Saturday, May 4, 2013

Inside world: 2013 Haiku Sustainability Slam

Sustainability is not a four letter word

(but maybe it should be)

japen statue BashoThe 2013 Haiku Sustainability Slam is being organized by World Streets and its friends as an ecumenical  pagan celebration to the coming Rite of Spring, in part inspired by  the exhilarating  French annual speak-out program The Springtime of Poets (Le printemps des poètes) which runs this year  to the 24th of March.  A few words of background to set the stage for what we hope will be your own valiant poeticizing efforts.

lend me your arms,
fast as thunderbolts,
for a pillow on my journey

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Inside world: whatever we do surely the planet

whatever we do
surely the planet will survive
doubts about mankind

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Inside world: on bus dog at my knee

on bus dog at my knee
waiting for sweet voice
to tell when we arrive

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Sunday, April 28, 2013

Honk! Cycling your mind

One of the main strategic underpinnings of New Mobility Agenda, and certainly of everything that appears here in World Streets, is that if we are ever to reinvent transportation in our cities, as we so badly need to do, we must in the process free ourselves from our old ways of seeing, thinking and doing things. For example, when you think "bicycle" . . .

For example, you and I think we know exactly what a bicycle is: and while that may apply 99 times out of 100, if we look more closely we are going to see quite a few variations which also need to be taken into consideration. And ditto by the way for what constitutes "safe cycling".

The Conference Bike takes all this from a different angle, so what about a quick visit to their video which you can access directly by clicking here.


You will also find a contribution with some background information on how it works here in World Streets by the inventor of the conference bike, Eric Staller. If you click here you will see his full text.

We like Conference Bikes because once you are on one of them and talking to others about cycling in cites as you all peddle away together on the city streets, you per force have a different view of the whole thing. A useful step to what we need to get going with better policies.

Enjoy the ride.

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Saturday, April 27, 2013

fb-eb-22apr13

One way of looking at World Streets and its worldwide network of diverse international partners, publications, programs, multiple networks, focus groups. continuing research and professional activity in our chosen field is to see it as the visible tip of a very large iceberg of experience and competence available to be put to work on your projects and programs.  The greater part of this considerable mass is the New Mobility Agenda, an open collaborative program that has been dedicated to sustainable transport policy and practice since 1988.   Here are some of the ways in which this international competence can be put to work for your city, agency or firm in 2013 and beyond.

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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Speeding to a standstill



speeding car  mando2802.edublogs.orgThis is an interesting and useful article. The topic is timely and important. The approach 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 stand aside and let them speak for themselves.

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Sunday, April 21, 2013

New Mobility Consult: Partner for Sustainable Transport

complex systems networkNew Mobility Consult is the advisory and consulting arm of World Streets and its world-wide network of international partners, publications, programs, social media and focus groups. This open collaborative program  has been dedicated to sustainable transport policy and practice since 1988.   Here are some of the ways in which this international competence can be put to work for your city, agency or firm.

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Sunday, April 14, 2013

Weekend Musing: One more reason why Africa does not matter

africa map"In a fair world it should be unthinkable to ignore the needs of close to one billion of the poorest people on the earth living in its second-largest and second most-populous continent. A part of the world with already one-third of the population living in cities, most of whom in slums, and with a flow of people from the country side continuing at record rates."

- From Cities, Transport and Equity in Africa: Unasked Questions

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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Brainstorm: Carsharing, and New Thinking about Transport in Cities

World  Carshare  Cities Program 2013 : Brainstorming notes of 11 April 2013invisible car-smaller



1. There are many many different ways to share cars in 2013 (far more in fact than most of even the experts talk about when they make presentations on carsharing).

2. This mix of ways of delivering these services is evolving at a speed that makes it a real challenge to keep up with the pace of developments. Even for the experts.

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Monday, April 8, 2013

World Transport Policy & Practice – Vol. 19, No. 2


Rural access, health & disability in Africa


A Special Edition of World Transport, Spring 2013

africa bike hosptial transportTransport, health and disability are interlinked on many levels, with transport availability directly and indirectly influenc­ing health, and health status influencing transport options. This is especially the case in rural locations of sub-Saharan Af­rica, where transport services are typically not only high cost, but also less frequent and less reliable than in urban areas.


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Friday, April 5, 2013

Searching World Streets - An open library and toolkit at your fingertips

magnifying glassWorld Streets is more than a collaborative blog with a very specific focus; it also offers an extensive site and collection of working materials, references and tools in support of our collective push to more sustainable cities.  At this point several thousand articles, tools,  images, and other media are assembled in the family of World Streets sustainability toolkit.

