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.)
Say Good-bye to Old Mobility
Plan Zero – also known as “old mobility” or “no plan in sight” – with its stress on more supply, more vehicles and more infrastructure as the knee-jerk answer to all our mobility problems — has been the favored path for conceptualizing, 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 majority . . . Plan Zero is a clear failure. It’s time for directive, coherent, effective action without waiting around for reprieve or good news from some evasive short term fix of distant technology promise. It is time to move to a New Mobility Agenda and fifteen pragmatic, affordable, near-term steps to sustainable transport, sustainable cities and sustainable lives. Continue reading
EARNING A PUBLIC SPACE DIVIDEND IN THE STREETS
– Paul Barter, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, University of Singapore
Abstract: Experiments with shared space or “naked streets” have captured imaginations and considerable media coverage in recent years. Most of the excitement stems from surprise that streets without kerbs, road markings or signage can work well and achieve “safety through uncertainty”. This paper looks at another equally important insight from shared space.
It focuses on a series of innovations that, like shared space, re-arrange the roles of streets in new ways to yield a “dividend” of expanded urban public realm, with little or no loss of transport utility. Such a space dividend should be especially welcome in dense cities that are both congested and short of public space.
What are streets and roadways for? An obvious answer is traffic movement. But that is clearly not the whole story. A second role is to allow the reaching of final destinations— the role we call “access”. Thirdly, streets can be valuable public places in their own right. In addition, moving high-speed motor vehicles differ enormously from movement by low-speed, vulnerable modes such as bicycles. Unfortunately, speedy motor traffic movement and the other roles of streets are in serious conflict. For almost a century, the tension between these roles has been at the heart of debate over street design (Hass-Klau 1990; Jacobs et al. 2002). This article reviews emerging resolutions to this tension.
The Battle for Street Space
– – – – – – – – > by Eric the Crow, Reportng for World Streets, from Reykjavik Iceland
Someone a lot wiser than me, once told me many years ago: when you are facing a really difficult problem, why don’t you see if you can step back a few paces and put it in a form that you can discuss with children and hear what they may have to say.
I recalled this in the early nineties when in the face of the many mind-bending complications of sustainability and mobility — such as we are facing here today — I decided to write a Haiku which gradually expanded from seventeen syllabes into a wandering draft scenario for a children’s story on the topic, which eventually became, with the great shaping inputs of two of my friends (Wolfgang Zuckermann for the words, and Roget Tweet for the music (artwork) ). After much thrashing around we decided to call it Family Mouse behind the Wheel (Wolfgang’s candidate).
Want to check it out?
The First Car Free Days Challenge: Toledo Spain, October 1994
Whereas Car Free Days have been organized in cities around the world all over the year for the last two decades, there is inevitably a spate of high activity in the month of September, much of it the result of the European Commission’s continuing commitment to both the concept of Car Free Days and their own European Mobility Week. And each year we here at World Streets dig into our archives and dust off one or two of the classics as a timely reminder of the fact that the Car Free Day concept has been around and doing its bit since the first international announcement and challenge was made in Toledo Spain on 19 October 1994.
Why do we bother to do this year after year? After all, there is copious documentation and background available at a click, as a quick tour of Google of those three little words yields somewhat more than 55,000 entries, including a fair if distinctly uneven introduction in the Wikipedia article https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Car-Free_Days. The problem is that most of this material seriously misses the point, and as a result often handicaps cities and groups wishing to organize a Day (a week or month close) to underestimate potential of this approach. The trick is that all of this is quite a simple as it may at first glance appear.
To this end, here we are once again minding the store with the original 1994 article announcing the concept, along with several others from our archives which would appear here in the coming days. A general reference which the reader may find of use is the general introduction which appears here – https://worldstreets.wordpress.com/tag/car-free-days/. You will find at the end of this reposting, three separate annexes which provide supplemental background on (Annex A) New Mobility – 1988-1994 Program Summary; (B) Other Tools to Get the Job Done; and (C) a listing of more recent references.
Article by Hannah Dines, Extracts Reprinted from The Guardian , 15 October 2019 . Picture – Disabled group being helped by caregivers. Reykjavik, Iceland. Thanks to Alamy.
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change has done work on gender equality, using “gender focal points”, people who assist in gender-related decisions about the climate. But there isn’t a list of representatives with disabilities, though the outcomes of climate change negotiations will disproportionately affect us. The Paris agreement makes clear its obligation to disability and human rights, but will people with disabilities actually be involved in the discussion?
Discussion document for policy makers & civic leaders
– Paul Chatterton, School of Geography, University of Leeds, UK. Full text HERE
This climate emergency is also a ‘city emergency’. Most of the world’s population will soon be urban. Cities are locked in to high energy throughputs, are responsible for about three-quarters of global GHGs and energy use, have ecological footprints larger than their city limits, and remain locked in to high-growth, high-consumption lifestyles.
