Op-Ed: What/who keeps holding back New Mobility reform in your city in 2018?

WaFB SC speed car kids running cross

From the editor’s desk: If you get it, New Mobility policy reform is a no-brainer in 2018. However, while the New Mobility Agenda is a great starting place, it is not going to get the job somehow miraculously done just because it is the only game in town when it comes to sustainable transport. There is plenty of competition for your thin wallet,  all that space on the street, and  especially for that space between our ears. We have a few potential sticking points here that need to be overcome first.

Let’s have a quick look. After some years of talking with cities, and working and observing in many different circumstances, here is my personal shortlist of the barriers most frequently encountered in trying to get innovative transportation reform programs off the ground, including even in cities that really do badly need a major mobility overhaul.

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One small reason why Tallinn may feel they could use more public transport

To get a better feel for this from the perspective of day to day reality when it comes to trying to get wherever you want to go during morning rush hour in Tallinn, let’s have a look at a report by two Estonian researchers, – by Helen Poltimäe and Mari Jüssi, under the title . . .

Factors Affecting Choice of Travel Mode in Tallinn

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Tallinn 2018: Free public transport for all. Dream or reality

The program for the recent Tallinn international conference contains useful information and contacts for researchers, planners, policy makers and others wishing to understand the variety of approaches, projects and perceptions which make up this fast-growing and highly varied field of interest for cities and their citizens around the world.

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WORLD STREETS 3.0 WATCHING BRIEFS: 2018-2020

 Paris. 28 May 2018 update:

For the latest – v. 3.0 – edition of our long term  collaborative and action program, we decided first to review the work accomplished and lesson learned over the first decade (i.e., World Streets v. 1.0, March 2008- March 2018) —  and select from that collective  learning experience a set of  ten strategic policy targets that we intend to propose and support as possible to advance these key elements, building blocks if you will, of what we call the New Mobility Agenda over the coming near term 2018-2020 period.

Below you will find the ten briefs thus far selected, with corresponding URL’s that will take you to a first round of introductory information and further background on each selected policy challenge. As you will immediately see, this is a very eclectic group —  and here below are our proposed  collaborative projects we intend to discuss, promote and work to advance over the next three years .

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Economic instruments as levers for policy and behavior change

Source: WHO http://www.who.int/heli/economics/econinstruments/en/

Objectives

Economic Instruments encompass a range of policy tools, from pollution taxes and marketable permits to deposit-refund systems and performance bonds. The common element of all economic instruments is that they effect change or influence behaviour through their impact on market signals.

Economic instruments are a means of considering “external costs,” i.e. costs to the public incurred during production, exchange or transport of various goods and services, so as to convey more accurate market signals. Those “external costs” may include natural resource depletion, environmental degradation, health impacts, social impacts, etc.

Economic instruments facilitate the implementation of Principle 16 of the Rio Declaration, commonly known as the “Polluter Pays Principle.” The article states: “National Authorities should endeavour to promote the internalisation of environmental costs and the use of economic instruments, taking into account the approach that the polluter, should in principle, bear the cost of pollution with due regard to the public interest and without distorting international trade and investment.”

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FREE PUBLIC TRANSPORT: THE VISION OF PLANKA.NU

Planka.nu is a network of organizations in Sweden and Norway promoting tax-financed zero-fare public transport with chapters in Stockholm, Gothenburg, Skåne, Östergötland and Oslo.[1] Planka.nu was founded in 2001 by the Swedish Anarcho-syndicalist Youth Federation in response to the increasingly expensive ticket prices in the public transport system in Stockholm. The campaign has received much attention because of the controversial methods used to promote free public transport: Planka.nu encourage people to fare-dodge in the public transport, aiding its members in paying penalty fares through the insurance fund p-kassan.

Here is some of their thinking on this subtle topic for transport planners, politicians and civil society.

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“It’s the pace of the technology meeting the pace that our municipalities move at”

Dockless bike pile up image silenthill imagine China

Image: SilentHill

Ouch! And so well said!

These few telling words from  Stacy Thompson, director of the Livable Streets Alliance, a transportation advocacy group watching out for the public interest in Boston Massachusetts — in the context of a critical commentary on the dockless bike wars that are  presently ravaging cities and challenging governments around the world.

And this of course is what World Streets is supposed to be all about: The Politics of Transport in Cities.  Satcy has put our challenge into a nutshell.

