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Plan B for sustainable mobility in cities

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  • eric britton
    The Plan B approach, as I understand, it does not in its early stages at least differentiate between the various categories or delivery systems of transport.
    Message 1 of 2 , Sep 28, 2010
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      The Plan B approach, as I understand, it does not in its early stages at least differentiate between the various categories or delivery systems of transport.

       

      The first step is to ask the Plan A team – whether for rail, roads, some favored technology  or other – to share with us opening their specific objectives and priorities, including the all important time vector, for the project they have in mind.  Overall investments in all stages of the project, year by year budgets, and their specific performance, service, environmental, financial or other requirements and impacts. (This is very rough as sketched out here but we can develop of course.)

       

      The Plan B team then looks at this and in cooperation with local partners and collaborators, including the media, comes up with a series of alternative proposals (in sum, ways of getter spending that couple of billion dollars and getting earlier and broader impacts). So if for example the Hanoi budget is one billion Euros for 13 kms of line, we will examine their targets, time lines, etc., and come up with something that gives a LOT better value for that money. (Should not be hard to do).

       

      Now this can be done for road, bridge or technology as well as mega-transit and perhaps misguided investment projects (if for politicians sexy, and for suppliers simply delicious). Moreover, our Plan B will surely have a significant interface with the existing road and parking infrastructure, both of which are of course parts of the necessary solution.

       

      All we need is to find some creative personality working with these major international funding sources who is willing to entertain and support such a test run. There are a lot of candidates, and I would also like to say that it will be important that the host city sees us as friends and allies for a better and fairer city, and not someone who wishes to rip their shiny toys out of the clenching hands.

       

      Does this advance this at all?

       

       

      Eric Britton | WorldStreets.org | NewMobility.org  | Skype: newmobility 

      8, rue Jospeh Bara  | Paris 75006 France | +331 7550 3788

       

       

    • eric britton
      ... organization and how) to stop what the government already aimed for? Maybe someone here can please instruct how to start ...
      Message 2 of 2 , Sep 29, 2010
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        >> Sorry but I don't fully understand how the plan B works (through whom or
        organization and how) to stop what the government already aimed for? Maybe
        someone here can please instruct how to start ... <<

        Good question, and forces me to at least start to go from the broad
        conceptual level to something more concrete. Let me take a first stab at it.

        The idea is to develop a procedure whereby any large and costly project
        (Plan A) should be subjected to an intense independent alternatives analysis
        (Plan B) the objective of which would be to show alternate ways in which
        this money could be spent with greater and more democratic impacts at the
        same or possibly greatly reduced costs. The analogy might be along the lines
        of the now traditional environmental impact statement, but with another sets
        of objectives and rules.

        Both Plan A and Plan B should be made publically available, and the decision
        makers should be required to justify their final choices openly on the base
        of public information and refutation.

        The trick for the mega projects -- road or heavy PT -- is that the details
        tend to be swept under the rug and not widely shared. Nor is the decision
        process and criteria openly discussed. The fact is that such projects are
        always driven for the most part by special interests who lobby silently and
        often all too efficiently in the private corridors of power. The sad part is
        that they always find plenty of money for payoffs -- and for high profile
        public relations with the media -- and these often do the job.

        Basically we would like to see this developed and then incorporated into the
        law -- or in a first instance at least into the procedures of public
        institutions providing finance or other forms of support for these mega
        projects.

        Ideally in time and with a couple of convincing iterations and
        demonstrations, the advantages of this approach would become so clear that
        responsible governments would start to adapt. And if we can see this at the
        leading edge, it will be less of a job to bring the less open governments
        into the fold.

        Or so one fondly hopes.

        So . . . . Where can we start to develop a strong and highly qualified
        consensus to urge the public banks and funding agencies to give this a try.
        This forum can be a starting place, and certainly if we can get the 50+
        members of SLoCaT behind this, we would be off to a flying start.

        Next?



        Eric Britton | WorldStreets.org | NewMobility.org | Skype: newmobility
        8, rue Jospeh Bara | Paris 75006 France | +331 7550 3788
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