[sustran] Shell S/T Workshop - Pitching in via the virtual workshop
- Hi Eric,
Here are my comments on what I believe to be four of the critical considerations before the group and the Shell program:
1. Energy and sustainability:
Fossil fuel price and supply constraints within the planning horizon future: adjust easier over a longer time preferable to trying to deal with a crisis.
However, some sense of crisis may be required to achieve significant movement: to break the practices of people, businesses and governments institutionalized over time.
Technology changes, and changes between technologies, take time. The change in the nature of urban areas for low transport energy will take decades, as well as changing energy source, e.g. cars to electric rail (of some form).
A look at New Zealand�s' Draft National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy may be interesting - see www.eeca.govt.nz .
I think general research in this field is well advanced, research and trials should be directed to getting change happening.
2. Health and Well Being:
Expanding "health" to a more holistic view of "health and well-being" provides another direction to support/promote energy and transport effective changes to people, in their DIRECT PERSONAL interest. The greater activity for health thrust is accompanied by "exercise" increase - walk, cycle, canoe etc. See www.healthycitiesill.org.au.
Another facet is explicitly coordinating Health Related Transport with other transport - a trial is underway in Wollongong. This is compatible with the Queensland Transport paper advocating a "whole-of-government" approach: "Safe Mobility For All, For Life".
The thread linking these concepts is a sense of community, more than a collection of individuals. e.g. - "drivers" are not separate and different from "cyclists".
3. Transport Gaps:
Both public and private transport are based on the concept of "network" to provide connection between a wide variety of destinations for a full range of travel purposes. When using the network is difficult for a destination, the mode chosen, the destination, or time of travel, can change. Because of the universality of some form of road access and car capabilities this will often be a preferred option, while people restricted to other modes may not undertake such trips.
For the change perspective, this means seeing there are not gaps in public transport networks, or non-motorized transport networks, that don't correlate with land uses, e.g. the edge of town. The physical networks are a means to an end - services must be seen as "practical" and appropriate for the time of day and day of week.
The reality of finance and current transport state means transport "gaps" should be bridged in some way.
The conundrum is between improving the currently serviced area, and extending to unserviced areas with lower usage levels.
4. Money Talks:
As the Cabaret signature song says, "money makes the world go around". To achieve change takes money, just for the research, decisions and processes involved. All the infrastructures and budgetary practices (business, government and individuals)tend to perpetuate the status quo.
In my view the required direction for more sustainable transport future is well established, as are the fossil fuel peaking and greenhouse imperatives. I see change as the hurdle we must now start to surmount.
Getting responsible change to occur will require funding for the processes involved, and assured support for a significant period, e.g. 10 years. [when I say "change", I include regulatory measures at all levels of government, technical support for moving the new techniques into everyday use, e.g. collecting and disseminating data on all modes, and educating the general and professional communities on the imperatives involved and delivering credence to the changes imposed.]
Good luck with Shell,