World Streets, Politics and the Art of Good Governance Introduction: The sub-title of World Streets is The Politics of Transport in Cities. And with these entries you should be able to get an idea of how we are treating this very important topic. (Without a sugar coating!) Governance, in our read of the evidence, refers to the fine art of directing public policy to specific ends, Governance can be bad as all too often can be the case (politics?), and indeed it is important to be aware of the conditions and pitfalls which lead to bad governance. Good governance, really creative, visionary and positive action in the public interest over time, is rare but absolutely essential for the transition to sustainable cities and sustainable lives. Fortunately we have a growing number of examples, many of which to be found in the pages of World Streets.
Good governance provides the firm backbone of good government, referring to the actions and processes by which stable practices and organizations arise and persist. Equity, resilience, discipline, dialogue, transparency, choice and continuity are key elements of good governance. (Which certainly explains why it is still a rare commodity in this short-term world.)
In World Streets we give continuous attention day after day to bringing to our readers’ attention examples of good governance — and we look for and at them at the three main levels of government: international, national and local. Because the great majority of all decisions concerning transport and public space are led (or at least should be) by local government, as the principal of subsidiarity wisely suggests, that is where we direct the greater part of our efforts and attention.
We often hear that 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.)
Lime has joined Bird in establishing a safety advisory board tasked with helping the e-scooter industry shape local regulations—and shake its risky reputation.
Lime, the micromobility company that’s flooded the streets of more than 100 cities around the world with fleets of green-and-white electric scooters, launched a Public Policy and Safety Advisory Board last week. The group, which convened for the first time at a safety summit in San Francisco, is tasked with determining what research and policy initiatives to pursue, what regulations to advocate for, and how to generally smooth the company’s sometimes-bumpy relationships with cities, riders, and riders-to-be.
Lime’s announcement reflects a growing acknowledgement within the e-scooter rental industry that safety concerns present a major barrier to mass adoption. Continue reading →
Published Climate Change News on 27/03/2019, Because of its importance, we reproduce it here in its entirety. With thanks.
Emissions are at record levels and the international treaty designed to rein them in cannot drive action. It is time for new ideas to be explored
“While we’ve made enormous progress in 25 years, the world is still running behind climate change.”
“Today, the urgency to address climate change has never been greater. But because of the work begun 25 years ago, we are also better coordinated to take it on. We have the Paris Agreement, and we have the guidelines strengthening that agreement. What we need now are results.”
This is a summary of the statement that Patricia Espinosa, executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), put out on the occasion to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the entry into force of the UNFCCC.
While I agree with the sentiments above, especially the urgency to address climate change, I disagree with two points: one, the progress made by the UNFCCC so far and two, the potential of the UNFCCC to deliver results in the future.
Message from World Streets to the Copenhagen Summit: The 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference
Letter from the Editor: ON THE RUN-UP TO COPENHAGEN AND COP15
EcoPlan International 8 rue Joseph Bara 75006 Paris France
27 September 2009
The climate agenda is getting high political and media attention worldwide, and there are many important events scheduled for the months immediately ahead. That is good. But in our view the agenda for sustainable transport system reform at all levels is timid, incoherent and in large part irrelevant given the real priorities. Well, what is relevant then? How can we get the level of innovation and reform that is going to be critical in the years immediately ahead?
In October, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reported that we have little more than a decade to stave off climate catastrophe. Avoiding such a fate, the panel warned, “would require rapid and far-reaching transitions in energy, land, urban and infrastructure (including transport and buildings), and industrial systems… unprecedented in terms of scale.”
Punctuating a year of natural and political climate-related disasters, the IPCC report sparked renewed calls for action. Economists, environmentalists, and policy elites took to the nation’s opinion pages with a common prescription: to fight climate change, Congress should putapriceoncarbon, thus “internalizing” the social cost of fossil fuel consumption.
From one perspective, converging on carbon pricing makes lots of sense — after all, carbon prices are often thought to be the most efficient means to mitigate climate change. But, despite its theoretical utility, carbon pricing has also struggled to deliver the real and drastic emissions reductions that we so desperately need.
* * Very rough first draft. Requiring careful rewrite for content and clarity. * *
CLIMATE/NEW MOBILITY 2019-2020 EMERGENCY ACTION PLAN
If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it? (Attributed to A. Einstein)
Working Notes: Building Blocks:
The sources, references and links that follow here – we call them building blocks or parts of the much larger puzzle – are presented here in first working draft form and are intended to be useful to inform and guide students, researchers, concerned citizens and others interested in getting up to speed on the wide range of challenging topics that need to be brought in to the analysis and eventual work plan for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the local transport sector by a radical target and in a single year . These references include a considerable variety of issues, hints and developments (examples, free public transport, economic levers, value capture, full gender parity, etc., etc.) which have important roles to play in this wholesale reconstruction of the new mobility ecosystem.