This issue brings together two important strands of thinking in sustainable mobility and the bigger picture around how the world is changing and now faces a rather stark choice. We can either go down the route of high quality, people-centred, healthy, active, child-friendly cities or we can finish the job started by Henry Ford and shape a future dominated by vehicles and technology, exterminate walking, cycling and public transport and deeply entrench our total submission to a space greedy, dollar-greedy, unhealthy technological domination of the way we live. The latter is the world of electric vehicles and autonomous vehicles (AVs) and is now attracting large scale support and buy-in from politicians, corporations and environmental groups.
* Full text available here – https://goo.gl/9aecLD
The mobility/growth paradigm (or the mobility complex)
– By John Whitelegg, extract from his book MOBILITY. A New Urban Design and Transport Planning Philosophy for a Sustainable Future, Chapters 2 and 3. For more on the New Mobility Master Class program click here – https://goo.gl/BB2pPE
Mobility is most commonly measured, if at all, as total distance travelled per annum per capita in kilometres and/or total distance travelled per day per capita. There are other important dimensions e.g. number of trips made per day or number of destinations that can be accessed by different modes of transport in a defined unit of time but these are not generally measured in a systematic way or included in data sets. Usually mobility is not defined. It has become a rather vague concept associated with quality of life or progress and it is invoked as a “good thing” and something that should be increased. This is very clear in most national transport policies and at the European level where major transport policies and funding mechanisms are increasingly framed.
A recent EU research and development document (European Commission 2013a) begins with the main heading “Mobility for growth.” It does not define mobility. The document is an undiluted manifesto accepting and promoting the growth of mobility and advocating the importance of this growth for the success of wider economic policy objectives, asserting the unquestioned importance of endless economic growth and ignoring the voluminous literature on the impossibility of endless economic growth and of ecological and resource limits to growth (Douthwaite, 1992, Schneidewind, 2014).
— Get ready for WTPP Volume 23.3&4 December 2017,
In which an even dozen outstanding international transport experts take on (and take apart) the Transport Infrastructure Zombie, limb by painful limb.
In this issue, we return to some key themes in sustainable transport. The article by Wendy Sarkissian and Lori Mooren reflects on the death in a road crash of Wendy’s husband and puts this dreadful experience in a wider context of how we should deal with eliminating death and injury on the roads and how we should improve our ability to react to tragedies of this kind. At a time when 3 cyclists this year (January and February 2017) have been killed in London (see reference list) we are even more acutely aware than ever that these horrific tragedies are not interrogated systematically and thoroughly and not translated into immediate action to get the chances of death and serious injury as near to zero as we can.
This is the point of Vision Zero, the Swedish road safety policy that says “a mistake in the road traffic environment must not attract the death penalty”.
This issue of WTPP reminds us that India has been in the news a lot in recent months mainly for its poor air quality, deaths and injuries on the roads and the serious damage this does to quality of life, family life and the economy. In the 23 years of World Transport Policy & Practice (WTPP) we have not carried enough material by Indian authors and want to use this editorial to encourage more submissions from that country.
We would like to explore the underlying factors that have produced such a large loss of life and decline in quality of life and also to explore the links between transport and poverty alleviation. We know that Kolkata has one of the world’s oldest tram systems, a metro, an urban railway and river ferries but we hear very little about how these assets are being put to use to encourage higher levels of use and lower level of car use. We hear about the abolition of diesel fuelled vehicles and car rationing by odd/even number systems in Delhi but we don’t know how effective these have been. We also hear very little about pedestrian and cyclist facilities in Indian cities and the contribution they can make to air quality, reducing congestion and alleviating poverty. So please contact us!
But there is more to Vol 21, No. 4 than that. Let’s have a look . . .
Morning rush hour in Kolkata
Professor John Whitelegg writes in the lead editorial of the latest edition of World Transport Policy & Practice (WTPP Vol 21, No. 4, February 2016) *:
India has been in the news a lot in recent months mainly for its poor air quality, deaths and injuries on the roads and the serious damage this does to quality of life, family life and the economy. In the 23 years of World Transport Policy & Practice (WTPP) we have not carried enough material by Indian authors and want to use this editorial to encourage more submissions from that country.
This issue of World Transport Policy and Practice marks the migration of the journal and its associated web site to a new location. The new web site address is: http://worldtransportjournal.com
The new site will also contain information from our US partners, Transportation Choices for Sustainable Communities Research & Policy Institute and occasional announcements about new books and resources that will assist the global community seeking to accelerate the transition to a genuinely sustainable transport future. This transition is now more urgently needed than ever and future issues of the journal will try very hard to communicate the urgency and practicality of this transition to those who make the decisions.