Bringing Sustainable Transport to Smaller Asian Cities
“Better Choices” is the title that Professor S. K. Jason Chang, Director, Advanced Transport Research Center of National Taiwan University and I have chosen for our collaborative book in the works reporting on the challenges of “Bringing Sustainable Transport to Smaller Asian Cities”. The MS is presently in process and is being presented, critiqued, reviewed and discussed by colleagues in both the Asia/Pacific region and other parts of the world in which the “smaller cities” challenges of sustainable transport transition have much in common with those facing planners, policy makers and others concerned with these planetary issues and dilemmas. The completed book is slated for publication by Think City– http://thinkcity.com.my — in English, Chinese and Malay editions in Spring 2017 (other languages currently under discussion).
The following introductory note is taken from the opening chapter of the working edition and is presented here by way of advance information for our international colleagues and others interested, and for your eventual comments, challenges, questions and suggestions. For a short note setting on the overall work plan click to https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B41h-Am2TpUHZldiUGdlbG8wQ2c.
“Old Mobility” – the world that most of us know best — with its drumbeat stress on steadily increasing supply, more vehicles, higher speeds, longer distances and more space-hogging infrastructure as the auto-pilot, unexamined answer to our urban mobility problems — has with very few exceptions been the favored path for decision-making and investment in the sector over the last 70 years.
It is well-known and easy to see where it is leading. Aggressing the planet, costing us a bundle, draining the world’s petroleum reserves, and delivering poor service for the transport majority. It’s time to learn from the best of the rest, the several hundred cities on our gasping planet, many of them in Europe, that are showing the way for the rest. None of even the best are perfect. Each is struggling in its own way. But they are trying and that is what responsible governance and participatory democracy is all about.
(An unstructured chat among fellow cyclists. Definitely not a questionnaire)
A. YOU AND CYCLING
1. You are a woman YES________/No __________
2. You have a bicycle YES________/No __________
3. You ride a bicycle fairly often in your day to day life as “normal transport: YES______/No ____
4. You find that is not always that easy, safe or agreeable to use a bike in your city. YES____/No _____ (City name)_______________________________
5. You understand that in different places/cultures actually having and riding a bike for a woman is not all that easy, for many reasons. . . YES________/No ______________
Malta thus far has been a difficult nut to crack when it comes to the whole concept of sustainable development, which for most of the people living there thus far appears to be a distant and not very important consideration. In this they are not alone; this has long been the relaxed position of most people in the Mediterranean region when it comes to these broader social issues which require quite different levels of participation, consensus and government.
Getting to work in Malta
A new mobility killer promoter proposal for Mexico City. (They’re kidding, right?)
While you are away from the office and all the pressures of your workplace, here for your after-work reading pleasure are the twenty most read articles to appear in World Streets since opening day in 2009. Quite a varied lot, and when your editor reads them he generally prefers to do so not at a desk but seated comfortably with a tablet or largish window smartphone in hand to take advantage of those unstructured unexpected free moments that can pop up in any day. After all, World Streets is intended for the reflective back of your mind, not the whirring over-charged front.
In the day before the opening of the World Cup in Brazil, where traffic chaos is expected to be the rule of the day (missed opportunities there?) this is a video transcript of a 20 November 2013 interview with Bolivar Torres, Brazilian journalist with O Globo, a leading Brazilian newspaper. His topic: Notably unsustainable transportation and trends in Brazilian cities — seen from an international perspective. What to do? How to move from today’s failing and inconsistent ad hoc Old Mobility policies which are not getting at the roots of the problems? Perhaps toward a New Mobility Agenda? And what if anything could have been introduced in time to improve traffic and life quality conditions for all during the coming World Cup and Olympics?
* See corrective note on photo below.