Dr. Michael Lim Mah-Hui
The gentleman on the bike, Dr. Michael Lim Mah-Hui, is a city councilman in George Town, Penang, Malaysia. With an international background in economics, finance and public policy, he also has a long time interest in the challenges of sustainable development, livable cities, equitable transport, land use and historical preservation. He is active both as an elected councilor but also as a concerned and active citizen. He is in this, in his own words, for the long haul.
In a recent presentation to the City Council of Penang Island “Bicycling as One Component of a Comprehensive Transport Plan” — he wrote:
We are pleased to be able to share with you the speaking notes prepared by a friend of many years and emerging pillar on the international transport policy scene, Philippe Crist of the International Transportation Forum for his opening keynote address to this year’s Velo-City conference in Nantes.
Philippe, who for years has spent more than an hour each day peddling through Paris traffic to work at the OECD, takes a few steps back from the immediate concerns of the many workshops and events, and invites us to contemplate the big picture and hopefully in the process remember three words that he has chosen for the core of his presentation, three words that he proposes can help us understand, shape and support the future of cycling in our cites, smaller towns and rural communities around the world. The words are: Serendipity (stumbling on something important by keen eye and happy chance); the concept of Resilience; and the initially puzzling neologism “Supernormal”. To put this presentation to work, we invite you to review it in parallel enjoying the illustrated 12 minute video of his address which you will find at the Opening Plenary Part 3 at http://livestream.com/lacitenantes/Velocity2015/videos/89111933 (start viewing at 36:30).
Miriam Ricci, a Research Fellow at the Centre for Transport & Society at the University of the West of England, has recently completed a research report on bike sharing that will be of interest to our readers. Her paper is concerned with identifying and critically interpreting the available evidence on bike sharing to date, on both impacts and processes of implementation and operation.
The ten page analytic report is freely available online from Elsevier until July 19, 2015 at http://authors.elsevier.com/a/1R6t47sdbMZRLC. A short description and introduction to the report follows here.
UNLEARNING as a sustainability strategy?
What does not being able to ride a bike have to do with sustainable development? Or rather of course UNsustainable development, which is the dominant and to now apparently unbreakable pattern? Thousands of conferences have been organized, more thousands of books printed,programs launched, actions organized, treaties signed, promises made (and broken), and despite all that and by just about all valid indicators, the bottom line of our unsustainability continues tragically to deteriorate, to destroy our gasping planet. As you can see here:
Penang. May 18, 2015. The Star Online – http://www.thestar.com.my/
The island’s target of being the first state to have a bicycle sharing system or rent a bike has hit a speed bump.
The company which won a Penang Island City Council (MBPP) tender to create the system has postponed the launch of the project, which was supposed to roll out this month.
Public Bike Share Sdn Bhd chief executive officer and founder Hubert Fong said he was concerned that the take-up rate for bike commuting among Penangites was too slow for the system to be in demand.
“We need more people to be willing to use bicycles for commuting. Although we see more people getting on board, the numbers are growing too slowly,” he said.
It would be an awful thing indeed if around the world each of us, each person, each group, each city, each country had to learn only our own lessons in isolation, without being able to open our eyes and look beyond our borders and what we know. In the following short report, roughly translated by Google and the editor from the original Dutch article which appeared yesterday morning in the web journal KpVV Travel Behaviour, Friso Metz tells us a story of low cost problem solving based on social analysis and citizen participation from the beginnings, as opposed to treating all problems of transport as infrastructure considerations to be sorted out by experts and politicians.