Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Third International Share/Transport Forum - Jiaozuo China

This International Forum, the third in the series which got first underway in 2010 in Kaohsiung and met  again in Changzhe in 2011,  is once again, this year on 21/22 September in Jiaozuo China, bringing together leading thinkers and sharing transport practitioners from  the People's Republic of China, Asia and the world, to examine the concept of shared transport (as opposed to individual vehicle ownership or established forms of public transport) from a multi-disciplinary perspective, with a strong international and Chinese-speaking contingent.

Share/Transport 2012

The Third International Share/Transport Forum

- Jiaozou China 2012 -

- Eric Britton, Keynote speaker (introductory notes)


The concept of shared transport is at once old and new, formal and informal, but above all one that is growing very fast and changing in many respects just as fast as it grows. Something important is clearly going on, and this year's  event will look at this carefully, in the hope of providing a broader strategic base for advancing not just the individual shared modes (e.g., car-share, ride-share, bike-share, , taxi-share, street-share, time-share, etc.), but of combining them to advance the sustainable transport agenda of our cities more broadly.

Are we at a turning point? Is sharing already starting to be a more broadly used and relevant social/economic pattern?  Is there an over-arching concept which we can identify and put to work for people and the planet? And what do you need to look at and do to make your specific sharing project work?

These are some of the issues that we shall be examining with prominent invited guests from the fields of economics, politics, psychology, who will join transportation experts to discuss these trends. Hosted this year in the energetic second city of Jiaozuo , the event will take place during car free day celebrations, which conference guests will be encouraged to join.

The event will include presentations on leading projects related to transport sharing taking place globally.  and above all will be taking care to present the various projects, modes and approaches in the very necessary broader sustainable transport, sustainable  cities (and sustainable lives) context.  Because if the vehicles, technology and delivery systems of the various share transport modes are important, transport sharing at the end of the day is basically about people and the choices they make.

Sharing in the 21st century - Will it shape our cities?

After decades of a single dominant city-shaping transportation pattern - i.e., for those who could afford it: owning and driving our own cars, trucks, motorcycles and bicycles, getting into taxis by ourselves, riding in streets that are designed for cars and not much else -- there is considerable evidence accumulating that we have already entered into a world of new mobility practices that are changing the transportation landscape in many ways. It has to do with sharing, as opposed to outright ownership.

But strange to say, this trend seems to have escaped the attention of the policymakers in many of the institutions directly concerned. It is not that they are not increasingly aware of the new generation of projects such as bicycle, car, taxi and street sharing, those we are seeing develop largely under their own steam.  But the broader strategic frame for understanding and shaping these projects is something we still need to build and put to work.

However transport sharing is an important trend, one that is already starting to reshape at least parts of some of our cities. It is a movement at the leading edge of our most successful (and wealthiest and livable) cities -- not just a watered down or second-rate transport option for the poor. With this in view, we set out in 2010 to test these concepts in a range of international cities and fora, examining not just the qualities (and limitations) of individual shared mobility modes, but also to put this in the broader context of why people share. And why they do not. And in the process to stretch our minds to consider what is needed to move toward a new environment in which people often share rather than necessarily only doing things on their own when it comes to moving around in our cities worldwide.

As a contribution to international understanding in this fast emerging but still  largely unexplored field, the City of Jiaozuo  is organizing, together with Global Environment Facility/World Bank, the PMO in Beijing and the China Urban Transport Development Strategy Partnership, this third World Forum on Share/Transport  in an international conference and brainstorming session to take place from 20 - 22 September 2012, in which a number of observers and experts  working at the leading edge of these matters will come together, first to examine together the general concept of sharing in the 21st century. And then, once this broader frame and understanding has been established, go on to consider how sharing as an organizational principle is working out in each of the individual mobility modes which are rapidly gaining force in cities around the world.

What is "share/transport" Here is a quick concept diagram which is intended to give a first rough idea about how share/transport as a broad class fits in with the other more traditional mobility options.  It makes it clear why it is also called Third Way transport, bridging the two older categories which for many years were about the only things the planners and authorities ever thought about when it came to ways to get around in the city.

To fill out this quick image of introduction you will find here a "mind map" which is meant to give a visual clue as to the quite large variety of modes and media that together constitute the share/transport agenda.

 "On the whole, you find wealth more in use than in ownership."
- Aristotle. ca. 350 BC

Forms of share transport  

And here you have the initial brainstorming list that we developed as a broad framework to sort through and figure out which of the shared transport modes and cross-cutting vectors should be selected for consideration by the three day conference. (This list has been discussed, prioritized, pruned and consolidated as useful for the conference. It will be reconsidered and revised as useful subject to what the Forum helps us to better understand.)

  1. Bike/sharing (Check out the informal 30 second video on this at http://www.vimeo.com/6856553 )

  2. Car/sharing (includes both formal and informal arrangements

  3. Fleet-sharing

  4. Ride/sharing (carpools, van pools, hitchhiking - organized and informal).

  5. Taxi/sharing

  6. DRT and paratransit

  7. Shared Parking

  8. Truck/van sharing (combined delivery, other)

  9. Street/sharing 1 (example: BRT streets shared between buses, cyclists, taxis, emergency vehicles)

  10. Street/sharing 2 (streets used by others for other (non-transport) reasons as well.)

  11. Public space sharing

  12. Work place sharing (neighborhood telework centers; virtual offices; co-workplace; hoteling)

  13. Sharing SVS (small vehicle systems: DRT, shuttles, community buses, etc.)

  14. Cost-sharing

  15. Time-sharing

  16. Successful integration of public transport within a shared transport city? Including bus and rail

  17. Team sharing

  18. Knowledge-sharing (including this conference)

And why people share transport

Transport sharing in its many forms is, in fact, a very old form of getting around. But the first structured attention  that started to be given to it by observers, practitioners and scholars, and a bit the media, was in the early seventies.  This was in part because it was for many reasons the opening shot in the world environmental awareness and one might call it revolution. And the first studies of sharing in transport virtually all had to do with carsharing.  life has moved on considerably since then, but that we pretty much how the whole thing got started.

