Commentary and reflection on an article originally appearing in a Geek Wire posting by Bob Sullivan on 24 January – which when posted last week to our World Streets Online Facebook site at https://www.facebook.com/WorldStreetsOnline attracted considerable attention. In the posting that follows, we propose an open thinking exercise in three parts which you are invited to join.
World Streets has for some years now pushed hard for the idea of an integrated strategic planning approach and operations plan for the better, safer use of motorized two wheelers in and around cities. This has largely been an uphill struggle. Not to claim that there have not been innovations and improvements here and there. But for the most part, this creeping problem continues insidiously to take on ever great proportions, while those responsible continue to look elsewhere. We really need to do better than that.
Which is one of the reasons that since 2010 we have insistently solicited articles and references from different countries concerning M2Ws, which you can find here under https://worldstreets.wordpress.com/tag/m2w/. This op-ed contribution by Dr. Wayne Gao was set off in a discussion which had as its origin a recommendation by the Britton Advisory Mission to Taiwan of 23-30 January, which you can find here
[This posting announces a new component of World Streets Battles of Ideas, that was launched yesterday.]
If you wanted to know about the state of play of the sustainable transport revolution in a given country, where do you turn first? Let’s see if we can be of some help with a few suggestions at least to get you going.
Points of Light? World Streets shortlist of outstanding individuals, groups and organizations who are, each in their own way, contributing to showing the way in your country, when it comes to the very difficult up-hill transition from Old Mobility (back when we were fascinated by infrastructure, vehicles and, implicitly, privilege) to New Mobility (a world that favors instead people, access, equity, systemic efficiency and quality of life). Might be an NGO, university or other research program, outstanding city agency, consultant, company, operator, labor union, cooperative, foundation, institution, government agency, technology source, investigative media, active citizens, event, etc. Or a project, exemplary or a failure rich in lessons. Or eventually live linkages to outstanding and useful international and regional cooperative programs.
A morning like all others in Taipei traffic
Lyon, 3 February 2015
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
It had been a year and a half since I last worked in Taiwan, the longest separation since I started collaborating with colleagues there in 2009. During much of this interval, in addition to my teaching, editorial responsibilities and advisory work, I have been working on a most challenging new book under the title “General Theory of Transport in Cities”. The book aims to set out what I believe to be a much needed, consistent base for planning, policy and investment decisions in this important and fast changing field where ad hoc decision-making by unprepared politicians and ambitious interest groups has all too often prevailed.
This last year has been a period of deep reflection on my accumulated experience in the transport and sustainable development fields in cities around the world over more than four decades. As a result of this ongoing process, I find myself this time looking at the issues in Taiwan from this broader international perspective. My keynote address to the International Forum on Livable City & Eco-Mobility in Hsinchu on 29 January was the first in a series of international “road tests”, which are giving me a precious opportunity to present some of the main arguments from the book before expert audiences to test them and seek their critical comments and views. The lively discussions that took place in Hsinchu during the forum and my four days there proved to be most valuable.
Intersection in the central OSK demonstration site
The following PowerPoint slides were created to accompany a fifty minute keynote address by the editor of World Streets to the International Forum on Livable City and Eco-Mobility hosted by the Hsinchu city government in Taiwan on 29 January 2015. (A video of the address to be made shortly available.)
The presentation addresses and comments on the challenges being faced by this recently elected new administration, including in the context of his book in progress “Convergence: General Theory of Transport in Cities “, with discussion as well of sections of the recently published book of the Canadian urbanist and writer Charles Montgomery, “Happy City: Transforming Our Lives through Urban Design”.
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The Young Scholars/Future Leaders program organized in association with the inaugural Kaohsiung World Share/Transport Forum provided a highly innovative and useful component of the 2010 event, which we are keen on build on and extend in the future. To this end, we publish here today background information taken from the original event, as a stepping stone in the direction of bringing the entire program up to date and making it one of the key building blocks of the still to be decided 2013 World Forum. More to follow on this shortly but for now read on here.