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Responsible sustainable transportation research

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  • eric.britton@ecoplan.org
    If we do observe, reflect and do research, if we share our knowledge and insights with others in a limited way, is that enough? Or, as Bill Joy put it
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 16, 2000
      If we do observe, reflect and do research, if we share our knowledge and
      insights with others in a limited way, is that enough? Or, as Bill Joy put
      it recently in "Why the Future Doesn't Need Us"
      (http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/8.04/joy.html ): "Knowing is not a
      rationale for not acting."

      In this context, I would like to draw your attention to the first article
      that appears in the latest edition of @World Transport Policy and
      Practice - The Electronic Edition (http://www.ecoplan.org/wtpp) - whose
      publication will be shortly announced here formally by the editor in chief
      Professor John Whitelegg. The authors of "Sustainable Transport in
      Liverpool", Paul Trantner and Peter Lonergan, have in effect carried out
      what might reasonably be called an "independent sustainable transportation
      audit" of the policies and practices of that city and its surroundings. It
      is, as you might guess, not all good news and glowing recommendations. Not
      the sort of thing to warm the hearts of those who are presently responsible
      for what is gong on there in this area - or rather in all too many cases,
      not going on.

      My purpose in drawing this article to your attention is two-fold. First to
      draw your attention to what I regard as a particularly good and provocative
      read. Second, to invite commentary not only on its contents - but further on
      a proposal that I should like to put up for discussion, that such
      independent, informed and balanced sustainability audits be carried out and
      shared with the public in ALL of our cities and communities.

      In this latter respect the Liverpool case study provides us with an
      interesting concrete example which we can examine, turn over and reflect
      upon. What if anything is the potential impact of such information on
      policy and practice in that place? Does this independent call for action in
      a number of specific areas have any potential as a grain of sand in the
      political and policy process? If so, wow can its impact be extended and
      deepened? Should more of us be doing the same in our communities? Etc.

      So, we invite you aboard, and if you do have anything interesting to say on
      this subject, you might for now wish to copy your contribution to all four
      of the above lists, each of which has its own readership. (It's true that
      we risk doubling up in a few cases, and indeed we continue to scratch away
      at the task of finding new ways in which such laborious and potentially
      irritating cross-posting can be done away with. However we are not there

      Eric Britton

      ecopl@n ___ technology, economy, society ___
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