Since TDM (Transportation Demand Management) is a key pillar of the New Mobility Agenda strategy, and of our now forming-up Five Percent Challenge Climate Emergency program, it is important that the basic distinctions are clear for all. In one of our recent master classes, when several students asked me to clarify for them, I turned the tables instead and asked them, since we are now firmly in the 21st century, to go home, spend a bit of time online and come up with something that answered their question to their satisfaction. Here is what they came up with, taken whole hog from http://bit.ly/2rTxHrr (which we then lightly edited together and offer for your reading pleasure).
What many people call “transportation” . . is at its very essence not about road or bridges, nor vehicles or technology, and not even about money. Above all it is about people, their needs, fears, desires and the decisions they make. And the backdrop — real and mental — against which they make those decision. The transport planner needs to know more them and take this knowledge into the center of the planning and policy process. What makes them tick, individually and collectively. What do they want and what they are likely to resist. And people, as we all know, are intensely complicated, personal and generally change-resistant. .But if we take the time and care we can start to understand them, at least a bit better. Which is a start.
Norway’s capital city Oslo, home to over 670,000 people, is boldly pushing forward with a range of measures to improve air quality for the city’s inhabitants. Oslo is one of 42 cities who take part in Breathe Life, a campaign led by the World Health Organization, UN Environment and the Climate & Clean Air Coalition that inspires cities and individuals to protect our health and planet from the effects of air pollution.
Zero-emission vehicles play a key part in the city’s strategy to reduce C02 equivalents by 95 per cent in 2030, and city officials are encouraging people to make the transition to electric vehicles. Benefits for drivers include reduces taxes, access to bus and taxi lanes, free travel on toll roads and public ferries, and free municipal parking. Over 1,000 charging stations have been added in recent years.
Meanwhile, all public transport in Oslo and neighbouring Akershus county is to be powered exclusively by renewable energy by 2020.
Nobody in a democratic 21st century country is going to willingly step down on the scale of comfort and economy. Fair enough, so let’s see how we can all step UP in terms of life quality for all with an cost-competitive, equity-based low-emissions transport strategy.
The objective here is to combine vision, policy, technology and entrepreneurial skills in such a way to create and make available to all a combined, affordable, multi-level, convenient, high choice mobility system which for just about everybody should be more efficient than owning and driving a car in or into town. Let us start with this as our goal and then see what is the work that must be done in order to turn it into a reality.
* * Working draft for peer review and comment of 17 July 2019
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)
By Nathan Lobel, Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment|Feb. 26, 2019
In October, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reported that we have little more than a decade to stave off climate catastrophe. Avoiding such a fate, the panel warned, “would require rapid and far-reaching transitions in energy, land, urban and infrastructure (including transport and buildings), and industrial systems… unprecedented in terms of scale.”
Punctuating a year of natural and political climate-related disasters, the IPCC report sparked renewed calls for action. Economists, environmentalists, and policy elites took to the nation’s opinion pages with a common prescription: to fight climate change, Congress should put a price on carbon, thus “internalizing” the social cost of fossil fuel consumption.
From one perspective, converging on carbon pricing makes lots of sense — after all, carbon prices are often thought to be the most efficient means to mitigate climate change. But, despite its theoretical utility, carbon pricing has also struggled to deliver the real and drastic emissions reductions that we so desperately need.