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mayor of Helsinki, Finland, wants to attract more cars to the centre

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  • Silfverberg Leena [mailto:leena.silfverbe
    From: Silfverberg Leena [mailto:leena.silfverberg@ymparisto.fi] Sent: Monday, 19 November 2007 09:10 Dear Eric, Mari and Lee, Our mayor Jussi Pajunen really
    Message 1 of 5 , Nov 19, 2007

      From: Silfverberg Leena [mailto:leena.silfverberg@...]
      Sent: Monday, 19 November 2007 09:10


      Dear Eric, Mari and Lee,


      Our mayor Jussi Pajunen really has generated a lively discussion about urban mobility: Along to Helsingin Sanomat newspaper's gallup, majority (60 %) of people think that cars do not belong to the city at all, even the most conservative taxi drivers say that they want to have congestion charges to decrease the amount of cars etc. 


      Pajunen's opinion about car drivers spending conciderable sums of money comes from the viewpoint of the city's greatest department store Stockmann. More extensive research shows, that the share of money flow is similar to the modal split: public transport passengers are the most important customers also because they visit various shops whereas car drivers only make their purchases in one store - Stockmann offers free parking for big purchases, which makes the cash receipts show cars even more significance. All in all, this is not a matter of logical reasoning but attitude. 


      Anyway, he cannot make the decisions himself. A couple of weeks ago, a new deputy Mayor was elected for Helsinki. He is Mr. Hannu Penttilä, who now works as head of the Helsinki Metropolitan Council (responsible e.g. for public transport). I saw him in TV answering the question about his visions to improve the city: "At least I can promise, that after one year it will be much easier to ride a bike in the city centre!"


      I want to thank you for concerning about Helsinki - - - and once again wish the best luck for Hannu!




      Leena Silfverberg

      Ministry of the Environment Finland

      PO Box 35, FIN-00023 Government

      Tel. +358 400 143 965 



      Lähettäjä: Lee Schipper [mailto:schipper@...]
      Lähetetty: 19. marraskuuta 2007 7:07
      Vastaanottaja: NewMobilityCafe@yahoogroups.com
      Kopio: Mari Jüssi; Silfverberg Leena
      Aihe: RE: [NewMobilityCafe] mayor of Helsinki, Finland,wants to attract more cars to the centre

      Strange. The Deputy Mayor was in Dalian, China, in early September at a W Economic forum event extolling his sustainable transport plans.


      Lee Schipper

      Director of Research,

      EMBARQ the WRI Center for  Sustainable Transport



      Visiting Scholar,

      Univ of Calif Transport Center

      Berkeley CA


      skype: mrmeter


      From: NewMobilityCafe@yahoogroups.com [mailto:NewMobilityCafe@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of eric.britton
      Sent: Sunday, November 18, 2007 8:11 AM
      To: NewMobilityCafe@yahoogroups.com
      Cc: Mari Jüssi; 'Leena Silfverberg'
      Subject: [NewMobilityCafe] mayor of Helsinki, Finland, wants to attract more cars to the centre


      Thanks for the bad news Mari.  


      I propose that we bat this around a bit here. To get it going . . .


      1.     Let’s assume that the mayor Pajunen is not out to gut his wonderful city’s sustainability profile, but simply standing right in front of a genuine dilemma: this being the all too well known fear of center city merchants and businesses to be driven out of business as a result of competition with all those malls, big box stores, etc. out in the low rent urban periphery.

      2.     We have a big advantage here, since this is a very familiar problem profile and reaction pattern.

      3.     We know too that the merchants fixate on the idea that their customers want to, need to be able to drive right up to their front doors, make their purchases and then lug them all in their car to wherever it is they live.

      4.     By the same token they are blind to the ultimate implications of car-favoritism in cities.

      5.     Our great advantage is that we have seen this same familiar sequence many times over and we know where it leads to.

      6.     We as folks who are trying to make or influence public policy have to understand these fears, and then be able to come up with not one, but an integrated package of measure that will help them with this new competitive environment.

      7.     It would be  a huge pity if the expert and responsible citizen communities in Helsinki did pull together to work with those who are concerned about their slice of the city’s well-being and active health, to find a creative collaborative response – instead of giving into that very very bad primal survival instinct.


      So what can the New Mobility Agenda, or you, do to help the mayor and the city in this case?


      Eric Britton




      On Behalf Of Mari Jüssi
      Sent: Friday, 16 November 2007 12:05
      To: NewMobilityCafe@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [NewMobilityCafe] mayor of Helsinki, Finland, wants to attract more cars to the centre


      Interesting statement from a mayor of a city that has very good public transport system and cycle paths, ca 70% of commuting trips are made by public transport and the whole metropolitan region has invested a lot into smart growth type of developments along rail corridors.
      The mayor of Helsinki came out with this statement after he had met with a trade and industry lobby group of central Helsinki.

      Estonian Green Movement

      Mayor wants more cars in central Helsinki

      15.11.2007 at 18:12

      Jussi Pajunen, the mayor of Helsinki, said Thursday that it was important to attract more motorists into the centre of the Finnish capital.

      Mr Pajunen added he feared that Helsinki was in danger of becoming a US-style satellite city whose inhabitants preferred to visit large shopping centres instead of doing their shopping in the city centre.

      According to Mr Pajunen, customers travelling by car must be served well because they spend considerable sums of money.


      © Copyright STT 2007

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