Vision: Some first reflections on what is, what can be a “Slow City”.

FB SC - slow city 1

Draft notes for a thinking exercise and comment.

–  Eric Britton, Institut Supérieur de Gestion, Paris, 6 June 2017

To create a city that works for all, we must start with a vision. Policy without vision is like driving blind-folded. In this short posting we would like to explore the vision of a Slow City.  You will have your own ideas on this but here are ours.  And of course your comments and suggestions are as always most welcome.

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Soft techniques in martial arts (and good governance)

woman soft martial artsAn important element of our Better Choices sustainability  strategy is to achieve our carefully-considered objectives for the city, often very demanding, without avoidable social conflicts and divisions into opposing camps.  For that we need to be attentive to soft policy techniques.

Softness is often confused with weakness. But not in the martial arts. The goal of the soft technique is deflecting the attacker’s force to his or her disadvantage, with the defender exerting minimal force. With a soft technique, the defender uses the attacker’s aggressivity, force and momentum against him or her, by leading the attack(er) in a direction to where the defender will be advantageously positioned (tai sabaki) and leaving the attacker off balance; a seamless and to many invisible movement then effects the appropriate soft technique.

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Campaign Help Wanted: Nobel Peace Prize nomination

Dear friends,

I am in the process of preparing a formal nomination of our most creative Dutch colleague, Luud Schimmelpennink, for the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize, in recognition  of his outstanding and unique on-the-street contributions over the last half century, showing the way to sustainable transport, sustainable cities and sustainable lives. You will find a series of articles and testimonials in support of this goal here at https://worldstreets.wordpress.com/tag/thanks-luud/, with more shortly on the way.

Our immediate need is to have the support of  several more official nominators for the Prize, the exact conditions of which are spelled out here. You can reach me at: E. eric.britton@ecoplan.org. S. newmobility T. +336 5088 0787

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Glasgow homage to Amsterdam’s historic White Bicycles

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Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art 2010

“The White Bicycle Plan proposes to create bicycles for public use that cannot be locked. The white bicycle symbolizes simplicity and healthy living, as opposed to the gaudiness and filth of the authoritarian automobile.” (Provo Manifesto)

For Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art 2010, NVA staged a re-enactment of the infamous Witte Fietsenplan (White Bike Plan).

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Did we hear anyone say. . . Thanks, Luud?

luud-looking-through-bike-wheelA GREAT IDEA HAS WINGS:

HERE’S A NUMBER  LUUD CAME UP WITH IN 1967  (that it took the world a full generation  to understand and finally equal).

The number was 10,000.

(But it was not only a number — it was at its base a wonderful, original and city-transforming, environmental and life quality concept.)

This was the number of white bicycles that Mr. Schimmelpennink proposed in his public bike master plan for Amsterdam in 1967. (Proposal rejected by the municipal council.)

After that radio silence on the  post-White Bike front for seven years.  It took until 1974 for the first new public bike project when the city of La Rochelle launched a free bike-sharing programme, Vélos Jaunes (Yellow Bikes). Followed at first slowly, cautiously but then increasingly with a mounting wave of tidy new projects, most in Europe, most successful, and almost all of them small.

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How one lion-hearted Amsterdam inventor gave bike-sharing to the world

luud-white-bike-reproduction-in-museumIn the 1960s, a Dutchman named Luud Schimmelpennink created a ‘”white bike” plan to fight against harmful pollution and cars. His invention has changed public transportation around the world. So why did his bicycle-loving home city never embrace it?

 

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