Is World Streets doing its job? We asked 100 experts for their views – – and 101 responded.

World Streets needs to catch on before my feet get wet.
– Dirk van Dijl, Netherlands

1827 calendar days have passed since World Streets opened its stacks for consultation on 31 March 2009.  Ad the results are there for all to see and judge: 1,196 original articles, 128 contributors, 1,365 photographs, maps, drawings and illustrations, 5443 registered readers, from some 149 different countries, and on an average day anywhere from 150 to 250 visitors click in (best ever: 2002).   But is what we are doing useful and worthy of support? We asked 100 expert readers for their views  — and 101 of them picked up their pens and responded. Continue reading

State of World Streets: 2009-2014

Today marks the fifth anniversary edition of World Streets. Our first number ws-newsstandappeared on 31 March 2009 with an opening message by the editor — click here — announcing the targets, intent and proposed method of this new collaborative media venture. On the same day we published our Mission Statement — Say Goodbye to Old Mobility —  which you can read here. Today we would like to spend a few minutes with you to review  the accomplishments and, yes!,  the shortcomings and disappointments  of these first five years.  And then go on to look out to our hopes and intentions for the rest of this decade. Continue reading

Sustainable Penang: Phase 1 Summary Report

Click here for the latest version of the Phase 1 summary report which is Maylasia Penang pred crossing in traffic Pulau Tikusintended at this point for information and comment by collaborators and others who have indicated their interest in following the Penang New Mobility project.  The summary quickly reviews the initial organization and plan for the project, and progress in the second half of 2013. It also sets out the basis of the planned 2014 implementation stage.

 – – >Click here for full PDF versionhttp://goo.gl/U0qTZp

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Corbusier-Free Cities

To be quite frank, to the point and a bit rude, the famed 20th century Swiss architect, designer, artist and general polymath Le Corbusier when he donned his urbanist hat provided us with several striking examples of how to build a city for cars.  We are extremely fortunate that most of them never got off the drawing board. But today, the Danish architect Henrik Valeur tells us about one that did and what perhaps Indian planners and urbanists can now do something to rectify.

wpd-le corbu transit city future Continue reading

Why the Dutch cycle (It’s not an accident)

This posting is part of a stimulating dialogue in which two contrasting views of the role and practice of city cycling are discussed. Because the issues examined here are in many ways universal and fundamental to the success of a city cycling program, including the on-going early Spring of a much needed cycling Renaissance in Penang, we are pleased to be able to share this first article with our readers. (PS. We need more creative disagreement between informed people such as this. If everyone agrees too quickly mediocrity invariably results. Sustainability is hard and challenging work.)

netherlands-amsterrdam-cycle-path

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Come out and claim the road – by Sunita Narain

india bicycle dovesI write this column from my bed, recovering from an accident that broke my bones. I was hit by a speeding car when cycling. The car fled the scene, leaving me bleeding on the road. This is what happens again and again, in every city of our country, on every road as we plan without care for the safety of pedestrians and cyclists. These are the invisible users. They die doing nothing more than the most ordinary thing like crossing a road. I was more fortunate. Two cars stopped, strangers helped me and took me to hospital. I got treatment. I will be back fighting fit.

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World Transport Policy & Practice – Vol. 19, No. 4. October 2013

This issue of WTPP returns to some earlier themes that are central to an improved understanding of how to get things right and reduce the likelihood of paul mees -smallerwrong-headedness.  Jeff Kenworthy opens 19/4 with a robust study of 42 cities and demonstrates that car use and GDP growth are decoupling.  Helmut Holzapfel looks at  German road and motorway planning and building and shows that it is totally removed from the reality of life as lived by citizens.  Editor John Whitelegg closes this latest edition of WTPP with a critical review of a compendium of articles, Transport Beyond Oil, while in his opening editorial reminding us of the work and contributions of our greatly missed colleague Paul Mees, a world-class transport researcher and policy analyst,who  died in Melbourne on 19th June 2013, aged 52. Far too young and still so much to do.

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North American Carsharing Trends: 2013

fb-ws-carsharing-18oct13

This contribution by Susan Shaheen and Adam Cohen in which they pick out and analyze  some of the main trends and eventual future prospects of the carshare “industry” in North America is the second country report in this World Streets 2013/14 series updating our readers on the latest developments internationally in this fast-moving, fast-developing field of new ways of owning and using cars. To access all the reports in this series thus far, you are invited to click to  https://worldstreets.wordpress.com/category/carshare/

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Electric Cars: Time to level the playing field

Electric cars inspire dreaming, not only on the part of some consumers, observers and enthusiasts but also vanguard citicar-2by public authorities who are trying hard to work their way out of the twin-headed hydra of finding the difficult path to sustainable transport in cities, and in many cases also having to deal with an auto industry in painful transition. As someone who drove a small ecar every day for ten years in Paris traffic (see attached pic), I personally found it a grand way to get around the city. But is that the crux of the issue here? I think not.

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World Transport Policy & Practice – Vol. 19, No. 3. June 2013

editorial

john whiteleggThe time has now arrived for some serious plain talking and no holds-barred reflection on our societal obsession with speed, distance, mobility and all its negative and perverse consequences for quality of life, social justice, fiscal prudence and the environment.  The “perfect storm” coincidence of a massive fiscal crisis, failure to produce carbon reductions large enough to deal with climate change, 3000 dead citizens each day as a result of contact with vehicles and a dawning of realisation that public health absolutely depends on sorting out transport all point in one direction.  The direction is clear and the pointing has been clear in almost every one of the 300 articles published so far in this journal.

