742"Reinventing transport in cities" - Candidate cities f or future independent team case study analysis
- Jun 7, 2007
As we roll ever so deliberately toward conclusion of the first volume in this series, “New Mobility in Paris: Action agenda for a sustainable city” (latest summary attached), we are hearing from friends around the world notes suggestions that we might do well to see if we might in the near future organize or inspire similar independent “case studies/audits” along these lines, reporting n the experience, results and means of making it work from a certain number of other leading cities.
And since we appear to have the attention of the Clinton Climate Initiative team, and to a lesser extent (for now) that of the CG 40 Large Cities Climate group, this may be a useful opportunity for all of those of us who fret over these matters and are sure that our cities can do a lot better. It is nice for a change to have a high visibility international forum. But at the same time it is important that we are rigorously honest and hard headed about our analyses and recommendations.
Here are the latest suggestions that have come in concerning cities that are well worth looking at more closely in this context.:
· La Rochelle
· Freiburg im Breisgau
What these exceptional performing cities have in common is not that they are executing or trying one or two good ideas, but that the overall fabric of their transport policy, investments, etc. are combining to make real difference to the people who live and work in them. It is the manner in which they are simultaneously managing and achieving linked, multiple and synergistic measures (s we are seeing in the Paris case) that makes them particularly worth of attention. And prudent adaptation and emulation. That plus the high levels of professionalism that are involved, long term commitment (including commitment to short term improvements), and the relationship between the population as a whole and their leaders.
There are of course others, but at the end of the day not all that many, really. Most cities in the world are not only dramatically failing the Clinton CO2 etc test – i.e., they are doing each day worse on aggregate despite their pretensions to the contrary – but they are as well locked into the habits of old mobility thinking, investment and execution. Which of course only make things ever worse. Anyway . . .
Question 1. Exemplary cities? So my first question . . . can you suggest yet other pioneering cities that are blazing the way, of a sort that might serve as examples for the Clinton Climate Initiative and the C40 large cities groups so that they can pick up these flames and run with them? The world is in such howling need of good examples -- and one of the real tricks is of course to find ways to generalize usefully from these exceptional experiences. Let me take one simple example/challenge. If Slow Zones (30 kph) are working so well in many Europe cities, what does this mean for Houston, Manila, Dubai or Kinshasa? Good idea maybe, but HOW to make it stick in such hostile environments (including the hostile mental environment behind the decisions that are taken) .
Question 2. Local partners? n each case we are going to have to find strong local partners to work with, of course. Moreover, and this is the fundamental truth of the viability of all this, the investigating teams must be fully independent of any and all external influence including that of the city authorities, and any eventual agencies , sponsors or interests. (Otherwise it simply will not work and become one more exercise of self-publicity.) So if you have an example of a city, what about your ideas for local partners?
Question 3. Cities in deep trouble: And what about your ideas for some cities that are in deep trouble as far as their mobility agenda and practice is concerned. Once again strong local team support will be critical. And full independence. There are as it happens a huge number of cities in this howling sad shape – sad for the planet and sad for many of the people who live in them and who may not even be aware of how poorly they are doing in this respect. (I for example will be in the States next month and while there will be giving some presentations and initial brainstorming visits based on the Paris project and the rest. I would love to find a way to get together with some of the local groups and do something in a city like New Orleans, which is badly in need of an entirely new mobility paradigm. But there are others and your suggestions there too will be most welcome.
Question 4. Cities in Eastern Europe: Where new models are desperately needed as they navigate their economic and social changes, almost always firmly locked into the old mobility models..
Question 5. Your city: What if anything can we do with this approach to make a difference in your city? And if so, where do we start?
That’s it for today. It will be good to hear from you on this, either to me in private or if you feel that your thoughts are going to be useful to the group as a whole, let me suggest that you address your comments to the New Mobility Idea Factory via NewMobilityCafe@yahoogroups.com
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