The good, the bad, and the ugly.
And the excellent . . .
Exhibit (Five hundred photos): https://goo.gl/UgeuWD
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”.
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.
“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.
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.
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.