– – – – – – > Working draft of 1 May 2020
WORLD STREETS is betting its future on the coming immediate-term transition led by certain ambitious, responsible cities, nations, organizations and citizens in different parts of the world to come together to break the downward pattern of ever-increasing climate stress — and before the challenge to plan and execute highly aggressive near-term initiatives aimed at sharply cutting greenhouse gas emissions from the mobility sector. And doing all this while working with proven tools, policies and strategies that harness cost-effective, readily available, measures, technologies, operational and management competence. Our job is to support them as best we can.
CONTEXT/KEYWORDS:: Climate/Emergency Cities/Mobility Vision/Strategy Streets/Cars Time/Space Private/Shared Equity/Women Action/Manage
- You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete. – Buckminster Fuller
THE 2020 FIVE PERCENT CLIMATE/MOBILITY CHALLENGE
Paris. 22 March 2020
So now what? Well, for sure life is about to get very interesting. With the unmet challenge of the world climate emergency, and now out of the blue the Coronavirus fast upon us, we are now in the process of putting the old century once and for all firmly behind us. Not so much because we want to, but because we HAVE to. It’s a new world out there and we must meet it!
2020 will be the year of transition. And at the end of this round we will never be the same. One way or another! Your call!
So for our bit, please stay tuned to World Streets and Co. Here and at . . .
The COVID-19 pandemic is an opportunity to embrace the future of work-from-home and the greater adoption of walking and cycling.
By Lloyd Wright, Senior Urban Development Transport Specialists, Asian Development Bank – https://blogs.adb.org/author/lloyd-wright https://blogs.adb.org/let-s-use-the-pandemic-to-expand-our-transport-options
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted lives and livelihoods, and has become a devastating global human tragedy. A change event of this magnitude also affects fundamentally how we work and interact. Personal mobility in the age of COVID-19 may never be quite the same again. The new normal of mobility, though, may represent a unique opportunity.
Work-from-home has always represented an option to both reduce emissions and promote family time. However, work-from-home’s potential has never been fully realized in terms of actual practice, as long-standing practices and cultures in Asia and the Pacific often prioritize physical time in the office.
New information technologies have meant that work-from-home does not have to substantially reduce the quality of workplace interactions. A plethora of software apps, such as Google Hangout, Skype, Cisco Webex, MS Teams, and Zoom, are now available to give a visual space for sharing information and facilitating decision-making. We are moving away from mere tele-conferencing to lifelike virtual interaction. While work-from-home may never fully replace workplace presence, the new technologies at least offer the potential to reduce the need for everyday commuting.
Lockdowns across many cities and countries has meant that a unique global experiment is underway. The World Health Organization estimates that 7 million persons suffer premature deaths each year from air pollution, and that 1.3 million persons perish in car crashes. For cities with air quality problems, such as Beijing, Delhi, and Manila, the lockdowns have visibly brought pristine skies, as also evidenced by satellite imagery. In addition, the University of California at Davis has been tracking reductions in car crashes in California during the state’s partial lockdown conditions. Serious injuries and fatalities in the past week have been halved from 400 to just 200 per day.
None of this is to minimize the appalling human tragedy of COVID-19’s trail of death and illness. The social and economic cost of the pandemic is staggering. But these types of comparisons do indicate what could be achieved if we adopted sustainable energy and transport practices once the pandemic has passed.
Of course, the virus also hits certain forms of sustainable personal mobility quite hard. Buses and trains place passengers in close proximity, heightening disease transmission risk. During this time of crisis, to the extent persons have options, passengers do appear to be avoiding public transport, and many cities have closed public transport in its entirety. Most likely, governments will need to step forward with financial support to public transport operators for both short-term and long-term viability.
Conversely, this situation does represent a large potential opportunity for walking and cycling. Already, in the early days of the virus, New York City is recording record levels of cyclists. The city’s Department of Transport reports a 50 percent increase in cycling over the same period last year, and a 67 percent increase in usage of New York’s CitiBike bicycle sharing system.
Home delivery services also appear to be experiencing a significant increase in the wake of virus lockdowns. Such services hold the potential to reduce overall transport congestion and emissions by effectively achieving economies of scales in urban delivery logistics.
With streets now operating under dramatically reduced traffic levels, an opportunity exists to quickly address long-standing needs that are difficult to implement under day-to-day realities. Upgrading footpaths and developing cycleways is the type of quick win that can utilize the economic stimulus spending being deployed to shore up falling economies. These investments can be done quickly and create jobs at a time when it is most needed.