But if it is to be useful as an open library and toolset, we need to be able to offer ways to sort through all this digital chaos, so that you can have a chance to find the kind of information or support you are looking for. Fortunately, in combination with WordPress and Google we are able to offer you a collection of useful search tools, as follows:

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Monday, April 1, 2013

Our Right to Walk is Non-negotiable (India)

india- children in trafficAnumita Roychowdhury, associate director of the Centre for Science and Environment in New Delhi, in a wide-ranging conversation with Faizal Khan reporting for the excellent Walkability Asia ( Clean Air Initiative for Asian Cities),  spells out clearly the inevitability of a non-motorised transport code in India through shocking figures and revealing facts. "We need zero tolerance policy for accidents. This menu of action needs support. Our right to walk is not negotiable."  And on this Roychowdhury is entirely right. On this score we must be entirely intransigent and as part of this to keep pounding away on this important point of citizen activism on every available occasion, until we get the concept of zero tolerance written into the law and respected on the streets. All our streets!

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Saturday, March 30, 2013

Op-Ed. Horrendous costs of motorized transport in (Indian) cities

Henrik ValeurEvery once in a while an article pops in over the transom, as happened this morning,  that provides us with a good, independent  checklist of the woes and, if not the solutions, at least the directions in which solutions might usefully be sought to our transportation related tribulations.  And this carefully crafted piece by Danish architect Henrik Valeur is a good case in point. His independent out of the box perspective leads him to making comments links and pointing out relationships which take him well beyond the usual transportation purview.  And if his immediate source of comment in this article is the awful, the quite unnecesssary situation on the streets of India's cities, the points he makes have universal application. Healthy stuff for planners and policy makers. Let's have a look.


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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Thinking on Transport/Equity: Selected references

ws-jacobs-mosesWe are inviting comments and background information on this our central concept behind this project, i.e., what is this thing we call transportation equity all about? We are looking for a variety of views and perspectives on our topic and not some kind of warm and glass-eyed unanimity.   For if we cannot handle complexity, contradictions and fuzziness, then we are not about to make headway with this challenge. This first note with references came in from Todd Litman, executive director of the Victoria Transport Policy Institute in Victoria Canada.


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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Author at work

eb-cafe-lighterIf you would like to have an advanced  taste for some of the content, approach  and the general voice of the book, you may want to consider clicking to  http://worldstreets.wordpress.com/tag/equity-book which calls up a selection of articles and comments which are now in process for the final. Please understand that at this point most of these pieces are still  incomplete working drafts, and not surprisingly they are of uneven quality up to now. That is part of the challenge.

In the meantime, you may note when you call them up they are presented to you simply with the latest postings on top. Which of course is not the order in which they are being treated in the book now in process. Still, they should give you a good feel for where we are going with this, we think important, book.

 

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The Equity Initiative

africa girls in trafficThe goal of this open collaborative project and crowd sourcing exercise, which spans the period January 2012 to December 2013, is to organize, hold and report on a series of public dialogues in a certain number of host cities and government groups on different continents, meeting with and seeking out  the views of a broad cross-section  of people, groups and interests who are ready to brainstorm on  the concept of equity as a potential base for a new transport paradigm and  strategy for the city.

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Late Night Thoughts on Equity

mobility-egg2Equity? Hmm. This, it turns out on inspection,  is not quite so easy a concept to get across. In English,  it's already tough enough.  And as I have learned somewhat painfully, it gets  even more challenging in many other languages. Here are some late night thoughts on this word that I share with you in the hope it may inspire comments and clarification. So here you have my notes, more or less in the order that they came to mind late in the night. 

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Monday, March 25, 2013

Early this morning World Streets welcomed our 3000th registered reader



ws-newsstandEarly this morning World Streets welcomed our 3000th registered reader. After almost to the day four years of faithful service to the cause of sustainable transport, sustainable cities and sustainable lives, since the beginning of the year we have started to receive a substantial increase in these contacts.  For example, even as I write this note, the number is up to 2015 (which you can confirm for yourself in the top right column). We feel proud and hope that you as one of our readers feel proud too. After all , the only reason we are here is to learn from each other and do what we can to make our cities and our planet fairer and better places for all, today and tomorrow.

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Equity: A muddled discussion awaiting its first theory

Nothing is more attractive to me than a muddled discussion awaiting its first theory.

- E. O. Wilson, Biophilia, Harvard University Press, 1984

polar bears on ice floatAnd if ever there were a "muddled discussion" in the domain of public policy, just about everything we have heard and seen over the last decades under the heading  of "sustainable development" and "sustainable transportation" has to be placed firmly in this category.  Hopes, rhetoric and promises have run higher than high, while concrete achievements and realities have been tragically few and far between.  We are grievously losing the war of sustainability on just about every front you can imagine.  Something has to be very wrong, something fundamental, something structural and something which apparently is not getting the attention it requires.

