Book review: Mobility: A New Urban Design and Transport Planning Philosophy for a Sustainable Future

* by Ethan Goffman. Posted 8th September 2015 in 

john-whitelegg-inter-view-with-satnam-ranaFor the past couple of decades, a small group of thinkers, calling themselves variously ecological economists, degrowthers, and voluntary simplifiers, has undertaken a seemingly quixotic quest against the global obsession with growth for its own sake. They question the idea that increased gross domestic product will invariably help all people regardless of social standing, and question even more the environmental sustainability of limitless growth. A new book, Mobility by John Whitelegg, a British professor of transportation planning and former local government councilor, puts forth a kind of corollary to this thinking, attacking the pursuit of mobility for its own sake.

Important announcement: Mobility has been priced to  move. Available in both paper and eBook form for less than USD 10.00. See http://tinyurl.com/zxclcz4
(Thank you John for thinking about students, fund-strapped NGOs and readers in developing, smaller cities with tight budgets.)

Continue reading

Smart Phone Applications Primer: Transforming Mobility

smartphones-car-dashboard

Smartphone apps are transforming mobility by improving access to transportation services, increasing mobility, and enhancing traveler engagement. These apps are spawning new businesses, services, and mobility models. For example, within a short period, app-based innovations leapfrogged the livery industry with services, such as Uber, Lyft, and Flywheel. Using smartphones to facilitate mobility is becoming the new norm. Smartphone apps have transformed the way that many travelers arrange for-hire vehicle services, plan for trips, or get real-time transportation information.

This primer, sponsored by the US Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Office of Operations and carried out by theUniversity of California, Berkeley’s Transportation Sustainability Research Center, is intended to demonstrate how vital smartphones are becoming to the transportation network and provide public agencies, transportation managers, and elected officials with a perspective and understanding the role of smartphones in identifying services and choices for individuals and influencing travel behavior.

Continue reading

The Mobility Complex: John Whitelegg lights a fire.

Important announcement: Mobility has been priced to  move. Available in both paper and eBook form for less than USD 10.00. See http://tinyurl.com/zxclcz4
(Thank you John for thinking about students, fund-strapped NGOs and readers in developing, smaller cities with tight budgets.)

john-whitelegg-inter-view-with-satnam-rana-smaller

John Whitelegg, Professor John Whitelegg, is a remarkable man. He has spent his entire professional life as a scholar, teacher, critic, publisher, activist and politician, trying to make sense out of our curious world and the contradictions of transport and mobility. And in a successful attempt to bring all the threads together, what he has learned about our topic in three decades of international work spanning all continents, he has just produced for our reading and instruction a remarkable and, I truly believe, much-needed book.  His title gives away the game – Mobility: Transport Planning Philosophy for a Sustainable Future.

 

Continue reading

POINTS OF LIGHT PROFILES : PENANG MALAYSIA

panang - Lim Mah HuiDr. 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:
Continue reading

Extra-urban Mobility Revolution Coming to your Doorstep

If I live outside of a city — say, in a classic spread suburb, rural area, commuter town or other hard to serve low density area — and if I happen not own a car, or on days when my car is not available, I am going to have an extremely hard time getting to work or wherever it is I need to go this morning.

rural carshare cowIn principle I have a few choices, for example: (a)  Get down on my knees and beg for a ride from family or neighbors. (b)  Try to find (and somehow get to) a bus or local pubic transport (in a period of ever-decreasing public services and budget cuts, so good luck!). (c) Search out a taxi if you can find one, call, wait for it eventually to show up and then pay a hefty amount. (d) For work trips, and if I am lucky, there may be a ride-sharing scheme.  Or, for many less comfortable but still possible, (e) the  hitchhiking option. (f) Or do like an increasing number of my fellow commuters and buy a cheap motorcycle. And perhaps most likely of all (g) be obliged to reschedule or forget the trip. But at the end of the day, and all things considered, I am forced to conclude that the reality of life in suburbia and rural areas today is: no car = no mobility. Harsh!

But stuff changes.We are entering a new and very different age of technology, communications and mobility, and as American writer Josh Stephens reminds us in the following article, things are starting to look up.

Continue reading