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AFRICA STREETS 2018: LETTER OF INVITATION TO AN OPEN COLLABORATIVE PROJECT 

FB AS

Another day in morning traffic in Lagos

AFRICA STREETS:

Stories of New Mobility Projects in Africa: Successes, Failures and Work in Progress

World Streets. Paris. 21 April 2018

Dear African friends and colleagues,

I’m in the process of trying to gather my thoughts on a book bringing together a collection of lively real world stories of attempted new mobility — what I like to think of as “pattern break” – projects that have been carried out in cities and rural areas in a dozen or so African countries. I want to emphasize here the choice of the word “stories” as opposed to when we hear more often in the literature, titles such as “case studies” or “best practices”. I think it is important to try to reach in and understand (Anyway, I do not believe in the concept of “best practices”, and tend to prefer the less blatant wording of better practices.)

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WORLD STREETS NEW MOBILITY AGENDA 2018-2020

FB WS no excuses Sir. Bike eye

Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.
– William Butler Yeats

World Streets has from the beginning been intended to serve as a journal of record of the difficult world wide transition to sustainable transport, sustainable cities and sustainable lives.   And as a lively world-wide partner, free resource and multi-faceted toolkit for concerned citizens and decision makers as they try to sort their way through the complexity and contradictions of bringing sustainable transport to our cities and their hard to serve hinterlands.   Many of our seven thousand-plus signed-in readers will for the most part keep their eye on the latest articles as they appear.

But there are others — students, educators, researchers, consultants, those working in concerned government agencies, transporters and other suppliers to the sector,  city planners, activists, civil society, journalists, citizens looking for international background on specific topics — who need to have quick access to what the site has to offer.  Which, it turns out, is quite a lot. Let’s have a look.

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Who read World Streets where this morning?

The above map reports the locations of the 561 readers checking into World Streets over the last five days. (Of our total 7,280 registered readers as of this date.)

But what about them?  Where are they coming from?  And what do they read? Let’s have a look.

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SEARCH THE NEW MOBILITY AGENDA: World wide library and research toolkit at your fingertips

Few things are more frustrating in this needful world than to see useful ideas and hard work ending up anonymously cloistered on some distant dusty shelf, real or virtual, and not be accessible to people and groups who could put them to good work,  especially at a time of crisis as that we are living through right now. This was one of the challenges we faced at  World Streets  from the very beginning. How to keep all these good ideas and useful tools alive and available beyond the day on which they were first published  and made known  to the world.

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International Symposium on Road Safety Around the World: Future Concerns 

19  March 2018. University of Chicago Center in Paris

ICoRSI 19 March Symposium Programme

The one day symposium is being sponsored by the Independent Council for Road Safety International (www.icorsi.org) when fourteen papers will be presented to focus on important theoretical and practical issues concerning road safety around the world. The papers have been specially prepared for wider dissemination after discussion at this symposium. A brochure including the details of the programme is attached.

The symposium should be of special interest to researchers and policy makers working on critical road safety issues internationally.

For general background on ICoRSI see https://www.icorsi.org. For full program: https://goo.gl/77WNLD

The presentations at the symposium will be recorded and used for public information. The papers presented at the ICoRSI International Symposium Road Safety Around the World: Future Concerns may be published separately after discussion at the symposium.

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HOW MOBILE ARE WE AND HOW DID WE GET HERE? (2018 New Mobility Master Class: Draft for comment)

The mobility/growth paradigm (or the mobility complex)

– By John Whitelegg, extract from his book MOBILITY. A New Urban Design and Transport Planning Philosophy for a Sustainable Future, Chapters 2 and 3. For more on the New Mobility Master Class program click here –  https://goo.gl/BB2pPE

Mobility is most commonly measured, if at all, as total distance travelled per annum per capita in kilometres and/or total distance travelled per day per capita. There are other important dimensions e.g. number of trips made per day or number of destinations that can be accessed by different modes of transport in a defined unit of time but these are not generally measured in a systematic way or included in data sets. Usually mobility is not defined. It has become a rather vague concept associated with quality of life or progress and it is invoked as a “good thing” and something that should be increased. This is very clear in most national transport policies and at the European level where major transport policies and funding mechanisms are increasingly framed.

