DECARBONIZING TRANSPORT : SETTING THE CHALLENGE (UK 2050)

active transport street scene UK London traffic
Climate crisis: UK Government unveils ‘unprecedented’ vision of future travel with focus on walking, cycling and public transport, targeting  ‘net zero’ greenhouse gas emissions by 2050

UK MINISTERIAL FOREWORD

Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP
Secretary of State for Sustainable Transport
 
Climate change is the most pressing environmental challenge of our time. There is overwhelming scientific evidence that we need to take action, and doing so is a clear priority for the Government.
That is why in June 2019 we became the first major global economy to pass a law that requires us to achieve ‘net zero’ greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050. Transport has a huge role to play in the economy reaching net zero. The scale of the challenge demands a step change in both the breadth and scale of ambition and we have a duty to act quickly and decisively to reduce emissions.
 
The associated benefits of bold and ambitious action to tackle transport emissions are also significant. We can improve people’s health, create better places to live and travel in, and drive clean economic growth. The UK is a global centre for world leading science, technology, business and innovation and we are perfectly placed to seize the economic opportunities that being in the vanguard of this change presents. The faster we act, the greater the benefits.
 
Through the Transport Decarbonisation Plan, 2020 will be the year we set out the policies and plans needed to tackle transport emissions.

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To fix Sustainable Mobility: Ensure FULL Gender Parity in all Planning, Decision and Investment Fora (QED)

FB WTL - turkish women on bicycles

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.

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World Streets International Advisory Council

ws-31jul12-hi-color

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.)

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A COMPENDIUM OF BETTER, FASTER, CHEAPER MEASURES your city could start to implement tomorrow morning to SAVE THE PLANET . . . cut GHG emissions, get people to work on time, reduce traffic accidents, save lives, clear the air, improve health, strengthen the economy, and improve accessability, mobility and quality of life for all.

Climate Audit - Paris smog EB blue shirt

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.)

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The Rough Road to Climate Protection and Sustainable Mobility: Values, priorities, behavior and, finally, understanding people (and ourselves)

indonesia-jakarta-traffic-on-following-monday

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.

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COP15 2009: CLIMATE IS THE PORTAL TO NEW MOBILITY (Letter to the organizers)

Message from World Streets to the Copenhagen Summit: The 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference
(Stand back Ladies. Let the men take care of this. Oops? )

Letter from the Editor: ON THE RUN-UP TO COPENHAGEN AND COP15

EcoPlan International 
8 rue Joseph Bara
75006 Paris France

27 September 2009

Dear Colleagues,

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?

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SLOW CITY TRANSITION: NOTES FOR A THINKING EXERCISE

FB SC - Groningen streetThe 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.

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17 plus 1 reasons why I am prudently optimistic about the Climate/Mobility Transition for 2020

Shortlist of Transformative Realities and Trends

eb-tallinn-statementOne 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.

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Op-Ed: What/who keeps holding back New Mobility reform in your city in 2019?

FB SC speed car kids running cross

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.

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COP15 2009: CLIMATE IS THE PORTAL TO NEW MOBILITY (Letter to the organizers)

Message from World Streets to the Copenhagen Summit: The 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference
(Stand back Ladies. Let the men take care of this. Oops? )

Letter from the Editor: ON THE RUN-UP TO COPENHAGEN AND COP15

EcoPlan International 
8 rue Joseph Bara
75006 Paris France

27 September 2009

Dear Colleagues,

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?

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CLIMATE / NEW MOBILITY EMERGENCY STRATEGIES: SUPPORTING SOCIAL MEDIA

bookstore with bicycle

# # # # 20/12/2018 # # DRAFT #  # WORK IN PROGRESS #  # STAY TUNED # # # #

Below please find a selection of social media sites which have ben developed for this open-ended collaborative project — intended to serve as shared work spaces for people and groups working actively on various aspects of the sustainable transport challenge, as well as researchers, students,  the media, activists and concerned citizens.

(This section of the program is still in rapid development. In the event you did not find something important on your first visit. it may be useful to check back here from time to time.)

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SLOW MOBILITY ADVANTAGES: NOTES FOR A THINKING EXERCISE

FB SC - Groningen streetThe 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.

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TDM? TSM? What’s the difference . . . and where do we go from here?

New-Zealand-Auckland-rush-hour-traffic

Getting to work in Auckland. Duh! Any clues here?

