The Battle for Street Space – Part I (World Streets Archives)

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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.

Introduction

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

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SAFE CITY STRATEGIES : MANAGING THE TRANSITION. (Working notes for a 2020 Thinking Exercise)

FB SC eb jason speeding car

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A COMPENDIUM OF ONE HUNDRED 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, create a sense of community and improve accessibility, mobility and quality of life for all.

FB eric escooter traffic eifel towerWe often hear that sustainable 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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Town in Iceland Paints 3D Zebra Crosswalk To Slow Down Speeding Cars

In the small fishing town of Ísafjörður, Iceland, an exciting development in road safety has just popped up – almost literally. A new pedestrian crossing has been painted that appears to be 3D by way of a cleverly-detailed optical illusion.

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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.

* To get going, you may also want to check out our Slow City 2017 Reader and Slow City: Start here.

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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.)

Continue reading

A COMPENDIUM OF ONE HUNDRED 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, create a sense of community, strengthen the economy, and improve accessibility, mobility and quality of life for all.

FB eric escooter traffic eifel towerWe 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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DEMOCRACY CAME LATE TO OUR STREETS (AKA, Drivers as Victims)

* Wanted: Curators, sentinels and contributors for World Streets “Drivers As Victims” Department.  Contact eric.britton@newmobility.org

Drivers as Victims

After a century of fearless and uncontested domination, peace and pandering, here we are in 2019 and to our great surprise as car/owner drivers around the planet suddenly find themselves in the midst of a raging process of transition to a very different world of privilege and limitation, laws and enforcement, economics and free rides. And unsurprisingly in their own eyes they see themselves as victims: having their territory limited step by step to ever-growing parts of the city-scape where they have long been uncontested kings and queens.

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YOUR INVITATION: WORLD STREETS 2020 OPEN COLLABORATIVE CLIMATE/MOBILITY CHALLENGE

. . . invitation to join an open collaborative action plan to cut GHG emissions from mobility sector in cities by 5% starting in 2020.

 “You never change things by fighting the existing reality.  To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” – Buckminster Fuller

Climate/Space/Mobility Action Plan: 2020

EXEC SUM: This open collaborative project just getting underway on World Streets aims to demonstrate how cities can reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the mobility sector by at least five percent in the first year after startup. And this by working from a well-prepared two-pronged push and pull strategy based on a combination of (a) sharp VKT  reductions  (Vehicle Kilometers Traveled) and (b) an expanding ecosystem of Better Choices while working with proven, cost-effective, available technologies and processes.

The project aims to get sharp, measurable results in short time with an approach that is, we argue, Better, Faster and Cheaper — and through this basically reshaping the city’s basic mobility ecosystem.   This bold initiative is only possible with very strong leadership and commitment, high technical competence, and an exceptional ability to  communicate and engage the population in a fully equitable and  positive manner.

COLLABORATIVE STARTUP: Now seeking critical feedback on working materials and proposals, collaborators, presentation opportunities, partners and eventual demonstration projects and sponsors.

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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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TRANSITION STRATEGIES: Selected Wikipedia checklist of key terms, concepts and references

Intended as a handy research aid, checklist and reminder for students, researchers and others digging into the Slow City and related technical and policy challenges. A certain familiarity with these concepts is desirable; more than that I would say essential.

It is particularly important that those responsible for planning and policy be comfortable with these concepts. Anyone prepared to work in the field will already have familiarity with, say,  9 out of 10 of the concepts identified here.  It concerns the stuff of sustainable transport, sustainable mobility and sustainable cities.  (I would draw your attention particularly to those entries that are marked with two  asterisks * * which touch on some of the more subtle and essential components of a sustainable transport policy.)

From the beginning in the late eighties the New Mobility Agenda was conceived as a shared space for communications and didactic tools zeroing in on our chosen topic from a number of angles,  and over the last eight years World Streets has  continued in this tradition. I hope that what follows may be useful to some of you.  As you will see, I think it is an important and powerful tool — which those of us who care can help shape and put to work for the good cause.

How much can you trust Wikipedia and what you can do about it

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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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52 BETTER, FASTER, CHEAPER MEASURES your city could start to do tomorrow morning to cut GHG emissions, reduce traffic accidents, save lives, strengthen the economy and improve mobility and quality of life for all.