In the context of growing awareness of the severity of climate breakdown, the central role cities play in this, and the lack of rapid action, municipalities around the world are declaring ‘climate Emergencies’. To date 40 municipalities in the UK have signed such a declaration. Worldwide around 50 million now live in cities that have declared emergencies. This is an exciting addition to city level action through, for example, the C40 Leadership Group and the Global Covenant of Mayors.
What is Lunchtime Streets?
Lunchtime Streets Chancery Lane. Tuesday 3rd – Thursday 5th September find out more below!
Lunchtime Streets is an event that removes motor traffic from a street over a lunchtime period, so people can enjoy their lunch in a safer and more pleasant environment.
Making the streets safer for people is key to both the City of London Corporation’s and the Mayor of London’s Transport Strategies.
We use this type of temporary project to measure the effects and perceptions of the local community when reducing traffic at a peak times, when most people are travelling on foot or bicycle will be key to making the streets safer. The results of the study may lead to future enhancements of the public realm.
It is also a great way to enjoy your lunchtimes. We welcome the involvement of local working, studying and residential community.
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.
This primer from the US Department of Transportation is focused on the collaborative and systematic consideration of management and operations during transportation project design and development. This is termed “designing for operations.” Effectively designing for operations involves the development and application of design policies, procedures, and strategies that support transportation management and operations.
The consideration of operations needs during the design process requires transportation design professionals to work closely with those with expertise in transportation operations, intelligent transportation and transportation technology staff, planning, transit, freight, traffic incident management, and other practitioners from multiple agencies to fully identify, prioritize, and incorporate operations needs into the infrastructure design. This primer introduces the concept for designing for operations and describes tools or institutional approaches to assist transportation agencies in considering operations in their design procedures as well as pointing out some specific design considerations for various operations strategies
A team from the Research Centre for Integrated Transport Innovation (rCITI) School of Civil and Environmental Engineering University of New South Wales (UNSW) Sydney, Australia Emerging Mobility Services offers their own definitions, which includes, but is not limited to, the following topics: *
They actually relate to each other. And if you don’t understand that, then you are in real trouble.
WORLD STREETS is betting its future over the coming two-year transition period on the ability of certain ambitious responsible cities, nations, organizations and citizens in different parts of the world to come together to break the downward pattern of climate stress — and specifically plan and execute highly aggressive near-term initiatives aimed at sharply cutting greenhouse gas emissions from the mobility sector. And doing all this while working with tools, policies and strategies that harness proven, cost-effective, readily available, measures, technologies, operational and management competence. It is our job is to support them as best we can.
Penang civil society led by Penang Forum have protested against the state government’s plans.
If you are looking on another independent point of view for all that relates to the Penang Transport Master Plan and its various add-ons, derivatives and unwelcome surprises, from an international perspective, I have a small handful of references points which I hope you may find useful:
- “TO AN EMERGENCY CLIMATE/MOBILITY ACTION PLAN FOR PENANG” – at http://bit.ly/2PJyWEV
- “STRATEGY FOR A CLIMATE/SPATIAL/MOBILITY ACTION/PLAN FOR PENANG: 2019-2020” – Facebook at http://bit.ly/2ZThVg8
- GOOGLE ON “CLIMATE EMERGENCY” PENANG MALAYSIA” – at http://bit.ly/2WjN0ao
* * Working draft for peer review and comment of 17 July 2019
</b>The basic concept is simple in principle, namely: to identify and put to work a strategic package of proven, street-tested, cost-effective measures, tools and means to reduce GHG emissions from the mobility sector in a cooperating city or place by a targeted five percent (or better) in a year or less. Realization of the concept on the other hand is highly demanding and requires considerable technical competence, abundant political savvy and leadership by daily example.
The underlying goal is highly ambitious, and perhaps not immediately evident. It is about people and choices, and not so much about infrastructure or vehicles. We are talking here about influencing behaviour of individuals and groups in this specific part of their day to day lives. Since indeed the only way that we can successfully make this critical transition in a functioning democracy — is no less than to change behaviour by creating a transformed urban (or rural, or other demographic) ecosystem of connected realities, time, space, perceptions, awarenesses, values, fears, prejudices, habits and, hopefully in parallel with this an wide array of “better than car” or at least satisficing mobility choices. The key to all this being to offer what are perceived as better choices for all when it comes to daily life, climate, mobility, environment and democracy impacts. The challenge we now face is to accompany this transition, and this in the teeth of a rapidly degrading environment and still a largely skeptical world.
QUESTION: Is it going to be possible to cut greenhouse gas emissions resulting from day to day transport in your city by five percent next year?
RESPONSE: Yes *
* But you have to be very smart
If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it? (Attributed to A. Einstein)
The Sanskrit term Bodhisattva is the name given to anyone who, motivated by great compassion and wisdom, has generated bodhichitta, a spontaneous wish to attain Buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings. What makes someone a Bodhisattva is her or his spontaneous and limitless dedication to the ultimate welfare of others.
(May we suggest that you view this at least two times? Get comfortable.)
It’s not the destination, it’s the voyage. It’s the way in which this public space is suddenly shared. Happily shared.
# # # # 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.)