Today is the opening day of the 2012 Helsinki Equity-Based Transportation peer review program, the first in what we hope will become a growing thread of cooperating city projects querying the impact of first reviewing and eventually restructuring our city and regional transportation systems around the fundamental core principle of equity. You will find details on the EBT site at http://equitytransport.wordpress.com/ starting at noon today. Continue reading
Safe Streets is a collaborative worldwide project which will aggressively network over the whole of 2012 in our search for shaping ideas with some of the leading thinkers, groups and programs in the field , looking to the future but also not forgetting the past — including drawing attention to the defining contributions of a certain number of leading thinkers. teachers, writers and sustainability activists, who are no longer with us but who through their work have laid down some of the most important principles which we now need to recall and take into account as we move to create a broad common framework for sustainable streets all over the world. For those of you who do not already know about the formidable vision and work of Donald Appleyard, we have pulled together a collection of reference points that should give you a good first introduction, and at the end of this piece some additional reference materials for those wishing to go further (as indeed you should).
Part I: Ten steps to get the job done:
Let me sketch out an easy to understand (or reject) climate/transport strategy that presents some stark contrasts with what seems to be largely accepted as the received wisdom when it comes to targeting, policy and investment in the sector — and which in a first instance is quite likely to earn me more enemies than friends (that goes with the territory). At least until such time that these basic underlying ideas are expressed in a manner which is sufficiently clear and convincing that we put them to work to turn the tide. So here you have my first brief statement of the issues, the basic strategic frame and the key pressure points to which I invite your critical reactions and comments. In a second piece in this series, to follow shortly, I intend to have a look at the candidates who could be ready to do something about it. Or not.
– Eric Britton, Editor, World Streets Continue reading
As our regular readers know well, India Streets is in the collaborative idea-building business to define, reinforce and advance the New Mobility Agenda on streets and in cities across the Subcontinent. So whenever we hear about something or someone who can help us sharpen our vision and tools, we are a willing audience. Today we are pleased to share with you a sharp five-minute brainstorming presentation that the popular science writer Steven Johnson has recently made on exactly our topic. You can buy his intriguing book under this title if you click here. But for now, sit back and let’s hear to what Steven has to share with us on idea-building. Continue reading
Loved by the people for their extreme utility, abhorred by the state as a symbol of backwardness, cycle rickshaws – or pedicabs – are not a new phenomenon in India. Originally from Japan, the hand-drawn rickshaw was introduced in Simla in India around 1880. It was, then, a vehicle to carry the social elite. By 1950, cycle rickshaws evolved into a popular mode of urban transport. Today, cycle rickshaws provide door-to-door transport at an affordable price to people in urban areas across India. Cycle rickshaws also provide easy employment to those wanting employment. At a time when economic opportunity in the hinterland is dwindling, many village folk come to the city and earn a living by pulling cycle rickshaws. Continue reading
Planners often take extremely dogmatic positions regarding sustainable transport. One of the myths that planners have created is that public transport is not possible unless the density of land use is very high – this, of course is not completely unjustified, but the worry is that this is now being used as an excuse to not provide good public transport to suburbs.This now becomes a way of hiding the ineptness of public transport planners and managers where decent public transport could have been provided. Continue reading
“We want to tell a story that reflects some nonsense about our way of life, and that story is about traffic. We tell the story because we believe that tomorrow morning all could live in a more quiet and perhaps even bicycle-centered society if only people believed that modesty can guide political choice.” (Contribution by Ivan Illich and Jean Robert to a Symposium on bicycle freedoms in Berlin, Summer 1992.) Continue reading