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WBCSD report - general commentary

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  • eric.britton@ecoplan.org
    Tuesday, July 27, 2004, Paris, France, Europe If you go to the New Mobility Agenda today at http://newmobility.org you will see that we are now fully ready to
    Message 1 of 13 , Jul 27, 2004

      Tuesday, July 27, 2004, Paris, France, Europe

      If you go to the New Mobility Agenda today at http://newmobility.org you will see that we are now fully ready to host the exchanges in support of our International Peer Review of the WBCSD report. I hope you find it not only interesting as a read and collective commentary on their report, but far more important that it may provide a starting point to help clarify once and for all what we need to do now to put the sustainable mobility agenda into highest profile and full gear.  The two pillars that our friend John Whitelegg is wont to call: transport policy and practice.  I will not repeat here the details of how this is organized, other than to say that we have tried to give it a provocative, easy to use structure, which is explained on the opening page. 

      It is our fondest hope that the positive, inclusive nature of this Open Society Initiative will be understood and embraced by all involved. It will be particularly important that the members of the WBCSD and especially those groups directly involved in the report join in here and get actively involved in this dialogue. The idea is very definitely not one of accusation/response, but of cooperative knowledge building in an open, collegial and, if we do say, rather new way. The world needs new ideas and new practices in many areas, and our currently and most spectacularly unsustainable mobility system is certainly one of these.

      If you happen to be in touch with or have contact information for any of the authors or supporting groups, it would be good to have their emails so that we can invite htem to join in.

      Kind thanks and let's hear from you.

      Eric Britton

       

    • Michael Yeates
      Thanks Eric for this excellent and extremely important initiative (see below). The first steps to developing better understanding include making the various
      Message 2 of 13 , Jul 27, 2004
        Thanks Eric for this excellent and extremely important initiative (see below).

        The first steps to developing better understanding include making the various views explicit and therefore available for critique.

        So it is interesting that, in the following quote, GM's Executive Vice President Tom Gottschalk, a project co-chair, says "(t)he challenges to sustaining mobility are significant," he said, "but they can be met over time, provided society supports constructive approaches and solutions and encourages real understanding and cooperation among stakeholders." He added, "This report contributes positively toward that goal."

        While people say (and write) things that have multiple (and often unintended) meanings, it is important to question whether Mobility 2030 has been prepared from the view that promotes "sustaining mobility", rather than "sustainable transport".

        Depending on the meaning of "sustaining mobility", the following sections in the above quotation suggest rather different outcomes in terms of "sustainable transport" in the period up to and beyond 2030.

        One reading is almost a "business-as-usual with technological responses" which is exactly the demonstrated expertise of the car industry over its history and potentially continues if not increases the "concerns" raised by "sustainable transport" rather than "more sustainable transport".

        In following through the need to clarify the different meanings, perhaps Tom might like to clarify these issues as a participant in the project and the current discussions.

        Michael Yeates
        Convenor, Public Transport Alliance and Bicycle User Research Group
        Brisbane, Australia

        "Mobility 2030" was given extensive media coverage and publicly greeted as a significant contribution to thinking about sustainable mobility by some of the more important international industry and energy agencies and associations. According to GM's Executive Vice President Tom Gottschalk, a project co-chair, the report is intended to be a catalyst. "The challenges to sustaining mobility are significant," he said, "but they can be met over time, provided society supports constructive approaches and solutions and encourages real understanding and cooperation among stakeholders." He added, "This report contributes positively toward that goal." [ from http://www.ecoplan.org/wtpp/wt_index.htm ]
      • Todd Alexander Litman
        Here are my general comments on the WBCSD report and how it can be improved. * There should be a clear discussion of the differences and tensions between
        Message 3 of 13 , Jul 29, 2004
          Here are my general comments on the WBCSD report and how it can be improved.

          * There should be a clear discussion of the differences and tensions
          between mobility and accessibility. It should be clear that most mobility
          is intended to provide accessibility (excepting travel that is purely for
          pleasure, without a destination); that accessibility is affected by
          mobility, land use patterns and accessibility substitutes
          (telecommunications and delivery services); and that efforts to increase
          mobility often reduce accessibility (e.g., sprawl, barrier effect from
          wider roads, declining walking conditions and transit services) (see
          http://www.vtpi.org/measure.pdf).

