THANK YOU FINLAND ON YOUR HUNDREDTH ANNIVERSARY OF INDEPENDENCE AND EXEMPLARITY: Efficiency, equity, education, democracy, environment, accomplishment, modesty and fresh ideas . . . (You’d be singing too)

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.)

Continue reading

Outreach for success: Local actors & implementation partners

Too often when it comes to new transport initiatives, the practice is to concentrate on laying the base for the project in close working relationships with people and groups who a priori are favorably disposed to your idea, basically your choir. Leaving the potential “trouble makers” aside for another day. Experience shows that’s a big mistake. We have to take a . . .
Continue reading

Towards Sustainable Transport in Malaysia – What we already knew in 2001 and are steadfastly ignoring today

Penang Changing Directions - color

The Consumer Association of Penang organized a National Seminar on Changing directions from 7-10 September 2001  in Penang, subsequent to which a report was published and we now make  freely available here in its entirety at This is a remarkably prescient document which was largely ignored at the time despite the vigorous effort of the Consumers’ Association of Penang and others in the city’s lively civil society and NGOs.  Somehow neither Penang or the national government were prepared to devote time and resources to finding the path to sustainable transport in cities. (And they were not the only ones.)

Continue reading

Gender, Equity and Transport in . . . Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Benin, Botswana, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada. . .

fb india ladies at bus stop in rain

Gender, Equity and Transport Forum 2.0

Who  do  you  know  who  is giving these critical challenges of gender, equity and transport their consistent attention, place after place, year after year and measure after measure in  . . . Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Benin, Botswana, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Ghana, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mexico, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Republic of the  Congo, Rwanda, Senegal, Solomon,  Islands, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tunisia, Uganda, United Kingdom, United,States, Vietnam, Zambia and Zimbabwe. And who talk to each other about it?

Have you heard about Gatnet?  A community of practice and public policy program on Gender and Transport, addressing the problems of women, particularly Southern women and girls, facing the everyday reality of gender inequality in the transport sector. The program deals with specific problems in specific places in Africa, Asia and Latin America, both cities and in very poor outlying rural areas where safe and fair access is an enormous problem of day to day life, often falling especially hard on women and young girls.

Let’s have a look.

Continue reading

Greek Crisis: Why Greece’s Lenders Need to Suffer

Sustainable Development, Economy, Democracy

These first excerpts from an article by Adam Davidson published in The New York Times Magazine on 28 July 2015 deserves the closest attention of anyone who wishes to have a balanced understanding of the events shaping what we call here the “Greek crisis”.

Bond traders goldman SachsThere is definitive proof, for anyone willing to look, that Greece is not solely or even primarily responsible for its own financial crisis. The proof is not especially exciting: It is a single bond, with the identification code GR0133004177. But a consideration of this bond should end, permanently, any discussion of Greece’s crisis as a moral failing on the part of the Greeks.

GR0133004177 is the technical name for a bond the Greek government sold on Nov. 10, 2009, in a public auction. Every business day, governments and companies hold auctions like this; it is how they borrow money. Bond auctions, though, are not at all…

View original post 766 more words