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Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Helsinki Process

finland equity report coverIn the last months of 2011 subject to a series of preparatory discussions, the author was invited to work with the support of a small team of professionals under the direction of the City Planning  Department /Transportation in order to organize, carry out, and as appropriate follow up on these open public conversations.  We spent close to two months laying the base for the public discussion stage of the project.

During the two weeks in Helsinki we met with almost 200 people representing a broad cross-section of interests and points of view,  organized and participated in on the order of twenty interviews and  brainstorming dialogues, three half-day master class sessions, and on 27 April a final plenary presentation organized to present and invite first feedback and recommendations on this intensive process.  The final presentation was followed by a session of questions from the audience and general discussion, with a brief closing summary of observations and findings made by the Deputy Mayor of Helsinki Pekka Sauri, in charge of Public Works and Environmental Affairs for the city.

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Friday, March 22, 2013

Editorial: On the plane to Helsinki (March 2012/March 2013)

One year almost ot the day after the start-up of the first Helsinki project, I have carefully reviewed this original article, slightly rewritten it for clarity, but above all have added a fair number of observations, questions and cautions by distinguished colleagues following  this project in many parts of the world. Valuable food for thought for  anyone who wishes to  get a handle on some of the fundamental issues to be considered for eventual equity-based transportation reform.

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Faces of Transportation Equity: Natasha Harrell

http://youtu.be/gGT2kA4cvro

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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Equity, Efficiency and the Invisible Majority

invisible people-cut outThat 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.

The “transportation majority” is not what most people think, transportation planners and policy makers among them.  The transportation majority are all those of us who increasingly are poorly served by the mainline service arrangements that eat up most of our hard-earned taxpayer money and fail to offer them acceptable and efficient choices that mesh with their special needs and circumstances. And each year as our populations age this majority grows in numbers.


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Faces of Transportation Equity: Quig Komorrah









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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Equity-Based Transport Systems: Get Ready to Embrace Complexity (or Get Off the Bridge)

crowd-source-photoAs is or at least should by now be well known, a transportation "system" is well more than a collection of largely free-standing bits of infrastructure, modes, links, agencies, institutions, bureaucracies, laws, operators and more, concerning which decision scan be taken on a piecemeal basis.   It is in fact a textbook example of a disorganized complex system, or more specifically a vast, chaotic, contradictory, time-lagged but ultimately manageable ecosystem.  And if it is our ambition -- which it should be -- to construct, or rather reconstruct, our city transport systems into functional high-performing sustainable ecosystems. it can help to build up our understanding of the process in steps.

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Faces of Transportation Equity: Cynthia Jarrold reports







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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Equity Initiative: 2011-2015

First step: Say good-bye to Old Mobility


Chengdu China looking at caps on cars"Old Mobility" - with its relentless stress on more, supply, more vehicles, more speed, ever greater distances and more infrastructure as the knee-jerk answer to our mobility problems -- has been the favored path for conceptualizing, decision-making and investment in the sector over the last 70 years. It is fully charted, surprise-free and easy to see where it is leading.  Aggressing the planet, costing us a bundle, draining the world's petroleum reserves, and delivering poor service for the majority . . . this tired approach  is a clear failure. It's time for a major change of course.

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A "Better than Car" Mobility System

how should I get there - smallNobody likes to step down on the scale of comfort and economy. Fair enough, so let's see how we can all step up with an equity-based 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.

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Monday, March 18, 2013

Old Mobility: Going, Going, Gone!

scratching-headIn order to understand what needs to be done to create healthier lives and a better performing set of transportation arrangements, World Streets has from the very beginning made a consistent distinction between what we call "Old Mobility" vs."New Mobility."  The difference between the two is simple, straight-forward . . . and substantial.

Old mobility was the dominant form of transportation policy, practice and thinking that took its full shape and momentum starting in the mid twentieth century, at a time when we all lived in a universe that was, or at least seemed to be, boundless and  free of constraints. It served many of us well in many ways at the time, albeit with numerous and notable exceptions, though we were blind to most of them most of the time. It was a very different world back them. But that world is gone.  Gone and it will never come back.

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Faces of Transportation Equity in the USA: Troy Buchanan







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Saturday, March 16, 2013

Poynton Regenerated: A transformative Shared Space project

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vzDDMzq7d0

The regeneration of Poynton Town Centre and its high street, Park Lane, involved a bold approach to the busy traffic intersection in Fountain Place. Martin Cassini's short film documents the background to the project, and the dramatic changes in the fortunes of Poynton, and explores the implications for other towns and cities struggling to cope with the impact of traffic.

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