          * The conventional paradigm perceives a set of distinct problems
          (congestion, air pollution, accidents, inadequate mobility for non-drivers,
          etc.) each of which can be solved given additional investments and design
          improvements. What I think is missing is a realization that often the
          solutions to one of these problems exacerbates other problems. For example,
          many efforts to reduce vehicle energy consumption by increasing fuel
          efficiency reduce the per-mile cost of driving, resulting in increased
          congestion and accidents, and efforts to reduce congestion by removing
          "choke points" will increase mileage and therefore air pollution.
          Sustainable transportation therefore requires a process for taking into
          account these secondary impacts in transport policy analysis and planning
          (see http://www.vtpi.org/reinvent.pdf).

          * From this perspective, mobility management strategies that correct
          current market distortions that result in economically-excessive automobile
          travel and sprawled land use patterns are a key approach to creating more
          sustainable transportation. Some of these are relatively easy to implement,
          and they provide numerous benefits, including reduced congestion,
          accidents, air emissions, consumer savings, and improved mobility for
          non-drivers. They include higher fuel taxes, pay-as-you-drive vehicle
          insurance, direct parking pricing, road pricing, and smart growth market
          reforms (see http://www.vtpi.org/winwin.pdf and http://www.vtpi.org/tdm).






          Sincerely,
          Todd Litman, Director
          Victoria Transport Policy Institute
          "Efficiency - Equity - Clarity"
          1250 Rudlin Street
          Victoria, BC, V8V 3R7, Canada
          Phone & Fax: 250-360-1560
          Email: litman@...
          Website: http://www.vtpi.org
        • Sujit Patwardhan
          31 July 2004 Clicking on the link for the PDF files generates an error message. If anyone faced a similar problem I would suggest you delete the closed para
          Message 4 of 13 , Jul 31, 2004
            31 July 2004


            Clicking on the link for the PDF files generates an error message.

            If anyone faced a similar problem I would suggest you delete the "closed
            para" sign appearing at the end of the file name in the browser, and click
            again. The PDF file then opens.

            Thought I would pass this on to those who may have had similar difficulty.

            --
            Sujit





            At 07:16 PM 7/29/2004, you wrote:


            >Here are my general comments on the WBCSD report and how it can be improved.
            >
            >* There should be a clear discussion of the differences and tensions
            >between mobility and accessibility. It should be clear that most mobility
            >is intended to provide accessibility (excepting travel that is purely for
            >pleasure, without a destination); that accessibility is affected by
            >mobility, land use patterns and accessibility substitutes
            >(telecommunications and delivery services); and that efforts to increase
            >mobility often reduce accessibility (e.g., sprawl, barrier effect from
            >wider roads, declining walking conditions and transit services) (see
            >http://www.vtpi.org/measure.pdf).
            >
            >* The conventional paradigm perceives a set of distinct problems
            >(congestion, air pollution, accidents, inadequate mobility for non-drivers,
            >etc.) each of which can be solved given additional investments and design
            >improvements. What I think is missing is a realization that often the
            >solutions to one of these problems exacerbates other problems. For example,
            >many efforts to reduce vehicle energy consumption by increasing fuel
            >efficiency reduce the per-mile cost of driving, resulting in increased
            >congestion and accidents, and efforts to reduce congestion by removing
            >"choke points" will increase mileage and therefore air pollution.
            >Sustainable transportation therefore requires a process for taking into
            >account these secondary impacts in transport policy analysis and planning
            >(see http://www.vtpi.org/reinvent.pdf).
            >
            >* From this perspective, mobility management strategies that correct
            >current market distortions that result in economically-excessive automobile
            >travel and sprawled land use patterns are a key approach to creating more
            >sustainable transportation. Some of these are relatively easy to implement,
            >and they provide numerous benefits, including reduced congestion,
            >accidents, air emissions, consumer savings, and improved mobility for
            >non-drivers. They include higher fuel taxes, pay-as-you-drive vehicle
            >insurance, direct parking pricing, road pricing, and smart growth market
            >reforms (see http://www.vtpi.org/winwin.pdf and http://www.vtpi.org/tdm).
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >Sincerely,
            >Todd Litman, Director
            >Victoria Transport Policy Institute
            >"Efficiency - Equity - Clarity"
            >1250 Rudlin Street
            >Victoria, BC, V8V 3R7, Canada
            >Phone & Fax: 250-360-1560
            >Email: litman@...
            >Website: http://www.vtpi.org
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >The New Mobility/World Transport Agenda
            >Consult at: http://wTransport.org
            >To post message to group: WorldTransport@yahoogroups.com
            >To subscribe: WorldTransport-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
            >To unsubscribe: WorldTransport-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
            >
            >Yahoo! Groups Links
            >
            >
            >
            >


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            Sujit Patwardhan
            PARISAR
            "Yamuna", ICS Colony,
            Ganeshkhind Road,
            Pune 411007
            Telephone: 255 37955
            Email: <parisar81@...> or <sujit@...>
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