The Rough Road to Climate Protection and Sustainable Mobility: Values, priorities, behavior and, finally, understanding people (and ourselves)

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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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The Planner’s Dilemma: The Six Circles of Human Behavior

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Thus, we need to understand the underlying questions: Why do we do what we do?  When it comes our transport and mobility choices, why are there such huge variance in values, dreams, behavior and choices from culture to culture?  Why do we insist on leaving our car in a parking space even though it is clearly marked for handicapped drivers?  Fail to give priority and space to pedestrians and cyclists?  Insist on staying in our cars when our government is investing heavily in public transport?  Why are we so tightly bound up in existing patterns, even when it is clear to all that the present situation is not working, including for us, to fight proposed changes tooth and nail?

The point is that none of this is accidental.  It is central. It is “normal”–  and in that  it brings us to the big question that transport planners and policy makers must be ready to ask: Why do we do what we do?  What determines our values and dispositions?  And how does this in turn determine our behavior and choices when it comes to matters of how we get around in our day to day lives?

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17 plus 1 reasons why I am prudently optimistic about the Climate/Mobility Transition for 2019-2020

Shortlist of Transformative Realities and Trends

eb-tallinn-statementOne of the great recompenses of having watched the sustainable transportation and related technology developments evolve over the course of several decades, is that if one takes the time to step back and scan the evidence for pattern breaks, one can readily spot a certain number of  trends, fundamental structural changes, quite a few of which bode well for a different and better future for transport in and around cities. Here are a handful of the fundamental underlying changes which I have spotted over the last decades and which I would like to share with you this morning.

Let’s start with a simple listing and then go on to brief comments in an attempt to clarify.

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WIKIPEDIA CHECKLIST OF KEY TERMS, CONCEPTS AND REFERENCES FOR THE CLIMATE/NEW MOBILITY TRANSITION

library shelf books highlight

Intended as a research aid, checklist and reminder for professionals, students, researchers and others digging into the Five Percent Solutions and related technical and policy challenges. A certain level of familiarity with these concepts is essential. Anyone prepared to work in the field will (should) already have familiarity with 9 out of 10 of the concepts identified here. It concerns the stuff of sustainable transport, sustainable mobility and sustainable cities. (The listing is of course not complete, but it does offer a good start)

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17 plus 1 reasons why I am prudently optimistic about the Climate/Mobility Transition for 2019-2020

Shortlist of Transformative Realities and Trends

eb-tallinn-statementOne of the great recompenses of having watched the sustainable transportation and related technology developments evolve over the course of several decades, is that if one takes the time to step back and scan the evidence for pattern breaks, one can readily spot a certain number of  trends, fundamental structural changes, quite a few of which bode well for a different and better future for transport in and around cities. Here are a handful of the fundamental underlying changes which I have spotted over the last decades and which I would like to share with you this morning.

Let’s start with a simple listing and then go on to brief comments in an attempt to clarify.

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Policy pathways towards achieving a zero carbon transport sector in the UK in 2050

The effective decarbonisation of the transport sector will play a large role in achieving the UK government target of an 80 per cent reduction in greenhouse gases, from the 1990 baseline, by 2050. This paper presents a vision of a ‘zero carbon’ future for the UK transport sector.

Vallack, H. W., Haq, G., Whitelegg, J. and H. Cambridge (2014). Policy pathways towards achieving a zero carbon transport sector in the UK in 2050. World Transport Policy and Practice. Volume 20.4. Published by Ecologica.
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