Charles Montgomery digs into his book “Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design” in this 19 minute TEDx talk, and explains to us how happiness can be not only a wish or dream, but can be approached by policy makers and city builders as a measurable and achievable goal.
Author Charles Montgomery Talks “Happy City” with Mark Gorton, Philanthorpist and public servant
The author of this brief illustrated article appearing in a recent issue of Fast Company & Inc provides us with an easy read with pencil sketches in which she looks at and comments very briefly on a hand-picked collection of cities, each of which making their own way to their New Mobility Agenda. The selection of the seven cities is excellent (of course one can always argue, but you have picked among the top contenders) and the writer has done a good job in her short statements on each. Plus a number of very nice and evocative photos that help us first to dream, then to dare and then to do.
Paris has a sustainable transportation strategy. It is working pretty well and they continue to make steady progress on it, though with miles to go before they sleep. What makes Paris particularly interesting and instructive as a real world example is that for many years it did not, and by the early 70s there were first big infrastructure initiatives knocking at the door that would have certainly turned it from being a city for people into a city for cars. And that particular destiny, by the way, was not just a random series of events. It was premeditated, largely shared in policy circles and destined to happen. At the time, in 1974, the Prefect for Paris (Paris did not at that point have its own mayor and hence a focal point and guardian of that special qualities) famously said (in my approximate but not inaccurate memory) “Parisians are born with two legs and four wheels”. Oops!
when you don’t hear the
hoofing sounds of horses put
your ear to the ground
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