A recent EU research and development document (European Commission 2013a) begins with the main heading “Mobility for growth.” It does not define mobility. The document is an undiluted manifesto accepting and promoting the growth of mobility and advocating the importance of this growth for the success of wider economic policy objectives, asserting the unquestioned importance of endless economic growth and ignoring the voluminous literature on the impossibility of endless economic growth and of ecological and resource limits to growth (Douthwaite, 1992, Schneidewind, 2014).

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SEARCH WORLD STREETS: World wide forum, library and research toolkit at your fingertips

Few things are more frustrating in this needful world than to see useful ideas and hard work ending up anonymously cloistered on some distant dusty shelf, real or virtual, and not be accessible to people and groups who could put them to good work,  especially at a time of crisis as that we are living through right now. This was one of the challenges we faced at  World Streets  from the very beginning. How to keep all these good ideas and useful tools alive and available beyond the day on which they were first published  and made known  to the world.

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Machine Translations for 2018 New Mobility Master Classes — (And other uses . . . with an invitation)

In the context of our 2018 online educational outreach program on New Mobility Master Classes – of which you can check out the initial work plan at https://wp.me/s1fsqb-7777 and https://www.facebook.com/NewMobilityMasterClass/ — we decided to look closely with the help of a handful of our colleagues working in different language environments at the potential for using Google Translate’s offer of immediate machine translation of your web site and with one click in to close to one hundred languages.

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WHITELEGG ON MOBILITY. Chapter 1. Introduction

Walking to school

The following reproduces the full text of John Whitelegg’s opening chapter of his book, Mobility: A New Urban Design and Transport Planning Philosophy for a Sustainable Future,  Straw Barnes Press. September 1, 2015. For further background on the 2018 online New Mobility Master Class program of which focuses on this introduction in the opening session, refer to: “Mobility, Death and Injury. (Let’s see what John Whitelegg has to say about this.)” at https://wp.me/psKUY-59l 

Introduction

In the 1950s as a primary school child in Oldham (UK) I had very limited mobility measured in terms of the number of miles I ranged over each week. Life was intensely focused on the locality, intense contact with other children who lived within 500 metres of my home, and intense outdoor play for as many hours as my parents would allow (usually more than they would allow). We children decided when to go out, where to go, with whom and what to play and from an early age acquired a great deal of proficiency in negotiation skills, dispute resolution and independent decision-taking.

Life was very good, full and rich and the low level of mobility contributed to that richness. Time that might have been spent in a car being taken to organized “things” was put to good use in ways we decided. We did not need to roam very far from home and we enjoyed our local streets, second world war air-raid shelters (dark, dirty and mysterious) and large amounts of untidy urban space.

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MANAGING THE SAFE CITY TRANSITION: . . . . . Notes for a Thinking Exercise . . . . .

FB SC small jason and eb on steps

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. . . . . . . . . . . . MOBILITY, DEATH AND INJURY. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (Let’s see what John Whitelegg has to say about this.)


This posting is intended for informal peer review and comment  here on World Streets in the context of a new international collaborative program of New Mobility Master Classes in the making for 2018. The text that follows is taken directly from Chapter 3 of John Whiteleggs well-received 2015 book Mobility A New Urban Design and Transport Planning Philosophy for a Sustainable Future.  We thank Professor Whitelegg for making these valuable materials available to our readers. Let’s have a look.

Contents 

  1. Mobility, Death and Injury  (Chapter 3.)
  2. Conclusions 
  3. Selected references
  4. About the authors
    (more)
  5. Mobility: Table of Contents
  6. How to obtain the book
  7. Supporting materials from World Streets
  8. Supporting pages from FaceBook
  9. Reader comments 

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Safe cities and the S L O W . . . movement

Article Source: http://www.slowmovement.com/slow_cities.php

Fired by the success and support for Slow Food the Italians set about initiating the Slow Cities movement. Slow cities are characterised by a way of life that supports people to live slow. Traditions and traditional ways of doing things are valued. These cities stand up against the fast-lane, homogenised world so often seen in other cities throughout the world. Slow cities have less traffic, less noise, fewer crowds.

Towns in Italy have banded together to form an organization and call themselves the Slow Cities movement. In their zeal to help the world they have formed what amounts to a global organization that sets out to control which cities in the world can call themselves Slow Cities and which cannot. This is not a movement. Social movements are movements from the bottom from the community. The seachange movement, the organic movement, the vegetarian movement, the homeschooling movement, are examples of movements. No-one controls them. No-one assesses you to see if you are allowed to call yourself a seachanger or if you can say you are a vegetarian.

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