INTRODUCING DESPACIO (QUIETLY/ SLOWLY/RELAX)

Car Free Day in Bogota Colombia 2016

Despacio is an international collaborative program out of Bogotá Colombia, established by Carlos Felipe Pardo and colleagues in Bogotá Colombia founded  in 2011, whose work spans three principal areas:
* Development and life cycle
* Urban-regional development
* Climate change, low carbon policies and emissions reduction

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Slow City: In the beginning were the Provos (and the White Plans)

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To understand Luud Schimmelpennink’s White Bicycle Plan, it helps to have a look at the broader context of values, philosophy and politics that were prevailing in Amsterdam at that time –  the Provos, a Dutch counterculture youth movement in the mid-1960s.

And if one concludes that this was more or less what was going on in other parts of Europe and North America, you would be right.  And a bit wrong. The Dutch were digging deeper. At least this part of Dutch society was.

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The Slow City New Mobility Collaborative – First announcement (Testing the water)

FB SC - slow city 1

The Slow City /New Mobility Collaborative is a joint venture launched in late 2016 by Luud Schimmelpennink (The Netherlands)) and Eric Britton (France/USA) as an open public interest forum building on their extensive international competence, experience and networks in the broad area of ecological, environmental and social innovation to improve quality of life in and around cities — and specifically in support of sustainable and equitable mobility and creative use of public space. The two principals have long collaborated on an ad hoc basis, and decided that the time has come for a forceful joint effort targeting the period 2017-2020, from the strategic objective of obtaining sharp reductions of transport-related effluents in support of the Paris COP 21 agreement  — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paris_Agreement

Proposal: a 2017 Amsterdam Brainstorming Slam on Slow Cities 

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BETTER CHOICES: Mobility in an Age of Turbulence

Draft for comment: From advanced working draft of forthcoming book, “BETTER CHOICES: Bringing Sustainable Mobility to your City”.  Latest working drafts currently at available at https://worldstreets.wordpress.com/tag/better-choices/ and https ://www.facebook.com/NewMobilityAgenda/
Comments most welcome to the author at BetterChoices@ecoplan.org

Let’s first step back to consider the principal dynamics of the broader context – and specifically the high level of activity and innovation concerning ways in which climate and environment issues, new mobility patterns, unserved needs, economic realities, technologies, legislation, interest groups, political pressures, and yet more are going through a raging process of adaptation and change, which is often proving quite painful. If we put it all together we can see that this is a sector and a time in which the term “creative destruction” has real meaning.

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World Streets Birdwatchers Guide To Dangerous Political Predators

Reflections on dangerous political predators on the prowl and a real menace to democracy, equity and the planet.
woman camera focusing bird watchers guide-smallerThere is a specific kind of nasty, dangerous, entirely selfish animal on the prowl, to be found in almost every country on this gasping planet, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. And I believe it would be to our great good fortune if we are somehow able to spot this species of villainous beast by recognizing its markings, its familiar, common signs. Know this and we can then go birding.

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Op-Ed. On Motorized Two-Wheelers in Taiwan (and cities around the world)

Taipei M2Ws at intersection - larger

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 

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To fix Sustainable Transport: Ensure Full Gender Parity in all Planning, Decision and Investment Fora (QED)

FB WTL - turkish women on bicycles

Every day is a perfect occasion for World Streets to announce publicly, loudly and yet once again our firm belief that the most important single thing that our society, our nations and our cities could do to increase the fairness and the effectiveness of our transportation arrangements would be to make it a matter of the law that all decisions determining how taxpayer money is invested in the sector should be decided by councils that respect full gender parity. We invite you to join us in this challenge and make it one of the major themes of sustainable transport policy worldwide in the year immediately ahead.

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Sustainable Mobility’s Bitter Pill (And why most politicians do not want to swallow it)

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Vision: Some first reflections on what is, what can be a “Slow City”.

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Draft notes for a thinking exercise and comment.

–  Eric Britton, Institut Supérieur de Gestion, Paris, 6 June 2017

To create a city that works for all, we must start with a vision. Policy without vision is like driving blind-folded. In this short posting we would like to explore the vision of a Slow City.  You will have your own ideas on this but here are ours.  And of course your comments and suggestions are as always most welcome.

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Better Choices | Planners Bookshelf . . . An invitation

–  SHARING, when it comes to transport, can work in many ways.

Introduction: I am hard at work on a book under the title Better Choices: Bringing Sustainable Mobility to Smaller Asian Cities, as described in the attached working note. Better Choices aims to inform and support planners, policymakers, civil society and others who must face the challenges of what is in effect a whole new way of thinking about transport in cities.

After numerous interviews and exchanges, it occurred to me that while we now have great search engines such as Google that can bring the world and all its complexity and crushing detail to our doorstep, in situations like this we need something more focused, concise and immediately useful by way of reference materials, particularly in areas and situations in which the local city team may not have deep competence. It’s good of course to have this level of help in print between the covers of a book, but better yet if it can be online, continuously updated, free and carefully made.

