Equity/Transport: From the slums of Nairobi

We present this here as one of a series of such postings which are intended to serve as food for thought and broader background on our topic as lived and seen from different angles and environments around the world, as we move ahead on the key cooperative program in Helsinki.

A word to the reader as we think about this together, in part at least when haunted by the story that Patrick Chappatte unfolds for us below.

The word “equity” is not at all the  same thing as “equality”, nor is it really about “justice” in the formal, legal sense of the word. But it is about fairness, and compassion, and even decency, if those are not too vague as words.   And if not knee-jerk equality with all that implies that runs against human nature and reality, at least something on the order of equality of opportunity.

It is our view that in the transport sector, that which we make equitable can, if got right, also be efficient and economic (made all that much easier because in few cities of the world are the transportation arrangements either efficient or economic — giving us a vast area for system reform in all these areas).  And sustainable too, because an equitable society is not likely to have to deal, one or or the other, with its own Arab Spring or Occupy movement.

Now let’s have a look at Patrick’s full drawing to ponder the human aspects of transport in an exploding Third World city.

* Click image to see full size.

From this point on, for now, we can leave the concept of equity to your ruminations.

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