At the time there was a fair amount of discussion concerning why people carshare. And while economics and convenience clearly had much to do with it, there was a whiff of environmental consciousness that was probably more in the eyes of the beholders than the people who actually did it.

But today with fully half a century of experience and thousands of sharing projects of all kinds in many places and with huge variants, we can nonetheless spot from the literature and pure observation the broad trends and patterns of the motivations for people deciding to get involved in some way in transport sharing, and of these the "top six" and perhaps in this order might include:

  1. Need

  2. Availability

  3. Convenience

  4. Affordability

  5. Complementarity

  6. Reliability

  7. Choice

Not that environmental issues have disappeared from the screen, but in addition to the above here are some of the reasons that are cited by users and observers:

  • Economy

  • Environmental

  • Equity

  • Fair

  • Flexible

  • Friendly

  • Hopeful

  • Human

  • Informal

  • Peer-to-Peer

  • Presence

  • Profitable

  • Responsible

  • Social

Let's not forget that people use share transport not because they are ordered to do it, but because they chose to do it.  So if we want more people to get out of their cars and use something better for themselves and the community as a whole, it is good to keep this in mind for both planning, policy and operational purposes.

And oh yes, and this is not as trivial as it may at first seem. People increasingly like to us share transport because they think it is cool.  Policy makers and entrepreneurs will do well to keep their eyes on this.

To conclude:  What you have here are intended as background materials and views to encourage the discussions and exchanges in Jiaozuo .  upon completion of the Forum it is our intention to report on the main finds, conclusions and recommendations.  All of which should be helpful to prepare the base for the planned 2013 Forum.

# # #
Tentative Agenda

Registration and City Tour
0900~09:45 Opening Ceremony
Leader of NDRC
Mayor of Jiaozou
Representative of the World Bank

09:45~10:00 Break and Take Photo

10:00~12:00 Session 1: Keynote Speeches (Chair: Jason Chang)
1. Prof Eric Britton, Founder of World Car Free Day
Sharing Transport and Social Equity (30 min)
2. Dr. Manfred Neun, President of European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF)
Cycling to Work (30 min)
3. Expert recommended by NDRC (30 min)

12:00~14:00 Lunch Break

14:00~15:30 Session 2: Sharing Transport for EcoMobilty (Chair: Eric Britton)
1. Prof Jason Chang, National Taiwan University
2. Prof Haixiao Pan, Tongji University
3. Mr. Lloyd Wright, Asia Development Bank
4. Mr. Dave Krentz, Editor of Green Passport, Canada

15:30~15:45 Tea Break

15:45~17:30 Session 3: Panel of Cycling Environment (Chair: Huapu Lu)
1. Mr. Tom Godefrooij, Dutch Cycling Embassy, The Netherlands (TBC)
2. Mr. Shannon Bufton, Co-Founder, Smarter Than Car
3. Prof Takayuki Morikawa, Director of International Research Center for Sustainable Transport and Cities, Nagoya University, Japan
4. Chairman Jeng, Wuhan Public Bike System
Panelists: Eric Britton, Jason Chang, Lloyd Wright, David Krentz, Manfred Neun
18:30 Dinner

9/22 Announcement of National Cycling Day

09:30 Ceremony of Public Cycling Day (organized by PMO and Jiaozou City Government)
Welcome Speech (Mayor of Jiaozou, Eric Britton, Manfred Neun)
MOU Signing of National Cycling Day (All city mayors or representatives, witness by all invited speakers)
10:30 Parade of Cycling in Jiaozou City (TBC)

Mayors and or Vice Mayors from partner cities of CUTPP
Department Heads from partner cities of CUTPP
Working Group Members from partner cities of CUTPP
Experts involved in the GEF projects
Graduate students

Invited Speakers
Eric Britton, Founder of World Car Free Day (eric.britton@ecoplan.org)
Dr. Manfred Neun, President of European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF) (manfred@neun.net)
Haixiao Pan, Professor of Tongji University (hxpank@gmail.com)
Huapu Lu, Professor of Tsinghua University (luhp@mail.tsinghua.edu.cn)

Also present:

Lloyd Wright, Asia Development Bank (lwright@vivacities.org)
Dave Krentz, Editor of Green Passport, Canada (dave@greenpassport.ca)
Tom Godefrooij, Dutch Cycling Embassy, The Netherlands (tom.godefrooij@dutchcycling.nl)
Takayuki Morikawa, Professor and Director of International Research Center for Sustainable Transport and Cities, Nagoya University, Japan (morikawa@nagoya-u.jp)
Shannon Bufton, Co-Founder, Smarter Than Car, Australia (Shannon@stcbj.com)
Jason Chang, Professor of National Taiwan University (skchang@ntu.edu.tw)
Experts recommended by the World Bank
Experts recommend by ADB
Experts recommended by EcoMobility Alliance

# # #

Presentations and findings:

-- To follow on World Streets in early October. --

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