Shortlist of Transformative Realities and Trends
One 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 on the mobility beat and which I would like to share with you this sunny COVID morning.
Let’s start with a simple listing and then go on to brief comments in an attempt to clarify. It’s only a start.
G. K. Chesterson put it like this: “If a thing is worth doing . . . it’s worth doing badly”
(We’ll leave it to you to sort that one out: . . Eric@ecoplan.org)
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.)
– – – – – – > 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
Ladies, males and independent thinkers: Do you notice anything in particular in the following sequence of images of a hugely important challenge for our planet, or at least the species? Let’s say, some kind of pattern as you move from scene to scene? Or, better yet, some kind of weird, insistent, let’s go so far as to say sick pattern?
The following set of a handful of images offers a pretty fair overview of the so-called ‘manning table’ for this particular mission, i.e., saving the planet.
Article by Ms. Lea Müller, appearing in the Reykjavik Grapevine of Sept 19, 2019. The article is presented here below, and followed by historical background information and context on the Car Free Days phenomenon in which the city of Reykjavik and Iceland turned out to play a key historic role.
September 19, 2019, Reykjavik
To celebrate the annual Car-Free Day in Iceland, some of the main roads will be closed in the Reykjavík city centre this Sunday, September 22nd. The Reykjavík Mobility Parade will start at 13:00 and move through Miklubraut and Hringbraut to Lækjartorg, where festivities will take place.
Starting in 1996, the Car-Free movement has a long history in Iceland. The idea originated from the Accessible Cities Conference held in Spain two years prior to Iceland’s first festivity and the event has significantly grown in size since. Its main objectives are to promote public transport, bikes and walking and give people a chance to reflect on motorisation and how traffic can be improved in cities.
– – – – – – – – > Working draft update of 12 December. 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.
Andree Woodcock, a Professor from Coventry University, tells us what we need to know about the H2020 TInnGO (Transport Innovation Gender Observatory) project that concerns the role of women in transport and the need to reduce inequalities in smart mobility. Source: Source: https://www.openaccessgovernment.org/reducing-inequalities-in-smart-mobility/73408/
Why is this needed?
It has long been recognised that women (and other groups) are significantly marginalised in transport. Without research in this area, the transport revolution produced by smart mobility will continue to exclude women and ‘disadvantaged‘ groups (e.g. the elderly, those from lower-income backgrounds, with mobility, cognitive, sensory and communication difficulties). Commuting journeys are privileged by transport systems, over those related to home and social and healthcare. The complex, multilegged journeys by women and those in lower socio-economic groups are not modelled; therefore, future systems will perpetuate the same inequalities.
Recent analysis conducted by TInnGO shows that around 70% of the transport workforce are male and since 1945, only 7% of the transport ministers in TInnGO countries have been female. Gendered and non-inclusive discourses are already being used to promote smart mobility solutions, despite the fact that women most use and support sustainable transport. Clearly, this situation needs to be urgently addressed if the smart city agenda is to fulfil its promises of improving the quality of life for all people.
# # #
Article continues: – https://www.openaccessgovernment.org/reducing-inequalities-in-smart-mobility/73408/
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.”
The idea of slowing top speeds on traffic in the city to reduce accidents and achieve other important systemic benefits would seem like a pretty sensible, straightforward and affordable thing to do. For a lot of reasons. Let’s have a look.
* To get going, you may also want to check out our Slow City 2017 Reader and Slow City: Start here.
Gender Mainstreaming is a globally accepted strategy for promoting gender equality. Mainstreaming is not an end in itself but a strategy, an approach, a means to achieve the goal of gender equality. Mainstreaming involves ensuring that gender perspectives and attention to the goal of gender equality are central to all activities – policy development, research, advocacy/ dialogue, legislation, resource allocation, and planning, implementation and monitoring of programmes and projects.
- And comfortably installed at the head table in Buenos Aires in 1998. BAU
Notice anything in particular here? Exception, or rule?
Hmm. Let’s think about that? Let’s think of it as not the end of a story, but the beginning of a new story.
Off we go.
1992, UNCED – EARTH SUMMIT, Rio de Janeiro
NOTICE ANYTHING A BIT WEIRD, PERHAPS A BIT UNSETTLING HERE? (Or is this the way things are supposed to be?)
[From Wikipedia on Women, Leadership and Climate Change (2019 State of the art at http://bit.ly/2HMbKVZ)]
Introduction: The contributions of women in climate change have received increasing attention in the early 21st century. Feedback from women and the issues faced by women have been described as “imperative” by the United Nations and “critical” by the Population Reference Bureau. A report by the World Health Organizationconcluded that incorporating gender-based analysis would “provide more effective climate change mitigation and adaptation.
Women have made major contributions to climate change research and policy and to broader analysis of global environmental issues. They include many women scientists as well as policy makers and activists.
From the editor’s desk: If you get it, New Mobility policy reform is a no-brainer in January 2019. However, while the New Mobility Agenda is a great starting place, it is not going to get the job somehow miraculously done just because it is the only game in town when it comes to sustainable transport. There is plenty of competition for your thin wallet, all that space on the street, and especially for that space between our ears. We have a few potential sticking points here that need to be overcome first.
Let’s have a quick look. After some years of talking with cities, and working and observing in many different circumstances, here is my personal shortlist of the barriers most frequently encountered in trying to get innovative transportation reform programs off the ground, including even in cities that really do badly need a major mobility overhaul.
Shortlist of Transformative Realities and Trends
One 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.
Intended as a handy research aid, checklist and reminder for students, researchers and others digging into the Slow City and related technical and policy challenges. A certain familiarity with these concepts is desirable; more than that I would say essential.
It is particularly important that those responsible for planning and policy be comfortable with these concepts. Anyone prepared to work in the field will already have familiarity with, say, 9 out of 10 of the concepts identified here. It concerns the stuff of sustainable transport, sustainable mobility and sustainable cities. (I would draw your attention particularly to those entries that are marked with two asterisks * * which touch on some of the more subtle and essential components of a sustainable transport policy.)
From the beginning in the late eighties the New Mobility Agenda was conceived as a shared space for communications and didactic tools zeroing in on our chosen topic from a number of angles, and over the last eight years World Streets has continued in this tradition. I hope that what follows may be useful to some of you. As you will see, I think it is an important and powerful tool — which those of us who care can help shape and put to work for the good cause.
How much can you trust Wikipedia — and what you can do about it