That old transport paradigm, the one we are still living with today, is far too narrow in terms of the range and quality of people targeted and services offered, and in the process fails to serve what is — in fact — the transpiration majority.
Again and again and again, when it comes to “transport master planning” in Penang, it seems as if we always end up circling to the same old structurally wrong thing. And in the process allowing the undertrained proponents of the Big Bang “solution” of the present government package, to occupy the center of the debate. This is a huge mistake.
It is my position that the starting place for responsible and effective transport planning and policy in Penang is NOT to link it to land deals — but to look at the challenge in and of itself. From a well defined, explicit strategic perspective.
Some will say that they do not have enough money to accomplish their objectives — which quickly become wild, pharaonic, costly and not related to the real problems and priorities at hand. Remember, transport for people and not for cars (infrastructure included)
Here is the simple question that the policy makers need to ask and resolve.
(a) What is it that they can accomplish for the people of Penang,
(b) working with available resources in order to
(c) alleviate the day-to-day mobility problems of the people of Penang – with
(d) especial attention to the needs of the poorer half of society and the vulnerable populations (elderly, handicapped, poor, isolated, non-car owners, and
(e) above all women of all ages and stations of life, and in
(f) in the coming four years, i.e., 2017-2020.
How hard is that? And why is no one minding this store?
Please someone, tell me why this is not being done?
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About the author:
9, rue Gabillot, 69003 Lyon France
Bio: Trained as a development economist, Eric Britton is a public entrepreneur specializing in the field of sustainability and social justice. Professor of Sustainable Development, Economy and Democracy at the Institut Supérieur de Gestion (Paris), he is also MD of EcoPlan Association, an independent advisory network providing strategic counsel for government and business on policy and decision issues involving complex systems, social-technical change and sustainable development. Founding editor of World Streets, his latest work focuses on the subject of equity, economy and efficiency in city transport and public space, and helping governments to ask the right questions and in the process, find practical solutions to urgent climate, mobility, life quality and job creation issues. Currently working on an open collaborative project, “BETTER CHOICES: Bringing Sustainable Transportation to Smaller Asian Cities” . More at: http://wp.me/PsKUY-2p7
Gatnet: Collaborative problem-solving for a world-wide action agenda
Following a discussion on GATNET that took place during November-December 2015 — reference http://wp.me/p1bevG-7d — around why gender has not been mainstreamed into the rural transport sector and why addressing gender issues in rural transport has not been transformative, changing the unequal relations between women and men, UK AID has commissioned seven research programmes in Asia and Africa to explore these issues further. The countries in which the research is taking place are Nepal (in South Asia), Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone,Liberia, Uganda and Ghana (in Africa). (See http://www.research4cap.org/SitePages/Home.aspx or join GATNET (below) for further updates).
The Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) number 5 of the UN says: “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls”. All of the UN’s Sustainability Development Goals sound all-encompassing and too lofty to be pursued in a realistic manner. That, however, is the idea. The SDGs are value-pillars which guide planners while they go about their mundane tasks of drawing up maps and fighting resource crunches. Fortunately, the New Urban Agenda adopted in Habitat III breaks down these goals into sub-topics that people can wrap their heads around and know how to create a path towards achieving that utopian ideal.