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 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.
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 . . .
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.
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?
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.
– – – – – – – – > 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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
(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.
The 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.
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 putapriceoncarbon, 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.