse and continue on their ways. As you can just see here.)
Part II. A Finnish story
A bit of context in case you your Finnish history needs a reminder. Here you have a brief introductory text (quickly translate, apologies) to an excellent one hour documentary that has just appeared on Arte, the French/German public television. (Sadly not yet available in English, so you can test your French, German, Finnish and the striking images which tell a story of their own.)
Events: Getting ready for Taiwan 2017 Collaborative Mission
This year’s program combines site visits, brainstorming sessions, conferences, presentations and vigorous questioning, looking, listening and co-learning with my esteemed long time Taiwanese friends and colleagues.from 22 September to 4 October. Among the main events and presentations:
Battle Royal: Jane Jacobs and Robert Moses
It was late Spring 1958 (as I best recall) in New York City when a young Eric Britton, just out of the US Army and about to dig into the Graduate Faculties of Columbia, was – as young men will do — checking out the action in Washington Square Park in the Village on a warm spring day. When he ran into two little kids wearing a sandwich sign saying something like “Save the Square!”. The kids handed me a pamphlet and explained that they were there to help their mother, who was just over there (they pointed).
And that was how I first met Mrs. Jane Jacobs, hard at work on an at-first very lonely effort to save this precious bit of NYC public space from the depredations of Robert Moses plan — Moses was a high profile public official known as the “master builder” of mid-20th century New York City. His plan was to run an urban highway extension of Fifth Avenue over the concrete remains of what would once have been a beautiful and much used public park. It was clearly going to be a losing cause, but the lady over there decided to stick it out. And as she did others, unknowns and celebrities, gradually started to get behind her cause.
Alternatives assessment or alternatives analysis is a problem-solving approach used in environmental design, technology, and policy. It aims to minimize environmental harm by comparing multiple potential solutions in the context of a specific problem, design goal, or policy objective. It is intended to inform decision-making in situations with many possible courses of action, a wide range of variables to consider, and significant degrees of uncertainty.
Since the early 1970’s transportation planners apply a multi-modal and/or comprehensive approach to analyzing a wide range of alternatives and impacts on the transportation system to influence beneficial outcomes
Penang’s SRS ca. RM 50 bn “Transport Master Plan” does not make scientific use of an essential transport planning and decision tool, namely Alternatives Analysis to test and compare alternative solutions to identified mobility solutions (see below). This is a grave deficiency which discredits the entire body of proposals,, methodology and recommendations currently being actively pushed by the state government and their under-qualified consulting partners whose expertise lies in other sectors than strategic transport planning and policy..