– – > To obtain your copy of WTPP 19/3 click here.

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Very Sick Cities: That much we know

traffic-chengdu2A recent article in the Bangkok Post – http://goo.gl/1suKB  – summarizes twenty emergency indicators resulting from massive, devastating  and unchecked air pollution in Asian cities.  Their source was a report of the Health Effects Institute (HEI), a not-for-profit US research agency

Their not-so-short list reads as follows:

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New Mobility Consult: Partner for Sustainable Transport

New Mobility Consult is the advisory and consulting arm of World Streets and the New Mobility Agenda,  its world-wide network of international partners, publications, programs, social media and focus groups. complex systems networkThis open collaborative program  has been dedicated to sustainable transport policy and practice since 1988.   Here are some of the ways in which this international competence can be put to work for your city, agency or firm. Continue reading

Weekend Musing: One more reason why Africa does not matter

africa map“In a fair world it should be unthinkable to ignore the needs of close to one billion of the poorest people on the earth living in its second-largest and second most-populous continent. A part of the world with already one-third of the population living in cities, most of whom in slums, and with a flow of people from the country side continuing at record rates.”

From Cities, Transport and Equity in Africa: Unasked Questions

 

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Our Right to Walk is Non-negotiable (India)

india- children in trafficAnumita Roychowdhury, associate director of the Centre for Science and Environment in New Delhi, in a wide-ranging conversation with Faizal Khan reporting for the excellent Walkability Asia ( Clean Air Initiative for Asian Cities),  spells out clearly the inevitability of a non-motorised transport code in India through shocking figures and revealing facts. “We need zero tolerance policy for accidents. This menu of action needs support. Our right to walk is not negotiable.”  And on this Roychowdhury is entirely right. On this score we must be entirely intransigent and as part of this to keep pounding away on this important point of citizen activism on every available occasion, until we get the concept of zero tolerance written into the law and respected on the streets. All our streets! Continue reading

Op-Ed. Horrendous costs of motorized transport in (Indian) cities

Henrik ValeurEvery once in a while an article pops in over the transom, as happened this morning,  that provides us with a good, independent  checklist of the woes and, if not the solutions, at least the directions in which solutions might usefully be sought to our transportation related tribulations.  And this carefully crafted piece by Danish architect Henrik Valeur is a good case in point. His independent out of the box perspective leads him to making comments links and pointing out relationships which take him well beyond the usual transportation purview.  And if his immediate source of comment in this article is the awful, the quite unnecesssary situation on the streets of India’s cities, the points he makes have universal application. Healthy stuff for planners and policy makers. Let’s have a look.

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Thinking on Transport/Equity: Selected references

ws-jacobs-mosesWe are inviting comments and background information on this our central concept behind this project, i.e., what is this thing we call transportation equity all about? We are looking for a variety of views and perspectives on our topic and not some kind of warm and glass-eyed unanimity.   For if we cannot handle complexity, contradictions and fuzziness, then we are not about to make headway with this challenge. This first note with references came in from Todd Litman, executive director of the Victoria Transport Policy Institute in Victoria Canada.

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Early this morning World Streets welcomed our 3000th registered reader

ws-newsstandEarly this morning World Streets welcomed our 3000th registered reader. After almost to the day four years of faithful service to the cause of sustainable transport, sustainable cities and sustainable lives, since the beginning of the year we have started to receive a substantial increase in these contacts.  For example, even as I write this note, the number is up to 2015 (which you can confirm for yourself in the top right column). We feel proud and hope that you as one of our readers feel proud too. After all , the only reason we are here is to learn from each other and do what we can to make our cities and our planet fairer and better places for all, today and tomorrow.

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Tribune: John Whitelegg on Planetary Boundaries

Planetary Boundaries

This is an unusual editorial.  It is entirely concerned with one book published in 2012 called “The Human Quest

To say this book is important is an understatement.  It is hugely important because it shows that the current trajectory of the human species on this planet is on automatic pilot with the self-destruct option initiated.   This may sound rather dramatic but the book is based on a very traditional scientific analysis and a strong evidence based logic rooted in the best scientific tradition and especially Swedish scientific traditions.  It is a solid, objective, scientific analysis.

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World Transport Policy & Practice – Vol. 19, No. 1. January 2013

water animal wtpp

In this issue of World Transport we once again fo­cus on intelligent solutions to future trans­port that have the potential to shift us into a way of thinking and doing that avoids transgressing planetary boundaries. To­mas Björnsson draws attention to the ur­gent need for improved cycling facilities in southern Sweden that cost a small frac­tion of what is spent on highways. Martin Schiefelbusch shows how rural transport problems can be solved by community transport initiatives. Stephen Knight-Lenihan reveals the extent to which de­sirable sustainability objectives can be undermined by a lack of will at national level. His account of the situation in New Zealand will resonate strongly with the situation in many other countries. The ar­ticle by Serena Kang describes a “flexible bus utility model” that has the potential to more closely match the supply of bus services with the demand for those serv­ices and thereby increase levels of use of public transport.

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