Monday, May 30, 2011

World Streets This Week: Edition of 30 May 2011

- – - > Click here to download Weekly Edition of 30 May 2011 

From the editor's desk

In addition to our (as yet not successful) continuing search for funding and support to ensure the future of World Streets, we got ourselves engaged in a major overhaul of the site itself. You are invited to check out the last week's articles as well as our new look at

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Sunday, May 29, 2011

AFRICA: 'Bicycles Are For Good'

Gail Jennings reports from Cape Town.Politicians may tell us that bicycles are a sign that we are not advancing,” says Patrick Kayemba, managing director of the First African Bicycle Information Organization in Uganda, “but we ourselves have seen that cycling is a socio-economic tool. It works now – we don’t have to wait for someone to rescue us with better public transport, better this, or better that…”

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Friday, May 27, 2011

Editorial: On private, public and . . . social space

Toward the end of last year I was asked by the team responsible for organizing this year's fifth annual congress of the Cities for mobility program, which is to take place in Stuttgart from 3-5 July, to brainstorm with them about a central theme for the presentations. We ended up with the idea of trying to orient the congress around the theme of "social space". Here is what we eventually produced to introduce the concept.

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Thursday, May 26, 2011

1st National Working Party on Carsharing in France "The Culture of Carsharing"

The following notes were prepared on the fly to guide my presentation as the "closing summary" I was invited to make at the closure of the Strasburg conference. I took it as my task to sum up a certain number of observations that the formal presentations and the lively exchanges over the day brought to mind. And then to round them out here with some other findings and recommendations that I hope will be useful to the carshare community in France. The presentation itself was in French, but if you turn to you will see an informal commentary in English to round out these bare notes.

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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Doodling with Frank

A recent edition of the Atlantic Monthly carried a series of short articles on creativity, and one of their short profiles was an interview with Frank Gehry which I reproduce below. (Click here for the original article). And here is why I am sharing this with you this morning, namely my attempt to understand the early minutes of his (and yours and my) creative process. I am uber-struck by the relations between his initial pen sketches as his mind wanders about his problem, and the building that he finally makes happen a couple of years later. What is going on in his head? For that matter what is going on in MY (or your) head when an idea germinates, which in time and with luck and hard work just may turn into something that does an interesting job. Anyway I am fascinated, and if you have not seen the excellent documentary that Sydney Pollack made on this a few years back, you can catch a trailer at In the meantime excuse me, I have some important doodling to do.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Silly Argument Over BRT and Rail: US Perspectives

The following sensible commentary from our friends over at The transport Politic helps put this "competition" into perspective.  Silly being an entirely apt word in this context.

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Monday, May 23, 2011

On expertise and public participation

It appears that the folks at the Lucknow Municipal Corporation have a curious notion of the meaning and purpose of public participation. When their funding proposals under the centrally sponsored scheme for urban development (JNNURM) were rejected due to the lack of public participation, they came up with the brilliant idea of a “city volunteer technical corps” that would participate in the planning process. Members will be chosen by the city corporation based on “expertise” in planning and related areas. The newspaper also reports that a prior attempt to constitute such a consultative body was aborted when “undesirable” persons who were not “experts” entered the consultative group. The corporation promises only to include “desirable” persons this time round. Read More

via India lives in her cities too!

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Sunday, May 22, 2011

World Transport Policy & Practice – Vol. 17, No. 1

The Journal of World Transport Policy and Practice is the long-standing idea and print partner of World Streets and the New Mobility Agenda since 1995. The Spring edition appears today with articles by Ian Ker, Joshua Odeleye and Eric Britton. In the article that follows you will find the lead editorial by founding editor John Whitelegg. (For a more complete introduction to World Transport click here.)

- - - > To obtain your copy of WTPP 17/1 click here.

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Saturday, May 21, 2011

What about using our heads (for a change)?

At the end of the day our transport sector, no matter where it is, is shaped by the perceptions of the main players, the opportunists, planners, decision makers and the public of what is there and what is it that people want and need. And if it is a mess in your country or city,well that's because these perceptions are simply not clear enough. Read what Nate Sliver of the New York Times has to say when there is a collision between the experts and common sense on one much discussed transportation topic. Interesting things happen when smart people from the outside poke their noses into the transportation box. As we say: "you never know where the next good idea is going to come from".

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Family Mouse moves ahead on fifty language worldwide Odyssey

Today we want to tell you about a bit more concerning progress on a collaborative international project on a children's book exactly on our subject. Back in mid March, we announced our intention to produce a 2011  edition of this successful  children's book, but this time in (our target) fifty language editions. Read on to see where things stand today. All the more  if any of you out there might be interested in lending a hand so that we can create handsome print and electronic versions for worldwide distribution and use. - Alvin reports from Paris

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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Pay-As-You-Drive Vehicle Insurance: Is it in the cards as a new mobility strategy?

This white paper  by Todd Litman of the Victoria Transport Policy Institute, just issued the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions, looks at the potential  for Pay as you Drive (PAYD) insurance both in general and in the specific case of British Columbia. With Pay as you Drive – i.e., "context sensitive insurance"  -- what you pay for this big-ticket item is conditional on not only distance travelled but also time and place. The concept has been around for decades but has started to gain traction in the last half dozen years. Let's have a look.

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Monday, May 9, 2011

Peter Newman: No room left for the car

Peter Newman: No room left for the car Australian environmental activist and professor of sustainability at Curtin University in Perth, Peter Newman loves Indian streets. He shares his experience of Indian cities with Arushi Mittal. (Courtesy: Iclei World Congress) What are your observations about Indian cities?) I come from a school of thought that likes cities, and I find an Indian street fascinating. There are so many different users: bullock carts, food vendors, beggars, cyclists … Read More

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Sunday, May 8, 2011

International Advisory Council on Sustainable Transportation

Paris: 8 May 2011. We are, as of today, in the process of updating and completing this list of international colleagues, each of whom are working day after day on challenges, projects and programs, alone and with others, all in support of the principles of sustainable development and social justice, in cities and countries around the world. It is our intention to have the revised and expanded version on line in June.

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Saturday, May 7, 2011

World Streets spring cleaning. Your views?

Want to have a look at the new layout and type face for World Streets that we are experimenting with as part of our annual spring cleaning, and let us know us what you think?  Our goal is to make it an easier and more efficient read, with a tighter format, better use of screen space,  and with the key links and tools more visible and easily accessible. Do you have any views on this?  And if so, please let us know with a single click below. Thank you.

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Monday, May 2, 2011

(Time out while we regroup)

World Streets is a collaborative resource. And it is a challenge - a collaborative challenge. We are rethinking it from top to bottom, to improve its usefulness and ensure a solid financial base.  Have a look and tell us what you advise.

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World Streets This Week: Edition of 2 May 2011

- - - > Click here to download Weekly Edition of 2 May 2011 

Another busy week on World Streets, with contributions coming in from the StreetFilms media group in  New York on parking strategies, on city cycling and empowerment of women in Dhaka, and on to the pressing matter of rethinking the finances of our entire operation so that we can continue to act as the world's only fully independent, collaborative, worldwide sustainable transport daily/weekly publication and peer network.   But the buzz of the week was a series of exchanges resulting from an announcement of government support in India  for a really quite dubious proposal for a PRT Pod system for Delhi.

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About the Council

[In progress: The working draft that follows has been taken directly from the 2005 background note on the Council and is being revised and updates. Please come back next week for the final on this. And if in the meantime you have suggestions or criticisms, it would be great to have them. Thank you.]

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