Watching Briefs / Lenses


A lens can provide a different way of looking at an object or a process.  Beyond our “normal” (personal) perception of what is going on and what is important. And when it comes to complex public services, say getting around in cities, we need to be able to look at them from a wide variety of different perspectives and priorities. Which is what this section of World Streets is all about. 

World Streets is intended as a journal of record of the world wide push to sustainable transport and sustainable cities, and as a resource. Many of our readers will for the most part keep their eye on the latest articles, but there are also others — students, researchers, activists, civil society, journalists, citizens looking for background on specific topics — who need to have quick access to what the site has to offer.  Which, it turns out, is quite a lot.

glasses2 January 2017: This page to be updated and expanded. In the meantime we invite you to scroll through the LENSES tag on the top menu here, and also if you scroll down on the let you will see a more complete listing of WATCHING BRIEFS/LENSES. To access what world Streets has to offer on any given target, the SEARCH engine on the top right column works quite well.

Since the opening weeks of 2008 when the first articles and comments started to dribble into the original World Streets website, we have slowly but steadily become home to several thousand contributions from a wide variety of sources and places on a very wide range of topics which relate to and in some cases even determine how we move around in our cities and greater metropolitan areas. All that is well and good but even with a small battery of quite versatile search engines (see Searching World Streets for more on that) , it can be challenging to figure out how to exploit this growing base of experience, knowledge and opinion.

For that reason, we have developed this section on lenses as different ways of looking at things —  which sets out and will take you to a selection of issues and  topics which we are tracking particularly closely for their potential as components of global sustainable transport reform. Check us out on climate and environment, behavior and choice, politics and governance, land use and sprawl, cycling and walking, xCars and xTransit,  politics and civil society, equity and gender, greed and empathy, economic instruments and sharing, speed and “free” public transport, benchmarking and “Worst Practices” . . .  You will see the full list of the current Lenses just to your right here on the pop-out listing.

And if you are looking for a good place to warm up, why not start with a look at our Reader which brings together a selection of about two percent of the total offerings of the journal since 2009 . You will see that there are brains at work in World Streets.

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About the editor: 

Eric Britton
9, rue Gabillot, 69003 Lyon France

Bio: Educated as an international development economist, Eric Britton is an American political scientist, teacher and sustainability activist who has worked on missions and advisory assignments on all continents. Professor of Sustainable Development, Economy and Democracy at the Institut Supérieur de Gestion (Paris), he is also MD of EcoPlan Association, an independent advisory network providing strategic counsel for government and business on policy and decision issues involving complex systems, social-technical change, civil society and sustainable development. Founding editor of World Streets: The Politics of Transport in Cities | See Britton online at and @ericbritton

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