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 by end May 2019, as part of our celebration of the first ten years of our collaborative work in support of World Streets.

Since our work program is being totally shifted to the the challenge of achieving sharp near-term decreases in gases causing global warming —  CO2, CH4, N2O, PFCs, etc., — and in particular those emanating from the local mobility sector, we hope to encourage shorter or longer contributions from the members of our advisory panel on this critical topic

The revised version of this posting (end April 2020) 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 or anywhere in our work, yes please do get in touch and let us know.)

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“It’s the pace of the technology meeting the pace that our municipalities move at”

Dockless bike pile up image silenthill imagine China

Image: SilentHill

Ouch! And so well said!

These few telling words from  Stacy Thompson, director of the Livable Streets Alliance, a transportation advocacy group watching out for the public interest in Boston Massachusetts — in the context of a critical commentary on the dockless bike wars that are  presently ravaging cities and challenging governments around the world.

And this of course is what World Streets is supposed to be all about: The Politics of Transport in Cities.  Satcy has put our challenge into a nutshell.

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World Transport Policy & Practice. Vol. 22 No.4. Feb. 2017

22/4 Summary

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”.

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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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(BC) Transport minimization/Bridging space in different ways

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The TMAP Planners Toolbox:

Transport/Mobility/Access/ Place

To take full advantage of the fundamental structural differences between Old and New Mobility, it can help to reflect on the five necessary different steps of analysis and action suggested by the expression TMAP – which sets out four alternative views or ways of bridging space, which of course is what transportation is supposed to be all about. These are the essential building blocks of a full-function sustainable mobility plan for your city.  If you have not integrated the best of each of these essential steps into your plan, it is time for a bit of continuing education.

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Worst Practices you really do not need to repeat in your city.

Awareness of the environmental, economic, equity and efficiency limitations of the old car-dominated transportation paradigm traces back to the early 1970s and has been extensively documented in the international literature.  But the old ideas, the old almost auto-pilot notions as to what works and what doesn’t die hard.  It is thus necessary that from the perspective of planning and public policy that we keep a sharp eye on all of these old bad habits, from the beginning of the investigatory, preparatory, analytic and planning process.

With this in view here is a first shortlist of well-known transport-related traps which your city really does not need to fall into.  If your strategic transport plan and actual performance, respect the first handful of these criteria.  You can be confident that you’re well on the right path.

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Book review: Mobility: A New Urban Design and Transport Planning Philosophy for a Sustainable Future

* by Ethan Goffman. Posted 8th September 2015 in 

john-whitelegg-inter-view-with-satnam-ranaFor the past couple of decades, a small group of thinkers, calling themselves variously ecological economists, degrowthers, and voluntary simplifiers, has undertaken a seemingly quixotic quest against the global obsession with growth for its own sake. They question the idea that increased gross domestic product will invariably help all people regardless of social standing, and question even more the environmental sustainability of limitless growth. A new book, Mobility by John Whitelegg, a British professor of transportation planning and former local government councilor, puts forth a kind of corollary to this thinking, attacking the pursuit of mobility for its own sake.

Important announcement: Mobility has been priced to  move. Available in both paper and eBook form for less than USD 10.00. See http://tinyurl.com/zxclcz4
(Thank you John for thinking about students, fund-strapped NGOs and readers in developing, smaller cities with tight budgets.)

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* * Or perhaps you prefer something along these lines? (Pedestrian Bridge in Shenzhen, China)

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From the New Mobility Fine Arts Collection: The Inner Eye – Autumn 2016
– https://www.facebook.com/NewMobilityArts/

 * Photo source: http://www.arch2o.com/pedestrian-bridge-in-shenzhen-china/

*This is commonly referred to as putting lipstick on a pig. Moral of the story: you can make it as pretty as you can, but at the end of the day it’s still a pig.”

Because they are so very bad at doing their purported job (i.e. protecting and providing a safe, comfortable and efficient walkable environment for people on foot (or cycle, or wheel chairs or for the elderly, encumbered, simply tired, etc., and because they so often fascinate architects and politicians, we intend from time to time in the NM Fine Arts Collection, show you other examples of how they (do not) work.
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* Have something that you think World Streets readers might appreciate as they wander the Fine Arts  Collection in 2017? Post it to Curator_FineArts@ecoplan.com and we will share it with some of our curators and eventually enter it into the Collection.

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The Mobility Complex: John Whitelegg lights a fire.

Important announcement: Mobility has been priced to  move. Available in both paper and eBook form for less than USD 10.00. See http://tinyurl.com/zxclcz4
(Thank you John for thinking about students, fund-strapped NGOs and readers in developing, smaller cities with tight budgets.)

john-whitelegg-inter-view-with-satnam-rana-smaller

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

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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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World Streets Reader Favorites: 2009-2016

ws-newsstandWhat do the 4,448  readers (today) turn to when they check into Word Streets in the morning? It never fails to surprise us. The variety of choice is enormous, and it often happens that articles which we consider minor if still interesting suddenly take off, because it turns out that our readers make up their own minds for their own reasons. Take the most read posting over the last half-dozen years for example — Why Free Public Transport is perhaps a bad idea.  We thought it was an interesting and timely topic, but never suspected the depth of interest and that in time it would attract more than ten thousand readers. And what is more continue to show up on the most read list day after day.

In any event once a year we sit down and review the most popular articles going all the way back to the first one published in March 2009, and share the top contenders with our readers and anyone who might be curious about what sort of thing shows up here. In this spirit you will find below the most consulted articles of more than 1,720 that have appeared in these pages. These are the issues that our 4,455 readers in 149 countries on all continents show they care about.

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SUPPORT WORLD STREETS: Who? What? Where? How? Why?

We have no money gentlemen, so we shall have to think.
– Ernest Rutherford, on taking over Cavendish Laboratory in 1919

Penang BCF gent on bike beautiful


World Streets is an independent, collaborative,  public interest platform working daily in support of sustainable transport, sustainable cities and sustainable lives and which, as a matter of policy, we make freely available to all who are looking to understand, support, and contribute to the sustainability agenda anywhere in the world.

We firmly believe that there should be no barriers, and especially not commercial ones, to the free circulation of news, tools, counsel and peer exchanges when it comes to the important issues of sustainable development and social justice.  To ensure our full independence we do not accept advertising. We depend on the support of our readers, concerned public agencies, foundations and actors in the private sector to keep going. (Which is quite a challenge as you can well imagine.)

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Who is reading World Streets where today? 1 August 2016

 

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* * Click map for higher definition version * *

The above map reports the locations of 561 readers checking into World Streets over the last five days. (Of our total 4,484 registered readers as of this date.)

But what about them? Where? And what do they read?

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World Transport Policy & Practice. Vol. 21 No.4. Feb. 2016

india-woman-busThis 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 . . .

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