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"
): "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)
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
ecopl@n ___ technology, economy, society ___
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