Since both are key pillars of the New Mobility Agenda and our forming-up Five Percent Challenge Climate Emergency program, it is important that the basic distinctions are clear for all.  In one of our recent master classes, when several students asked me to clarify for them, I turned the tables and asked them, since we are now firmly in the 21st century, to spend a bit of time online and come up with something that answered their question to their satisfaction.  Here is what they came up with, taken whole hog from http://bit.ly/2rTxHrr (which we then lightly edited together and offer for your reading pleasure).

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41 Measures to Manage Traffic Congestion in your City

New Zealand - Auckland - rush hour traffic

COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENTS: REVIEW OF URBAN CONGESTION

TRENDS, IMPACTS AND SOLUTIONS

Study of Successful Congestion Management Approaches and the Role of Charging, Taxes, Levies and Infrastructure and Service Pricing in Travel Demand Management

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17 plus 1 reasons why I am prudently optimistic about the Climate/Mobility Transition for 2019-2020

Shortlist of Transformative Realities and Trends

eb-tallinn-statementOne 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.

Continue reading

ARCHIVES 2014: TRANSPORT SECTOR KEY TO CLOSING WORLD’S EMISSIONS GAP

This essay of  September 2014 by Benoit Lefevre and Angela Enriquez  of the World Resources Institute was written in the run-up to the 2014 UN Climate Summit in New York City is reproduced here in its entirety four years later as part of the extensive reading list which has been developed for our Climate/New Mobility master classes.

The three short sections that follow are notable in our present context by the questions they ask, namely:

        1. Why Should World Leaders Care About Transport?

        2. How Can World Leaders Achieve Climate Action in Transport? 

        3. Setting the Stage for Bold Action in the Transport Sector

With this program we shall try to provide our own best answers, commentaries, to those three key challenges.  Let’s go!

From the Archives: Transport Sector Key to Closing World’s Emissions Gap

by Benoit Lefevre and Angela Enriquez – September 19, 2014

Beijing China: Six lanes plus  Pedestrian overpass
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Policy pathways towards achieving a zero carbon transport sector in the UK in 2050

The effective decarbonisation of the transport sector will play a large role in achieving the UK government target of an 80 per cent reduction in greenhouse gases, from the 1990 baseline, by 2050. This paper presents a vision of a ‘zero carbon’ future for the UK transport sector.

Vallack, H. W., Haq, G., Whitelegg, J. and H. Cambridge (2014). Policy pathways towards achieving a zero carbon transport sector in the UK in 2050. World Transport Policy and Practice. Volume 20.4. Published by Ecologica.
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Op-Ed: Handling Uncertainty in Mobility Planning and Decision Making

TRAFFUC LIGHT TREE - LARGE

Report of a roundtable discussion held in London on 20 July 2018.

– by Glenn Lyons.  Full report available from: http://eprints.uwe.ac.uk/37926

Abstract

In the 1700s, the French philosopher Voltaire reportedly said “Uncertainty is an uncomfortable position. But certainty is an absurd one.” The transport sector is becoming increasingly alive to how uncertain the future is. There is significant (or ‘deep’) uncertainty about the extent to which existing trends, relationships, technologies, economic and social forces, preferences and constraints will carry into the future. Uncomfortable though it may be, there is a need in our transport planning and decision making to avoid absurdity and address this. This report reflects the insights gained from a roundtable workshop in London convened to discuss the matter.

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WIKIPEDIA CHECKLIST OF KEY TERMS, CONCEPTS AND REFERENCES FOR THE CLIMATE/NEW MOBILITY TRANSITION

library shelf books highlight

Intended as a research aid, checklist and reminder for professionals, students, researchers and others digging into the Five Percent Solutions and related technical and policy challenges. A certain level of familiarity with these concepts is essential. Anyone prepared to work in the field will (should) already have familiarity with 9 out of 10 of the concepts identified here. It concerns the stuff of sustainable transport, sustainable mobility and sustainable cities. (The listing is of course not complete, but it does offer a good start)

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SUSTAINABLE MOBILITY’S BITTER PILL (And why most politicians do not want to swallow it)

MAN HEAD IN SAND

Maybe it will take care of itself.

An even dozen hard facts that politicians, administrators, accountants and engineers are finding it very hard to accept – but without which they will never be able to lead the transition to sustainable mobility and a sustainable city.

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