A Mayor’s-Eye View of Sustainable Transportation: Politics as the art of the possible

no excuses sir 2The letter that follows is, as you will quickly surmise, not an actual communication from one elected official in one case, but rather a composite, a distillation of experience that I have had over these last years of trying to push the sustainable transportation agenda in many parts of the world, almost always in conjunction and in dialogue with mayors and other city leaders.

As you will see, it is not that they are uniformly adverse to or not interested in the concepts behind sustainable transportation and sustainable cities. It is just that they have a great many other things on their mind, including staying on top day after day of the considerable challenges of managing their city — and, in not very long, running once again for reelection. This is the political reality of which those of us who would be agents of change must be aware, that politics is the art of the possible. Now let’s turn the stage over to our mayor: Continue reading

Penang Transport Master Plan (SDS version)

A “Big Bang” approach to a “Holistic” Penang

PtMP - SDS - CMHolistic approach

The full content of the official Penang Transport Master Plan (SDS version) as available on 27 June 2016 is reproduced here for the convenience of our international visitors interested to follow progress . As indicated this is considered by local government as a living document, subject to extensions and updates. For the latest version of this document: http://pgmasterplan.penang.gov.my

Continue reading

The Streets of Chisinau: First glimpses

If you do not know Chisinau and Moldova and want to have a first feel for how the transport scene works there, sit back and have a look. And as you will see from the vantage of what we call “sustainable mobility” it offers a very mixed scene, things that work, and others that could work better. Like virtually every city on this gasping planet. Let’s have a look.

Moldova Chisinau waiting for the bus

Moldova Chisinau waiting for the bus

Continue reading

Toward a New Mobility Agenda for Chisinau – First announcement

FB moldova - bus driver

This project is based on a discussion put forward in the last weeks by Eric Britton, professor of Sustainable Development, Economy and Democracy at the Institut Supérieur de Gestion (Paris),  in exchanges with colleagues at the Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe (REC), who agreed to look more closely into this as an eventual collaborative project, and to get things moving  who took contact with the Solved program as an eventual third partner. This note briefly introduces the project and the first two talking partners: The Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe and the Solved Collaborative. We are actively searching groups and individuals who are interested in following and, better yet, in collaborating with and improving this ambitious international team project.

Continue reading

Public transport advocate solicits ideas to break ‘car culture’ in Penang

Penang has over-built infrastructures that are poorly used, says Eric Britton. — Picture by K.E. Ooi

From the Archives. George Town Malaysia. Sept 23 , 2013  http://themalaymailonline.com/ —

By Opalyn Mok

A predilection for cars means that 80 per cent of transport funding is used to cater for the needs of 20 per cent of society, according to a public transport proponent today.

World Car Free Day founder Eric Britton pointed out this uneven distribution in public expenditure was an issue in many modern cities, including Penang.

“It should be the other way around where only 20 per cent funding is needed and it can fulfil the needs of 80 per cent of the society,” he said during a media focus group under the Sustainable Penang: Toward a New Mobility Agenda two-week programme this morning.

In a bid to change that, Britton is here for the two-week Sustainable Penang: Towards a New Mobility Agenda.

Continue reading

Paradigm Shift for Public Transport in Kuala Lumpur (A lot more to it than that)

Bangkok Skytrain - Problem solved. Next? t

Bangkok Skytrain: Note the huge investment in public transport to solve the problem. Oops!

Public transport in Kuala Lumpur: A paradigm shift

First extracts:

“MAY 19 — The Malaysian Government has established an objective of improving public transport in urban areas around the country as a core to stimulate economic growth and relieve traffic congestion. In order to achieve the stated objectives, the government has allocated funds worth up to RM180 billion to be invested in new public transportation systems.

“For example, this commitment can be reflected on the approval of large scale public transportation projects such as the MRT Line 2, LRT 3, HSR (High Speed Rail) KL-Singapore and BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) on the Federal Highway. The shift in focus from building more roads and highways back to improving public transport will no doubt be welcome to the urban population.

“However, despite these colossal public transportation investments, have we gone far enough to ensure public transport usage in Kuala Lumpur is a feasible alternative option to car use? I believe that there are several elements that can be addressed to further improve the attractiveness and effectiveness of the Greater Kuala Lumpur Public Transport Master Plan.”

Continue reading