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

FB SC eb jason speeding car

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Transport minimization: Bridging needs, time and space in different ways

traffic-maximization-new-york-photo-flickr-giacomo-carena

The TMAPP Planners Toolbox:

Transport/Mobility/Access/ Proximity/’Presence’

To take full advantage of the fundamental structural differences between Old and New Mobility, it can help to reflect on the five necessary different steps of analysis and action suggested by the expression TMAPP – which sets out five alternative views or ways of bridging space, which of course is what transportation is supposed to be all about. These are the essential building blocks of a full-function sustainable transport plan for your city.  If you have not integrated the best of each of these essential steps into your plan, it is time for a bit of continuing education.

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Transport minimization: Bridging needs, time and space in different ways

traffic-maximization-new-york-photo-flickr-giacomo-carena

The TMAPP Planners Toolbox:

Transport/Mobility/Access/ Proximity/’Presence’

To take full advantage of the fundamental structural differences between Old and New Mobility, it can help to reflect on the five necessary different steps of analysis and action suggested by the expression TMAPP – which sets out five alternative views or ways of bridging space, which of course is what transportation is supposed to be all about. These are the essential building blocks of a full-function sustainable transport plan for your city.  If you have not integrated the best of each of these essential steps into your plan, it is time for a bit of continuing education.

Continue reading

(BC) Transport minimization/Bridging space in different ways

traffic-maximization-new-york-photo-flickr-giacomo-carena

The TMAP Planners Toolbox:

Transport/Mobility/Access/ Place

To take full advantage of the fundamental structural differences between Old and New Mobility, it can help to reflect on the five necessary different steps of analysis and action suggested by the expression TMAP – which sets out four alternative views or ways of bridging space, which of course is what transportation is supposed to be all about. These are the essential building blocks of a full-function sustainable mobility plan for your city.  If you have not integrated the best of each of these essential steps into your plan, it is time for a bit of continuing education.

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Op-Ed: Why, if driving is an addiction, we aren’t calling for it to be treated like other addictions.

Not everybody loves Car Free Days equally

                                         Not everybody loves Car Free Days equally

Simon Norton comments on “Thursday”: A breakthrough strategy for reducing car dependence in cities

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Bigger, Wider, Faster and More Roads for Penang . . . : Politicians, Engineers, External Costs (And you)

penang-save-the-trees-demontration-cap

What are the actual costs off building bigger, wider, fast and more roads for Penang: Let’s start by hearing two conflicting and in many ways typical opinions:

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McKinsey on Urban Mobility at a Tipping Point

uk-traffic light tree-smallThis thoughtful article by a team from McKinsey & Company puts together the pieces of the urban mobility revolution in some original ways, to present a challenging view of the future of urban mobility worldwide.

We publish selected brief extracts here to get you going and if you then wish to turn to the full text and illustrations which you will find – – – > here.

The speed and extent of the mobility transformation will differ. In this report, we lay out a framework that describes the evolution of urban mobility. We also highlight a set of urban archetypes, defined by population density and the maturity of public transit; each archetype can be expected to take a different path to mobility. Our analysis suggests that a mobility revolution is on the way for much of the world. As a result, we anticipate big improvements in the quality of life for city residents.

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Extra-urban Mobility Revolution Coming to your Doorstep

If I live outside of a city — say, in a classic spread suburb, rural area, commuter town or other hard to serve low density area — and if I happen not own a car, or on days when my car is not available, I am going to have an extremely hard time getting to work or wherever it is I need to go this morning.

rural carshare cowIn principle I have a few choices, for example: (a)  Get down on my knees and beg for a ride from family or neighbors. (b)  Try to find (and somehow get to) a bus or local pubic transport (in a period of ever-decreasing public services and budget cuts, so good luck!). (c) Search out a taxi if you can find one, call, wait for it eventually to show up and then pay a hefty amount. (d) For work trips, and if I am lucky, there may be a ride-sharing scheme.  Or, for many less comfortable but still possible, (e) the  hitchhiking option. (f) Or do like an increasing number of my fellow commuters and buy a cheap motorcycle. And perhaps most likely of all (g) be obliged to reschedule or forget the trip. But at the end of the day, and all things considered, I am forced to conclude that the reality of life in suburbia and rural areas today is: no car = no mobility. Harsh!

But stuff changes.We are entering a new and very different age of technology, communications and mobility, and as American writer Josh Stephens reminds us in the following article, things are starting to look up.

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xPlanning Chaotic Transit Systems: Off we go

manstanding  in door of moving mutatuWe are already close to one-seventh of the way  through this very different 21st century: an era not of “order”  in the older and more comfortable sense.  But rather of chaos, that illusive universe that combines mystery and a certain sense of order .  Chaos however  is not the end;  it is only a beginning.  And while we are on the subject, this in from Jarrett Walker in his blog Human Transit in which he reminds us of the power and potential of informal transport.  His concluding recommendation is especially interesting and to the point. The full original piece is available at http://goo.gl/TW5meY.

