Op-Ed Archives: Danijel Rebolj on The Cultures of Mobility

FB Slovenia Maribor cyclists

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

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‘The Ice Is Leaving’ Climate change is melting glaciers worldwide. Only we can stop it.”

Iceland glacier OK melted

By Katrin Jakobsdottir,  prime minister of Iceland, New York Times of  Aug. 17, 2019

Eyjafjallajokull, Iceland’s sixth-largest glacier, gained worldwide recognition when the volcano lurking under it erupted in 2010. Large levels of volcanic ash caused air travel disruptions in Europe, and news reporters across the world struggled with the difficult pronunciation of Eyjafjallajokull, much to the amusement of us native speakers. A less-known and less-tongue-twisting glacier is Ok, which is on a mountaintop in Western Iceland.

But Ok is no longer a glacier.

The ice field that covered the mountain in 1900 — close to six square miles — has now been replaced by a crater lake. It is certainly beautiful, surrounded by patchy snowfields, and is now the highest lake in Iceland. But that beauty quickly fades in the eyes of anyone who knows what was there before and why it is no longer there. Ok’s disappearance is yet another testimony of irreversible global climate change.

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*  Article continues at https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/17/opinion/iceland-glacier-climate-change.html

Green Map of Reykjavík

Iceland GreenMap large

The Green Map of Reykjavík is a joint international project of Nature.is, the Green Map® System, the city of Reykjavík and the University of Iceland. The goal of Green Maps all around the world is to make eco-friendly options in the fields of culture, commerce and travel services more visible and accessible to all. Green maps have been developed in over 600 municipalities, cities and neighborhoods in 55 countries. Iceland is the first country which classifies the whole country according to the Green Map system.

The printed edition Green Map of Reykjavík is the first of its kind here in Iceland and is based on the online version Green Map of Iceland here on www.nature.is which covers the whole country of Iceland with over 3.000 registrations in 100 categories.

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DECONGESTION – 7 Steps for Mayors and other City Leaders to cut traffic congestion without the expense of new roads or annoyed residents’

Decongestion

Houston, we have a problem

Our cities are in crisis because they revolve around the car. It’s killing us, our communities and our economy.

Traffic congestion is one of the most significant problems and issues facing Governments, Councils and businesses around the world. In Australia, more than 80% of all trips are made by car and in New Zealander 83% of trips less than 2km are made by car. A British Social Attitudes Survey found that 71% of adults never cycle. Only 3% of Brits cycle every day or nearly every day. There are as many as 38 million empty car seats on the UK’s roads every rush hour.

“The problem is we’re all doing the same things – commuting, business trips and the school run – making the same trips by car at the same time, creating gridlock, congestion, queuing and travel delays’ says Transport Planner and Behaviour Change expert Rachel Smith.

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Neyðarloftslag / hreyfanleiki / áætlun um heimsgötur

ICELANDIC VERSION OF TOP W-S PAGE

The total contents of World Streets since founding in 2008 are of course also easily available in Icelandic — for those three or four Icelanders who are not totally at ease in English .  All they would have to do is call up https://worldstreets.wordpress.com/ and then hit the language link you can see here at top right.  Og burt þú ferð.

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‘WE’RE DOOMED’ . . . Mayer Hillman on the climate reality no one else will dare mention

China Mekong Basin desertification AFP Huang Dinh Nab Le Monde

Let’s see what Dr. Mayer Hillman —  eminent architect, town planner and Senior Fellow Emeritus since 1992 at the Policy Studies Institute, University of Westminster where he worked for at least thirty years —   had to offer in an interview that appeared in The Guardian last week.  By Patrick Barkham   Full text with illustrations  at https://bit.ly/2FjpEbI

W’re doomed,” says Mayer Hillman with such a  beaming smile that it takes a moment for the words to sink in. “The outcome is death, and it’s the end of most life on the planet because we’re so dependent on the burning of fossil fuels. There are no means of reversing the process which is melting the polar ice caps. And very few appear to be prepared to say so.”

Hillman, an 86-year-old social scientist and senior fellow emeritus of the Policy Studies Institute, does say so. His bleak forecast of the consequence of runaway climate change, he says without fanfare, is his “last will and testament”. His last intervention in public life. “I’m not going to write anymore because there’s nothing more that can be said,” he says when I first hear him speak to a stunned audience at the University of East Anglia late last year.

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PROVOKING THOUGHT WHEN WE NEED IT MOST.

bookstore with bicycle

To understand how we get the future that our children need, want and deserve, we are obliged to challenge our usual ways of thinking, seeing, reacting, deciding, and doing. Here are some wise reminders worth pondering as we look to a different future. (Get yourself a comfortable chair; to be read slowly and pensively ; – )

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