“The Future Office Is Not About Place”

Returning to the office is certainly a hot topic these days. (I’ve also written about this, here and here.) Sixty-one percent of employers expect at least half of their staff back in the office by October 2021, according to a recent survey by HR consultancy Mercer. Another 87% say flexibility will define their workplaces like never before.

The traditional office has meant centralized spaces housing the vast majority of employees with assigned desks and set office hours. Now, hybrid is top of mind.

What does “hybrid” really mean?

Few companies seem to have clearly defined what “hybrid” really means. When pressed further, leaders share varied descriptions of the physical workplace. For example:

  • Virtual – No physical or centralized office space. All staff work remotely, all of the time.
  • Hoteling – Central office spaces where employees reserve a desk at nearby office locations, as needed.
  • Split Work – Central office spaces where employees are expected to work onsite for ~2-3 days/week and remotely for the rest.
  • Concierge Space – Shared office and meeting spaces that can be reserved or subscribed for varied time periods and locations (similar to what’s been offered by the likes of Regus, WeWork, and Intelligent Office.)

Adopting one of these may represent a dramatic departure from past practices for some businesses. Yet, these aren’t new options. Furthermore, conversations dealing solely with physical space miss the boat.

Real change for the office requires rethinking work.

World Streets Open 2021 Team Problem-Solving Initiative: Climate/Emergency Mobility/Space Jobs/Work Streets/Cars Private/Shared Vision/Strategy Equity/Women Action/Manage

Mixed micro traffic scooter bike ped

– – – – – –  > 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

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2020 CLIMATE/MOBILITY ACTION PLAN & PARTNER SEARCH Invitation to pitch in and join the Five Percent Challenge in your city


FB Your excuses eb

THE  FIVE PERCENT 2020 CLIMATE CHALLENGE

          The World Climate Emergency   // //  The New Mobility Action Plan 

You never change things by fighting against the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the old model obsolete.   —  Buckminster Fuller

 Communication to individuals and groups contacting us to express interest in knowing more about the Five Percent Challenge program, cities and projects in 2020

Thank you for your expression of interest in our shared concerns about our cities and our planet.  We are honored and look forward to being able to follow progress in your related work and projects as well.

Looking ahead — and just so it is clear — as a result of a vigorous recentering of my priority concerns for 2020 and beyond, I have shifted the totality of my work and engagement to the World Climate Emergency — and the following six key words and references: Climate.Cities.Space.Time.Action.NewMobility.org.

2020 PARTNER SEARCH: 

The 2020 project is aiming to network and bring together . . .

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THE FIVE PERCENT CHALLENGE: WORLD CLIMATE/MOBILITY CHALLENGE PARTNERS FOR 2020

magnifying glass climate.PNGDRAFT FOR COMMENT AND EDITING
— to be contacted and integrated into program from the beginning as full partners designing and monitoring the 2020 Five Percent Challenge.
Please share your contact information, addresses, names to that we can bring them into the project from the beginning.
Transport Infrastructure — Car, roads, streets, parking — on- and off-street
Public transporters — Public transport, school and works buses, taxis, free circulator bus services
Automobile lobbies — Owner/drivers, supporting services
Shared mobility — ridesharing, car sharing, shared bicycles, scooters, hitchhiking, slugging, bus pools, etc.)
MicroMobility (bicycles, scooters, very light vehicles, electric scooters, electric skateboards, shared bicycles and electric pedal assisted, pedelec, push scooters.
Mobility substitutes — Proximity, Telepresence, Telework, peak reduction measures

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‘The Ice Is Leaving’ Climate change is melting glaciers worldwide. Only we can stop it.”

Iceland glacier OK melted

By Katrin Jakobsdottir,  prime minister of Iceland, New York Times of  Aug. 17, 2019

Eyjafjallajokull, Iceland’s sixth-largest glacier, gained worldwide recognition when the volcano lurking under it erupted in 2010. Large levels of volcanic ash caused air travel disruptions in Europe, and news reporters across the world struggled with the difficult pronunciation of Eyjafjallajokull, much to the amusement of us native speakers. A less-known and less-tongue-twisting glacier is Ok, which is on a mountaintop in Western Iceland.

But Ok is no longer a glacier.

The ice field that covered the mountain in 1900 — close to six square miles — has now been replaced by a crater lake. It is certainly beautiful, surrounded by patchy snowfields, and is now the highest lake in Iceland. But that beauty quickly fades in the eyes of anyone who knows what was there before and why it is no longer there. Ok’s disappearance is yet another testimony of irreversible global climate change.

