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.
Climate/Mobility Emergency Action Plan and Demonstration: 2019-2020
EXEC SUM: Working note to introduce proposed World Streets two year collaborative action plan and partnership demonstrations to show concretely that it is possible to reduce GHG emissions from the transport/mobility sector by at least five percent in the first year from a well-prepared project start-up, working with cost-effective, proven, available technology and management competence.
STARTUP NOW SEEKING collaborators, contributors, presentation opportunities, critical feedback, partners and eventual demonstration projects and sponsors.
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.
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.
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?