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World Streets/Planners Bookshelf on City Cycling

 bc-planners-bookshelf-logobookstore-with-bicycle

Surprising though it may seem to some, the humble bicycle has a turnkey role in 21st century cities, large or small, North or South, rich or poor. Getting city cycling right is a matter of high priority when it comes both to local and planetary environmental impacts, solid economics, affordability, fossil fuel and resource savings, public health, equity, democracy and quality of life. For all of those of our cities around the world who have over the last decades bought into the car plus speed plus distance plus lost time lifestyle without giving it much thought, getting this transition right is a significant technical, social and political challenge.

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2017 PLANNERS BOOKSHELF : PARKING

– Paul Barter, Adjunct Professor, School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore 

 *  Latest online version at https://goo.gl/SWvxvE.)

Downtown? Don't even think of parking here!PRIMERS:

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Sustainable Penang Civil Society Honor Roll

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Dear Friends of a Sustainable Penang,

I am hard at work on a challenging book under the title BETTER CHOICES: Bringing Sustainable Mobility to Smaller Asian Cities, which is not about Penang, the focus being much broader. However, at one point in the book I intend to comment on some of the most interesting things I have observed that are being done in Penang via the internet and civil society in order to broaden the debate and inform both concerned citizens, government, the business community, policy makers and the public more generally. We call this The Third Force.

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SUSTAINABLE MOBILITY’S BITTER PILL (And why most politicians do not want to swallow it)

MAN HEAD IN SAND

Maybe it will take care of itself.

An even dozen hard facts that politicians, administrators and engineers are finding it very hard to accept – but without which they will never be able to lead the transition to sustainable mobility and a sustainable city.

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The rough road to Sustainable Mobility: Values, priorities, behavior . . and finally, understanding people

indonesia-jakarta-traffic-on-following-monday

WHY ARE THEY THERE? NOW? (Work trip in Jakarta on one more busy morning)  Each person behind a wheel there made a choice.  How can we give them Better Choices? That’s the rub.

What many people call “transportation” . .  is at its very essence not about road or bridges, nor vehicles or technology, and not even about money.  Above all it is about people, their needs, fears, desires and the decisions they make. And the backdrop — real and mental — against which they make those decision. The transport planner needs to know more them and take this knowledge into the center of the planning and policy process. What makes them tick, individually and collectively.  What do they want and what they are likely to resist. And people, as we all know, are intensely complicated, personal and generally change-resistant. . But if we take the time and care we can start to understand them, at least a bit better. Which is a start.

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China’s Lose-Lose Love Affair with the Modern Motor Car

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Report from China: Op-Ed by Robert U. Ayres

In December I travelled to the city of Kunming, in Yunnan province, China. The occasion of the trip was to attend a conference on planning and give a talk on economics at that conference. The host was the newly appointed provincial Governor, who is also the Communist Party Chairman for Yunnan. The organizer was the former chief planner for Singapore, and the attendees were academics and civil servants in the urban planning departments from all of the major cities of  organizer was the former chief planner for Singapore, and the Yunnan province. I was invited on short notice (only two weeks) and I was asked to provide a copy of my talk in advance, without much detailed information about the actual situation. What I did know about China was more applicable to Beijing and Shanghai than to Kunming. So, I had to “punt”, as they say.

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“BETTER CHOICES”?

Bringing Sustainable Transport to Smaller Asian Cities

INDIA GUARGON CAR FREE DAY BICYCLIST

“Better Choices” is the title that Professor S. K. Jason Chang, Director, Advanced Transport Research Center of National Taiwan University and I have chosen for our collaborative book in the works reporting on the challenges of “Bringing Sustainable Transport to Smaller Asian Cities”. The MS is presently in process and is being presented, critiqued, reviewed and discussed  by colleagues in both the Asia/Pacific region and other parts of the world in which the “smaller cities” challenges of sustainable transport transition have much in common with those facing planners, policy makers and others concerned with these planetary issues and dilemmas. The completed book is slated for publication by Think City– http://thinkcity.com.my —  in English, Chinese and Malay editions  in Spring 2017 (other languages currently under discussion).

The following introductory note is taken from the opening chapter of the working edition and is presented here by way of advance information for our international colleagues and others interested, and for your eventual comments, challenges, questions and suggestions. For a short note setting on the overall work plan click to https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B41h-Am2TpUHZldiUGdlbG8wQ2c.
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BETTER CHOICES IN MALTA: 2025 Transport Master Plan

malta-transport-master-plan-car-on-street

Some very interesting things and lively discussions going on in Malta when it comes to their transport master plan for 2025 that we all might learn from. Here is a first set of references to open up the topic:

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