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Speeding to a standstill

This is an interesting and useful article. The topic is timely and important. The speeding car  mando2802.edublogs.orgapproach and methodology are interesting.  And in it  you will find a certain number of points  which I regard as timely, important and very much worth saying again and again. In a couple of instances I find their conclusions and interpretations a bit puzzling, but let me keep them to myself for now and avoid getting between you and the authors. It’s time to step aside and let them speak for themselves.

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Planetary Boundaries and Low Carbon Urban Mobility

Useful presentation and overview of the issues and trends by  Professor David Banister (University of Oxford) in a three part series “The Future of Sustainable Mobility”.  The following introduces his presentation but for the full text please click here.

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Man and car: Who is driving whom this morning?

What is it about what the English call a motor car that, when an otherwise perfectly decent human enters it and slams the door shut, somehow there is a total transformation of that person gripping the stirring wheel into something, into someone who is just a little bit less decent and a little bit less human. A consistent theme of World Streets is that over the last hundred years or so our cars have not only transported us but they have also in the process also transformed us.  Oops. And in the process they have fatally (I chose my word) altered the dimensions of the space in which we live our daily lives, and in the same process made this thing that was supposed simply to transport us from A to B at our leisure, into a defining part of our daily lives — and indeed in some ways part of ourselves. A cruel critic might say, half Faust and half Frankenstein. Continue reading

On “Filtered Permeability” as a sustainability tool

During one of our eternal research and reading probes which had us looking at and weighing the advantages, etc., of the many diverse approaches to creating “Livable Streets” (my favorite that being the term of the great and much missed Donald Appleyard), “Complete Streets”, “Quiet Streets”, “Fused Grids” . . . (just to cite a few of their many names”), we tumbled onto a phrase “Filtered Permeability” which was altogether new to us. After a bit we identified the person who had coined it, Steve Melia of the University of the West of England, and asked him to fill us in: Continue reading

Going down? Newman and Kenworthy on Peak Car Use

This is an important article. It  appears simultaneously in the Summer of 2011 edition of our sister publication, the Journal of World Transport Policy and Practice. With a view to ensuring its broadest international readership we are posting it here with pleasure, and with permission of the authors. We do this with particular interest on the grounds that their central thesis — that is, our faster than one might have expected evolving attitudes toward car ownership and use — is one that is central to the preoccupations of World Streets and all our associated programs. Continue reading

From Australia, Jarrett Walker on transit’s role in “sprawl repair”

Urban sprawl is at its best a very mixed bag, as we all know. But worse yet behind its tempting glamorous face it surreptitiously locks in unsustainability in many many ways, ending up with a grossly unfair package of no-choice mobility combined with close to totalitarian car dependence for all at the top of the awful list. But is this a prisoner’s dilemma in which everyone at the table is forever destined to lose once those die are cast? Not so sure about that. The other day, we heard from Paul Mees with our review article “Locked in Suburbia: Is there life after Autopia?” where he suggests that we will do well to look more closely at the options other than hand-wringing that are in fact there to be taken. While today, Jarrett Walker walks us through his interpretation of how “sprawl repair” can work without waiting for some distant Nirvana (or Hell, whichever my be your vision of choice).
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Fighting Traffic: The Dawn of the Motor Age in the American City

The author of this careful and quite extensive book review of the battle for America’s streets is Karthik Rao-Cavale, a graduate student at Rutgers University and an associate editor of our sister publication, India Streets. He writes: “This review was originally written for a class I am taking with Prof. John Pucher here at Rutgers University. I am putting up this review here even though the book reviewed talks mainly about the United States, because I feel that the lessons learned are most immediately applicable to developing world. It is a lengthy read, but I hope you will enjoy it.”

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Locked in Suburbia: Is there life after Autopia?

Something like ten percent of our lonely planet’s population are today thoroughly locked in — or at least think they are — to an “automotive life style”.   While in barely two generations  the earth’s population has  tripled, the automotive age has, step by silent surreptitious step, changed the way we live — and in the process made us prisoners of just that technology that was supposed to make us free forever. That’s a bad joke and bad news. But there is worse yet, and it comes in two ugly bites. For starters, in addition to the ten percent of us already hapless prisoners of our cars, another twenty percent of our soon seven billion brothers and sisters are standing in line eagerly in the hope of getting  locked in as quickly as possible. And as if that were not bad enough, the consensus among most of the experts and policy makers is that our goose is forever cooked, and there is little anybody  can do about it. Well, maybe not. Spend some time this Monday morning with Paul Mees, as he attacks this received belief and suggests . . . Well, why don’t I just get out of the way and let Paul speak for himself. Continue reading

