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 https://goo.gl/kQVD0T. 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.)
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.
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”.
There 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…
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Further to our recent posting on “Climate Change 101: Thinking about Illich, Energy and Equity” we have just received he following commentary from Chris Bradshaw (See author note below.)
In that volume, there is an introductory note, which might be useful to add (see end, along with the forward for the 1974 publication — Perennial Library — of this essay by itself). Two things come from these two extras: a) this essay first appeared in Le Monde (yes, probably in French), and b) his defined audience included, equally, the under-developed world.
He, of course, missed global warming as an issue that would fit nicely next to “energy crisis.”
I would add that he missed the link between high-speed and high-power and the formalities of control — rules, regulations, resources — that also disenfranchise those with less speed and power.
Peter D. Norton’s recent book, “Fighting Traffic” does a yeoman effort to show how the transition from “transit” to “transport” in North American cities took place 1915-1935.
I will continue to muse over Illich’s brilliant thinking.
In the following op-ed, thirteen prominent economists of Greek origin from around the world call on Greece to sign a credible agreement with the Europeans immediately.
What would be crucial elements of a good agreement?
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In the context of ongoing work on a new book, “Toward a General Theory of Transport in Cities”, it is becoming increasingly clear to me that the starting point for policy and political decisions in the field often described as “urban transport” absolutely has to open up with considerations not of vehicles and infrastructure, technology and entrepreneurship, nor even of people and cities, but on the very bottom line our starting place must be climate and GHG emissions. And the other half of the climate coin is energy, and in fact equity.
So may I suggest that this could be a good time for us to have another look at Illich’s incisive and important 1974 book “Energy and Equity”. And I ask you, how do you think these remarks and views stand the test of time? We need to bear in mind the political (Vietnam, Cold War, Allende, voter registration, 1968, etc.) currents of the time, along with the Oil Crisis, Club of Rome, The Limits of Growth, etc., discussions, concerns and panics of the early seventies. But none of this detracts from the singular vision that this exceptional observer and finest of men has given us.
So here you have it. The whole thing. Print it out. Mark it up. Share your thoughts. Let me take a single phrase from the book to get the ball rolling: “Participatory democracy postulates low-energy technology. Only participatory democracy creates the conditions for rational technology.” (And this almost two decades before the phrase “sustainable development” first appeared on the radar screen. So off we go through the looking glass and into the future with Illich as our guide!)