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.)

FB MC Whitelegg master classes

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Africa Streets and MOBILIZE, Dar es Salaam, 26-28 June 2018

Subject: Help wanted to bring Africa Streets to Dar es Salaam for the 26-28 June 2018 ITDP MOBILIZE events

Dear Friends of sustainable transport, sustainable cities and sustainable lives, greetings,

Here is what I want to do for our common cause and that just may interest you.. It is a long shot, but after half a day of turning the ideas around in my mind I decided to give it a try and seek counsel on this from our 10k plus international readers..   Let’s have a look.

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Op-Ed: What/who keeps holding back New Mobility reform in your city in 2018?

WaFB SC speed car kids running cross

From the editor’s desk: If you get it, New Mobility policy reform is a no-brainer in 2018. 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.

Continue reading

ITDP. Pedestrians First: Tools for a Walkable City

Walkability is a crucial first step in creating sustainable transportation in an urban environment. Effectively understanding and measuring the complex ecology of walkability has proven challenging for many organizations and governments, given the various levels of policy-making and implementation involved.

In the past, Western and Eurocentric standards have permeated measurement attempts and have included data collection practices that are too complicated to have utility in many parts of the world or at a level beyond that of the neighborhood. In order to expand the measurement of walkability to more places and to promote a better understanding of walkability, ITDP has developed Pedestrians First.

This tool will facilitate the understanding and the measurement of the features that promote walkability in urban environments around the world at multiple levels. With a better global understanding of walkability, and more consistent and frequent measurement of the walkability of urban environments, decision-makers will be empowered to enact policies that create more walkable urban areas.

 * Source: https://www.itdp.org/publication/walkability-tool/ 

To download 75 page ITDP report  — https://bit.ly/2ItikRj

 

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About the editor: 

Eric Britton
13, rue Pasteur. Courbevoie 92400 France

Bio: Founding editor of World Streets (1988), Eric Britton is an American political scientist, teacher, occasional consultant, and sustainability activist who has observed, learned, taught and worked on missions and advisory assignments on all continents. In the autumn of 2019, he committed his remaining life work to the challenges of aggressively countering climate change and specifically greenhouse gas emissions emanating from the mobility sector. He is not worried about running out of work. Further background and updates: @ericbritton | http://bit.ly/2Ti8LsX | #fekbritton | https://twitter.com/ericbritton | and | https://www.linkedin.com/in/ericbritton/ Contact: climate@newmobility.org) | +336 508 80787 (Also WhatApp) | Skype: newmobility.)

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Archives: Road safety: A public health challenge (India)

India’s hurried quest for development and its disregard for road safety have resulted in a major public health problem that demands serious thought and action.

This article by Professor K.S. Jacob, which is central to the matters which bring us together here in the Safe City 2018 Challenge, originally appeared in the pages of The Hindu of 6 October 2010 and was reprinted immediately in our sister publication Streets of India. As with John Whitelegg’s prescient 1993 piece on Time Pollution which was published here on Monday of this week, this independent expert commentary on safe, or rather unsafe, streets helps us to better understand the realities we need to face on the streets of our cities. Continue reading

SAFE CITY STRATEGIES : MANAGING THE TRANSITION. (Working notes for a 2020 Thinking Exercise)

eb hsinchu middle of srteet in front station - Copy

Safe City Strategies for bringing sustainable transport to your city .

The Seven Pillars

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Who read World Streets where this morning?

The above map reports the locations of the 561 readers checking into World Streets over the last five days. (Of our total 7,280 registered readers as of this date.)

But what about them?  Where are they coming from?  And what do they read? Let’s have a look.

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SEARCH THE NEW MOBILITY AGENDA: World wide library and research toolkit at your fingertips

Few things are more frustrating in this needful world than to see useful ideas and hard work ending up anonymously cloistered on some distant dusty shelf, real or virtual, and not be accessible to people and groups who could put them to good work,  especially at a time of crisis as that we are living through right now. This was one of the challenges we faced at  World Streets  from the very beginning. How to keep all these good ideas and useful tools alive and available beyond the day on which they were first published  and made known  to the world.

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