The pandemic is a change event like few others. The dramatic break in personal mobility from past habits represents an opportunity to view cities in a new way. From this moment, we could embrace the future of work-from-home and the greater adoption of walking and cycling. Perhaps there is yet a small silver lining from this unfolding tragedy.
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Say Good-bye to Old Mobility
Plan Zero – also known as “old mobility” or “no plan in sight” – with its stress on more supply, more vehicles and more infrastructure as the knee-jerk answer to all our mobility problems — has been the favored path for conceptualizing, decision-making and investment in the sector over the last 70 years. It is well-known and easy to see where it is leading. Aggressing the planet, costing us a bundle, draining the world’s petroleum reserves, and delivering poor service for the majority . . . Plan Zero is a clear failure. It’s time for directive, coherent, effective action without waiting around for reprieve or good news from some evasive short term fix of distant technology promise. It is time to move to a New Mobility Agenda and fifteen pragmatic, affordable, near-term steps to sustainable transport, sustainable cities and sustainable lives. Continue reading
We often hear that sustainable transportation reform is going to require massive public investments, large construction projects, elaborate technology deployments, and above all and by their very nature are going to take a long time before yielding significant results. This is quite simply not true. This approach, common in the last century and often associated with the “American transportation model”, no longer has its place in a competitive, efficient, democratic city And we can start tomorrow, if we chose to.
To get a feel for this transformative learning reality let’s start with a quick look at a first lot of ideas for Slow Street Architecture as a major means for reducing traffic related nuisances, accident prevention and improving quality of life for all. These approaches are not just “nice ideas”. They have proven their merit and effectiveness in hundreds of cities around the world. There is no good reason that they cannot do the same in your city. Starting tomorrow morning.
(For further background on external sources feeding this listing, see Sources and Clues section below.)
The Cultures of Mobility
What message could a private citizen, an engineer no less, from a small city of a country with barely two million inhabitants send to the Secretary of Transportation of the United States of America? Happily, there is more to transport and social policy than mere size. So if you decide to continue reading, I may have a modest message for you after all.
This evening, 6 February 2009, an interesting event will take place in my city. A thematic event has been organized, dedicated to the “Culture of Mobility”. In this we want to show (again) at the culture of mobility and the culture of the city are one and the same.
Maribor, my beautiful city, the second-largest in Slovenia, is to become the cultural capital of Europe in 2012. Today’s event will start with a documentary film to open up the perspectives of transportation decision-makers in the city of New York, “Contested Streets: a Mobility Tour of Four Great World Cities”. “Contested” takes its point of departure the old habit of automatically building new infrastructure for cars every time a traffic problem arose. The world-famous and world-practiced “forecast and build” culture
How much can you trust Wikipedia — and what you can do about it
13, rue Pasteur. Courbevoie 92400 France
Bio: Founding editor of World Streets (1988), Eric Britton is an American political scientist, teacher, occasional consultant, and sustainability activist who has observed, learned, taught and worked on missions and advisory assignments on all continents. In the autumn of 2019, he committed his remaining life work to the challenges of aggressively countering climate change and specifically greenhouse gas emissions emanating from the mobility sector. He is not worried about running out of work. Further background and updates: @ericbritton | http://bit.ly/2Ti8LsX | #fekbritton | https://twitter.com/ericbritton | and | https://www.linkedin.com/in/ericbritton/ Contact: email@example.com) | +336 508 80787 (Also WhatApp) | Skype: newmobility.)
The First Car Free Days Challenge: Toledo Spain, October 1994
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 announcement and challenge was made in Toledo Spain on 19 October 1994.
Why do we bother to do this year after year? After all, there is copious documentation and background available at a click, as a quick tour of Google of those three little words yields somewhat more than 55,000 entries, including a fair if distinctly uneven introduction in the Wikipedia article https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Car-Free_Days. The problem is that most of this material seriously misses the point, and as a result often handicaps cities and groups wishing to organize a Day (a week or month close) to underestimate potential of this approach. The trick is that all of this is quite a simple as it may at first glance appear.
To this end, here we are once again minding the store with the original 1994 article announcing the concept, along with several others from our archives which would appear here in the coming days. A general reference which the reader may find of use is the general introduction which appears here – https://worldstreets.wordpress.com/tag/car-free-days/. You will find at the end of this reposting, three separate annexes which provide supplemental background on (Annex A) New Mobility – 1988-1994 Program Summary; (B) Other Tools to Get the Job Done; and (C) a listing of more recent references.
THE FIVE PERCENT 2020 CLIMATE CHALLENGE
The World Climate Emergency // // The New Mobility Action Plan
You never change things by fighting against the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the old model obsolete. — Buckminster Fuller
Communication to individuals and groups contacting us to express interest in knowing more about the Five Percent Challenge program, cities and projects in 2020
Thank you for your expression of interest in our shared concerns about our cities and our planet. We are honored and look forward to being able to follow progress in your related work and projects as well.