# # #

*  Article continues at https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/17/opinion/iceland-glacier-climate-change.html

THE CLIMATE REVOLUTION MUST BE ACCESSIBLE – THIS FIGHT BELONGS TO DISABLED PEOPLE TOO

iceland Reykjavik handicapped group on street - 2

 Article by Hannah Dines, Extracts Reprinted from The Guardian ,  15 October 2019  . Picture – Disabled group being helped by caregivers. Reykjavik, Iceland. Thanks to Alamy. 

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change has done work on gender equality, using “gender focal points”, people who assist in gender-related decisions about the climate. But there isn’t a list of representatives with disabilities, though the outcomes of climate change negotiations will disproportionately affect us. The Paris agreement makes clear its obligation to disability and human rights, but will people with disabilities actually be involved in the discussion?

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Civic Plan for a Climate Emergency

wierd city buit si-fi environment

Building the 1.5 degree, socially-just city

Discussion document for policy makers & civic leaders

Paul Chatterton, School of Geography, University of Leeds, UK. Full text HERE

This climate emergency is also a ‘city emergency’. Most of the world’s population will soon be urban. Cities are locked in to high energy throughputs, are responsible for about three-quarters of global GHGs and energy use, have ecological footprints larger than their city limits, and remain locked in to high-growth, high-consumption lifestyles.

In the context of growing awareness of the severity of climate breakdown, the central role cities play in this, and the lack of rapid action, municipalities around the world are declaring ‘climate Emergencies’. To date 40 municipalities in the UK have signed such a declaration. Worldwide around 50 million now live in cities that have declared emergencies. This is an exciting addition to city level action through, for example, the C40 Leadership Group and the Global Covenant of Mayors.

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World Streets launches 2021 Collaborative Climate/Mobility Action Plan

FB no excuses eb tour– – – – – – – – > Working draft update of 12 December. To be finalized over month.

WORLD STREETS is betting its future on the coming immediate-term transition period 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. And our job is to support them as best we can.

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Iceland’s Prime Minister Talks Climate Change and Gender Equality

Icelandic Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir
Sometimes it can be an advantage to be small. You can do things bigger and faster.

Icelandic Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir in an interview of 25 July 2019 with Ciara Nugent  of Time Magazine. See  https://time.com/5634790/iceland-prime-minister-climate-change-interview/ for full text. (Thank you Ciara and Time for these extracts .)

One of the only government heads from an environmentalist party, Jakobsdottir wants to make the country a leader in climate action too, with an ambitious plan to make Iceland carbon neutral by 2040, 10 years before the target set for Iceland’s neighbors in the E.U. “It can be an advantage to be small,” she says. “You can do things bigger and faster. You can actually change everything in a very short time.”

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TDM – A World Streets Primer

TDM HOV lane

Since TDM (Transportation Demand Management) is a key pillar of the New Mobility Agenda strategy, and of our now forming-up Five Percent Challenge Climate Emergency program, it is important that the basic distinctions are clear for all.  In one of our recent master classes, when several students asked me to clarify for them, I turned the tables instead and asked them, since we are now firmly in the 21st century, to go home, spend a bit of time online and come up with something that answered their question to their satisfaction.  Here is what they came up with, taken whole hog from http://bit.ly/2rTxHrr (which we then lightly edited together and offer for your reading pleasure).

Quick-start references:

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‘WE’RE DOOMED’ . . . Mayer Hillman on the climate reality no one else will dare mention

China Mekong Basin desertification AFP Huang Dinh Nab Le Monde

Let’s see what Dr. Mayer Hillman —  eminent architect, town planner and Senior Fellow Emeritus since 1992 at the Policy Studies Institute, University of Westminster where he worked for at least thirty years —   had to offer in an interview that appeared in The Guardian last week.  By Patrick Barkham   Full text with illustrations  at https://bit.ly/2FjpEbI

W’re doomed,” says Mayer Hillman with such a  beaming smile that it takes a moment for the words to sink in. “The outcome is death, and it’s the end of most life on the planet because we’re so dependent on the burning of fossil fuels. There are no means of reversing the process which is melting the polar ice caps. And very few appear to be prepared to say so.”

Hillman, an 86-year-old social scientist and senior fellow emeritus of the Policy Studies Institute, does say so. His bleak forecast of the consequence of runaway climate change, he says without fanfare, is his “last will and testament”. His last intervention in public life. “I’m not going to write anymore because there’s nothing more that can be said,” he says when I first hear him speak to a stunned audience at the University of East Anglia late last year.