Sharing: Humankind’s oldest technology is ready for a comeback

Long before automobiles and even science humankind discovered sharing tools, housing, roads, and wharfs, a natural way to reduce scarce labour and materials. And long before Adam Smith, we used the “profit” from such sharing to develop specialized skills and knowledge, both of which required sharing, and to build shared infrastructure. Now that we face rising prices for resources, thanks to looming shortages and better understanding of “externalities,” we need to face the prospect of putting on the brakes of our rush to individual consumption. Do we do without or do we share in ways that increase, rather than, reduce, our quality of life? Continue reading

Songs without Words. (Or trying very hard to get a commentary on reversing sprawl)

We invite our readers to write the words to the following “song”: 150 words max please, signed with your name, email, affiliation if any, city, country, and URL if you wish. You may either place your contribution just below clicking the COMMENTS link, or by email to editor@newmobility.org. At one point a selection of these comments will be sorted and integrated into a collaborative piece on this theme. Sorry, no other clues.

Population footprints: Barcelona vs. Atlanta

Now what?

Editor’s note: 22 May 2010 I have been scolded by several of our number who make the point that the above “song without words” title/proposal is far from clear. So with apologies, let me try to put it right.

The idea is that the graphic strikingly demonstrates one of the most important, and close to intractable, challenges of the move from Old to New Mobility, the huge dispersion of populations and activity that has been caused by the totally unthought-out shift from city living to a car-based hyper-spread life style. I was hoping to elicit comments on that, which is, it must be admitted, something like the proverbial challenge of getting the toothpaste back into the tube. There are responses, of that I am entirely sure, but it is going to be a tough job. So now, hopefully, your comments and clues?

Kind thanks to Lois Sturm, New York City for the heads-up on the graphics. (And to Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy for the inspiration.)

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Supplemental figure and food for thought:

Urban density vs. transport energy consumption

Sustainable transport survey identifies five types of travellers

A new study from Germany of attitudes towards transport and mobility has identified five groups of travellers. The groups differ significantly in their choice of transport, distance travelled and the impact their transport choices have on the environment in terms of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

– by ClickGreen staff. Published Sat 30 Jan 2010 16:50 http://www.clickgreen.org.uk/research/trends/121060-sustainable-transport-survey-identifies-five-types-of-travellers.html

The transport sector is responsible for a large share of urban air pollution and for nearly a fifth of the GHG emissions from the European Economic Area member countries.

According to the European Environment Agency, the increase in CO2 from transport could threaten the ability of the EU to meet Kyoto targets. In the EU’s Sustainable Development Strategy, transport is identified as a priority challenge.

Sustainable mobility options can be made more attractive to the European public through soft policy measures, such as public awareness campaigns and marketing for public transport.

However, their success depends on targeting different groups that exist within the public.

The study interviewed 1,991 citizens living in three German cities on their use of and attitudes towards transport. The analysis indicated that there are five different ‘mobility types’ of people:

1. Public transport rejecters. These believe public transport provides little sense of control or excitement. They are not open to change and see access to mobility as very important.

2. Car individualists. Similar to public transport rejecters, but are open to change and consider privacy more important.

3. Weather-resistant cyclists. Positive towards bicycles and will cycle even in bad weather.

4. Eco-sensitised public transport users. Positive towards public transport and are highly influenced by their environmental conscience.

5. Self-determined mobile people.
Perform the highest percentage of trips by foot; they do not consider mobility important and are not open to change.

Each group comprises around 20 per cent of the participants surveyed. Unsurprisingly, the public transport rejecters and car individualists produce the largest total GHG emissions from transport use (both public and private), at over 2000 kg of CO2 equivalent each per year.

The remaining three groups all have total GHG emissions under 1000 kg of CO2 equivalent per person per year. Self-determined mobile people have the lowest total GHG emissions from transport use, at just over 500 kg of CO2 equivalent per person per year.

Residents in suburban areas used cars more often. However, there were no significant differences in distance travelled and level of GHG emissions between those that lived in suburban, inner-city and city-district areas. Young people in single households and two-or-more-person households covered the most distance by car and had the highest GHG emissions. Pensioners had the lowest.

The five ‘mobility types’ have a strong predictive power for transport choice and associated GHG emissions. This approach has proved more predictive of transport choice than geographic or socio-demographic approaches. Focusing on mobility types could be a starting point for soft policy measures by helping select and prepare information for the different groups.

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One point about those five mobility types if I may. They look rather German to me, perhaps Nordic. The categories in Delhi, Denver or Dar es Salaam will doubtless look a bit different. There is a lot of culture in mobility, never mind climate, geography, economics and the rest. Still, food for thought.
* Waiting for the bus in Cape Town. Credit: Mobility Magazine

Note: The ClickGreen report does not indicate its source, but we shall look for it and report here when we find it as a Comment to this article. In the meantime of course comments and further references most welcome.

The editor