Looking ahead — and just so it is clear — as a result of a vigorous recentering of my priority concerns for 2020 and beyond, I have shifted the totality of my work and engagement to the World Climate Emergency — and the following six key words and references: Climate.Cities.Space.Time.Action.NewMobility.org.
2020 PARTNER SEARCH:
The 2020 project is aiming to network and bring together . . .
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change has done work on gender equality, using “gender focal points”, people who assist in gender-related decisions about the climate. But there isn’t a list of representatives with disabilities, though the outcomes of climate change negotiations will disproportionately affect us. The Paris agreement makes clear its obligation to disability and human rights, but will people with disabilities actually be involved in the discussion?
Building the 1.5 degree, socially-just city
Discussion document for policy makers & civic leaders
– Paul Chatterton, School of Geography, University of Leeds, UK. Full text HERE
This climate emergency is also a ‘city emergency’. Most of the world’s population will soon be urban. Cities are locked in to high energy throughputs, are responsible for about three-quarters of global GHGs and energy use, have ecological footprints larger than their city limits, and remain locked in to high-growth, high-consumption lifestyles.
In the context of growing awareness of the severity of climate breakdown, the central role cities play in this, and the lack of rapid action, municipalities around the world are declaring ‘climate Emergencies’. To date 40 municipalities in the UK have signed such a declaration. Worldwide around 50 million now live in cities that have declared emergencies. This is an exciting addition to city level action through, for example, the C40 Leadership Group and the Global Covenant of Mayors.
– – – – – – – – > Working draft update of November. To be finalized over month.
WORLD STREETS is betting its future on the coming immediate-term transition period led by certain ambitious, responsible cities, nations, organizations and citizens in different parts of the world to come together to break the downward pattern of ever-increasing climate stress — and before the challenge to plan and execute highly aggressive near-term initiatives aimed at sharply cutting greenhouse gas emissions from the mobility sector. And doing all this while working with proven tools, policies and strategies that harness cost-effective, readily available, measures, technologies, operational and management competence. And our job is to support them as best we can.
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.
Sometimes it can be an advantage to be small. You can do things bigger and faster.
Icelandic Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir in an interview of 25 July 2019 with Ciara Nugent of Time Magazine. See https://time.com/5634790/iceland-prime-minister-climate-change-interview/ for full text. (Thank you Ciara and Time for these extracts .)
One of the only government heads from an environmentalist party, Jakobsdottir wants to make the country a leader in climate action too, with an ambitious plan to make Iceland carbon neutral by 2040, 10 years before the target set for Iceland’s neighbors in the E.U. “It can be an advantage to be small,” she says. “You can do things bigger and faster. You can actually change everything in a very short time.”
CLIMATE, SPACE, TIME, MOBILITY,
A quick shot from Reykjavik of a road at the start of a working day
That’s a good part of the challenge. Let’s go to work!
Source: Climate/Action/Plan Creating a New Mobility Ecosystem for Reykjavik 2020
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Solve this one and you are well on your way.
This is a critical reference and tool set for World Streets readers, introducing the full contents as of 6 March 2019 of the TDM (Transportation Demand Management) Encyclopedia of the Victoria Transport Policy Institute headed by Todd Litman. All the more than one hundred resources and references cited here are available online. The full report is online at: http://www.vtpi.org/tdm/
Transportation Demand Management (TDM, also called Mobility Management) is a general term for strategies that result in more efficient use of transportation resources. This Encyclopedia is a comprehensive source of information about innovative management solutions to transportation problems. It provides detailed information on dozens of demand management strategies, plus general information on TDM planning and evaluation techniques. It is produced by the Victoria Transport Policy Institute to increase understanding and implementation of TDM.
How important is TDM for transport/mobility planners, policy makers or concerned citizens and civil society? It is very easy to answer that question, which boils down to this: If you do not have on your team first rate competence in TDM measures and references, then you are in the wrong business. TDM is the first line of defense of sustainable transport planning and policy!
Since TDM (Transportation Demand Management) is a key pillar of the New Mobility Agenda strategy, and of our now forming-up Five Percent Challenge Climate Emergency program, it is important that the basic distinctions are clear for all. In one of our recent master classes, when several students asked me to clarify for them, I turned the tables instead and asked them, since we are now firmly in the 21st century, to go home, spend a bit of time online and come up with something that answered their question to their satisfaction. Here is what they came up with, taken whole hog from http://bit.ly/2rTxHrr (which we then lightly edited together and offer for your reading pleasure).