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914Re: WorldTransport Forum FW: your nominations for small/medium sized cities showing outstanding accomplishments

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  • ablair@region.waterloo.on.ca
    Nov 4, 2008
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      Hi: Meant to send this earlier especially when I saw that you were not
      seeing any Canadian cities in the first list of suggestions.

      My thought (self-serving as it is) is the Region of Waterloo in Ontario,
      Canada. We would fit into the medium category - our urban population (3
      cities in a continuous urban area) is about 450.000 with the Region overall
      at about 500,000 - so I think we still fit your definition. A lot of growth
      is projected in next few decades but there is strong political will to be
      implementing things now that do not lead to sprawl from that growth. It is
      an area with a still healthy outlook even with the economic shift that is
      happening - we have a high manufacturing base (with more auto manufacturing
      than most realize) but with a shift to high tech - led by the local
      universities and firms such as RIM (maker of the Blackberry).

      Our efforts over the last few years have shown a real direction of looking
      at sustainable transportation approaches. I think we have a lot to learn
      from other places (that's why I follow the various notices you and others
      send out) but the more we've seen what is going on in North America, the
      more I see us as doing a relatively good job. While some of these are plans
      rather than in the ground measures, they are translating to actual actions
      and results now - I've listed some of those as well. These would include:

      - Regional Growth Management Strategy - centred on the concept of
      containing growth in a more compact urban form and includes ideas such as a
      firm countryside line where urban growth boundaries are established and new
      growth is planned to be contained within
      http://www.region.waterloo.on.ca/web/region.nsf/fmrgms?OpenForm

      - new Regional Official Plan - designed to put the growth strategy into
      action
      http://www.region.waterloo.on.ca/web/region.nsf/DocID/D601C02D0AB9D6F18525705E004674E9?OpenDocument

      - Rapid Transit environmental assessment - the consensus is that the growth
      that will occur is not possible if we keep relying on automobiles to get
      around the area and the only way to effectively move people without
      automobiles is to enhance our transit system with BRT or LRT through our
      main cores. This process is identifying not only technology but also how we
      can design the areas around new transit stations to actually make them
      effective.
      http://transitea.region.waterloo.on.ca/

      - Regional Transportation Master Plan - the update that is going on now is
      being led by people who want to put more of an emphasis on policies that
      will encourage non-automobile travel for trips. Policies and practices are
      leaning that way - extensive cycling networks being added with two staff
      dedicated to TDM measures
      http://www.movingforward2031.ca/

      - Our transit planning staff (and overall transportation planning staff)
      are located in the planning department to facilitate a connection between
      land use development and improved transit services - this has led to the
      ability to make development changes to enhance walking, cycling and transit
      as buildings are built. We've had positive results in having transit
      terminals included in developments, having developers include transit
      facilities and shelters with their projects and adding sidewalk links to
      enhance transit access.

      - Results have been positive with such things as a 68% growth in transit
      ridership since the Region took over transit in 2000 (under the name Grand
      River Transit) - we've enhanced our services through many programs
      including being a national showcase for greenhouse gas emission reduction
      as well as adding new technologies and programs to encourage transit use.

      - We are the leading installer of roundabouts in Canada with one of the
      rationales being a more efficient system that reduces idling.


      Not sure where you are fully going with this but if you think the things
      I'm suggesting have merit and fit what you are trying to demonstrate, I can
      put together some more details of actions we are taking as well as contact
      some of my colleagues here to provide further information.

      Thanks,

      Blair Allen
      Supervisor, Transit Development
      Planning, Housing & Community Services Department
      Regional Municipality Of Waterloo
      150 Frederick St., 8th Floor
      Kitchener, ON, N2G 4J3
      CANADA
      Phone: (519) 575-4022 Fax: (519) 575-4449

      GRAND RIVER TRANSIT - easyGO!







      "Eric Britton"
      <eric.britton@eco
      plan.org> To
      Sent by: <NewMobilityCafe@yahoogroups.com>,
      WorldTransport@ya <WorldTransport@yahoogroups.com>
      hoogroups.com cc
      <carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com>
      Subject
      07/10/2008 09:22 WorldTransport Forum FW: your
      AM nominations for small/medium sized
      cities showing outstanding
      accomplishments
      Please respond to
      WorldTransport@ya
      hoogroups.com












      *  * * Kindly share this posting with your lists and colleagues. Thank you. Eric Britton





      Dear Friends,





      Can you take a minute to share with us your nominations for small/medium sized cities showing
      outstanding accomplishments in moving to sustainable mobility and sustainable lives?  Showing the
      way for other cities in need anywhere in the world.





      · Medium-sized = let’s say, less than 500,000 people. Small: less than 100,000.





      · Europe, North and Latin America, Asia Pacific, and please if anything at all: Africa
      and the Middle East.





      We need real examples, of projects and progress – not promises and plans. And we need to be able
      to draw up short fact-based profiles, of each with URLs, citations, references and other
      checkable indictors of accomplishment.





      In a first instance though, just the city name, perhaps a URL and some quick indication of why
      you think they just might be an example for our plundered planet.





      We are losing, and losing big, the war on sustainable development and social justice. But if we
      can keep putting forth telling examples to give courage and show the way, that is already a
      start.





      Thanks for your good ideas,





      Eric Britton





      PS. Look at today’s map of people coming into the New Mobility Agenda café. Kind of what you
      might expect I am afraid. But what about those great swaths of virgin white running left to right
      starting in Africa and spreading though virtually all of the Middle East and on through the
      countries of the former Soviet Union.  Hmm.
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