The Mobility Complex: John Whitelegg lights a fire.

Important announcement: To celebrate European  Mobility Week (16th-22nd, www.mobilityweek.eu/) the selling price of the e-book has been slashed to 99 UK pence (£0.99, about 1.15 Euros) from today up until the 22nd.  You will have it immediately at http://tinyurl.com/zxclcz4 . (You may have to hunt for it just under the Kindle edition price slot).

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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.

 

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World Streets International Advisory Council

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With one eye to laying the base for our work and collaborative programs , we are currently in the process of updating and extending this list of distinguished international colleagues, each of whom is hard at work day after day on challenges, projects and programs, alone and with others, all in support of the principles of sustainable development and equity, in cities and countries around the world.  It is our intention to have the revised and expanded version of this panel listing online in the early autumn of 2016.

The final version will include some explanatory materials  to clarify the process by which this “New Mobility Majority” is in the process of overtaking the old attitudes, approaches and policies which have been largely responsible for our gross under-performance in the sector,  all the more important as the 21st century noose tightens in terms of climate, local environment, energy supply, scarce resources, the economy, congestion, poor service quality for the majority, and the long list goes on.  (In the meantime we want to hear from you with your ideas and outstanding nominations for the panel.  And if you spot errors or omissions on the following, please get in touch and let us know.)

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“Thursday”: A breakthrough strategy for reducing car dependence in cities

Whereas Car Free Days have been organized in cities around the world all over the year for the last two  decades, there is inevitably a spate of high activity in the month of September, much of it the result of the European Commission’s continuing commitment to both the concept of Car Free Days and their own European Mobility Week. And each year we here at World Streets dig into our archives and dust off one or two of the classics as a timely reminder of the fact that the Car Free Day concept has been around and doing its bit since the first international CFD challenge was made in Toledo Spain on 19 October 1994.

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Every day is a great day to take a few cars off the road, and think about it.  

This was the theme of the first announcement of a World Car Free Days collaborative initiative that was first proposed in Toledo Spain in October 1994 and which within months was on-street reality in the first three cities launching Car Free Days of their own: Reykjavík (Iceland), Bath (United Kingdom) and La Rochelle (France). World Streets continues to participate actively in planning, celebrating and analyzing the results of these Days (and now Weeks and even Months) in cities around the world. All this from a simple idea that was discussed on a sunny autumn day in the ancient city of Toledo.

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Op-Ed: A Properly Financed Transport Plan for the Long Haul

Penang highway from SRS MP

Project from SRS TMP at http://pgmasterplan.penang.gov.my/. “MOVING PEOPLE NOT CARS”

This official interview with state executive councillor for Local Government,Traffic Management and Flood Mitigation Chow Kon Yeow has appeared at a good time as public discussions are gathering momentum with a growing range of no-political civil society organizations and NGOs asking that the state government reconsider the “Big Bang” project which they have developed by their consultants SRS consortium for an admitted total of RM46bil for a wildly ambitious construction program projected to handle the transportation requirements of the state for the next 50 years. (Other informed estimates set the taxpayer burden at close to 50% higher.)

It is our intention to comment on a number of points advanced by Mr. Chow in a follow-up article in the coming week. For your convenience, you will notice that the items to be discussed are identified by two asterisks and a number for your later reading convenience. We now invite you to enjoy Mr. Chow’s presentation.

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RETHINKING NEW MOBILITY IN PENANG: The search for Values, Vision, Competence, Strategies, Tactics . . and Happiness.

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Introduction.

Dr. AH Abdul Hamid, an eminent traffic and transport engineer from the School of Housing, Building and Planning at the USM, has recently  issued a strong call to respond to the at times acrimonious debate between the government and its consultants who are defending a high cost, car-oriented, project-oriented “Big Bang” program of costly investments (PTMP), and on the other side a coalition of representatives of civil society in Penang who are asking for a revised planning process that better corresponds  to the needs, the environment and the vision of the people of Penang. This call, first published locally in Chinese in the China Press of August 13, 2016 was translated into English and reposted in the Wednesday edition of World Streets – http://wp.me/psKUY-4wd.

Dr. Hamad takes a step back from the increasingly acrimonious public arguments and recommends that

  • “the government engage independent experts to study both the proposals by SRS and the NGOs, based on best scientific estimates of construction cost, acquisition cost, maintenance and operation cost, life cycle, opportunity costs and externalities, ridership, environmental and life quality impacts, cultural and heritage issues, impacts on vulnerable populations, etc. . . .  instead of keep on arguing.”

Inspired by this call for perspective in the following article I have pulled out of my working  notes this article sketching what I believe to be the first basics of an appropriate planning structure and strategy for the much-needed rethink, based on the experience of many cities at the leading edge of sustainable transport that works for all.  In this form it is not an easy read, and for that I appologize. My point is that we need to find a solid science-based middle ground, and as Hilmy advises get on with it “instead of keep on arguing.”

For extensive background on both sides of this debate readers are invited to consult the right hand column of the Sustainable Penang/New Mobility website at https://sustainablepenang.wordpress.com/, .

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Malaysian scholar on Transport and Land Use comments on The Battle of Penang

SRS projects vs. Penang Forum call for new Transport Master Plan

better cheaper faster penang transport master plan 2Translated from Chinese interview of Ahmad Hilmy, transport and city planning scholar from the Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), which appeared in the China Press of August 13, 2016. Mr. Hilmi closes the interview by stating frankly his recommendation that “the government engage independent experts to study both the proposals by SRS and the NGOs, based on best scientific estimates of construction cost, acquisition cost, maintenance and operation cost, life cycle, opportunity costs and externalities, ridership, environmental and life quality impacts, cultural and heritage issues, impacts on vulnerable populations, etc., instead of keep on arguing.

For full background on the fast-growing struggle to create a sustainable transport system for Penang. we direct you to The NGO Challenge Dialogue at http://wp.me/p3GVVk-xJ. The picture is rather murky at first due to considerable obfuscation on the part of the current administration, but if you are interested please take the time to work your way down through that top right menu section also entitled NGO Challenge Dialogue. You make up your mind, and if you have any comments, corrections or suggestions these pages are entirely open.

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Op-ed: Morten Lange (Iceland) in response to Free Public Transport?

iceland Reykjavik free shuttle busHello Eric, Thanks for forwarding the short reply by Lloyd Wright on Free Public Transit to the list.  It made me think: Hmm possibly the comparison of Free Public Transit  to public spaces that are generally open to use by the population free of charge is a strong, valid point.  Beyond that here are some rough, somewhat wide-ranging and unstructured thoughts:

Like so many issues I feel that this one could benefit from a structured presentation perhaps in the form of a matrix or a similar arrangement to provide an overview of the most important issues, arguments and counter-arguments. (I am open for editing-collaboration for such an undertaking.) However, counterarguments and other considerations came flowing as I sat down to write.

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