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ON THE OCCASION OF AN EIGHTIETH BIRTHDAY: A few words with my friends

Climate emisssions mobility rapid cuts = The Guardian 5 Dec 2018

The power of a new mobility concept depends not on how well it solves a given, targeted problem. But on how many problems it (partly) solves. –   Marco Te Brömmelstroet

 ON THE OCCASION OF MY BIRTHDAY, A FEW WORDS WITH MY FRIENDS

  • Eric Britton,Convener, World Streets Climate Initiative, Paris. 27 June 2019

Dear friends, colleagues, planners, policy makers, students, professors, people working with local government, engineers, accountants, and above all those of you as active citizens and participants in civil society, whom I have met, not met, collaborated, swapped ideas with, argued, modifying my position and then arguing some more . . . Because as you and I know well, nothing ever stays fixed and final in the world of transport and mobility.

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Op-Ed: “After 25 years of failure, we should abandon the UNFCCC”

  • Published Climate Change News on 27/03/2019,  Because of its importance, we reproduce it here in its entirety. With thanks.

Emissions are at record levels and the international  treaty designed  to rein them  in cannot  drive action.   It is time for new ideas to be explored

“While we’ve made enormous progress in 25 years, the world is still running behind climate change.”

“Today, the urgency to address climate change has never been greater. But because of the work begun 25 years ago, we are also better coordinated to take it on. We have the Paris Agreement, and we have the guidelines strengthening that agreement. What we need now are results.”

This is a summary of the statement that Patricia Espinosa, executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), put out on the occasion to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the entry into force of the UNFCCC.

While I agree with the sentiments above, especially the urgency to address climate change, I disagree with two points: one, the progress made by the UNFCCC so far and two, the potential of the UNFCCC to deliver results in the future.

Leaders told to bring plans, not speeches to UN climate summit

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THE MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH (A TALE FOR OUR TIME)

(Relax. It’s the weekend. And nothing to do with climate change of course. Of course)

–  Edgar Allan Poe (Boston, 1842)

THE “Red Death” had long devastated the country. No pestilence had ever been so fatal, or so hideous. Blood was its Avatar and its seal –the redness and the horror of blood. There were sharp pains, and sudden dizziness, and then profuse bleeding at the pores, with dissolution. The scarlet stains upon the body and especially upon the face of the victim, were the pest ban which shut him out from the aid and from the sympathy of his fellow-men. And the whole seizure, progress and termination of the disease, were the incidents of half an hour.

But the Prince Prospero was happy and dauntless and sagacious. When his dominions were half depopulated, he summoned to his presence a thousand hale and light-hearted friends from among the knights and dames of his court, and with these retired to the deep seclusion of one of his castellated abbeys.

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SLOW CITY TRANSITION: NOTES FOR A THINKING EXERCISE

FB SC - Groningen streetThe idea of slowing top speeds on traffic in the city to reduce accidents and achieve other important systemic benefits would seem like a pretty sensible, straightforward and affordable thing to do. For a lot of reasons.  Let’s have a look.

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Op-Ed: To Fight Climate Change, Think Politics First, and Often

Protest Green New Deal, San Fran - Photo Peg Hunter via Flickr CC

By Nathan Lobel, Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment|Feb. 26, 2019

In October, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reported that we have little more than a decade to stave off climate catastrophe. Avoiding such a fate, the panel warned, “would require rapid and far-reaching transitions in energy, land, urban and infrastructure (including transport and buildings), and industrial systems… unprecedented in terms of scale.”

Punctuating a year of natural and political climate-related disasters, the IPCC report sparked renewed calls for action. Economists, environmentalists, and policy elites took to the nation’s opinion pages with a common prescription: to fight climate change, Congress should put a price on carbon, thus “internalizing” the social cost of fossil fuel consumption.

From one perspective, converging on carbon pricing makes lots of sense — after all, carbon prices are often thought to be the most efficient means to mitigate climate change. But, despite its theoretical utility, carbon pricing has also struggled to deliver the real and drastic emissions reductions that we so desperately need.

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PROFILE: Cambridge City Council’s Climate Change Strategy

Cambridge drivers spend a whopping 23 days a year queuing in traffic

Cambridge has been named the congestion capital of the UK – weeks after the council announce ‘peak hour’ parking charges

ANNUAL CLIMATE CHANGE STRATEGY, CARBON MANAGEMENT PLAN AND CLIMATE CHANGE FUND UPDATE REPORT

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