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"Highjacking sustainable transport"

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  • Eric.Britton
    Highjacking sustainable transport - What a great and useful phrase! One that we will do well to keep in our sights as proposals and propositions that try to
    Message 1 of 1 , May 13, 2006

      "Highjacking sustainable transport" – What a great and useful phrase! One that we will do well to keep in our sights as proposals and propositions that try to associate with the label step forth. Thanks Rory.


      Which gets me back to Fair Transport and our idea for a set of Jacobs Rules “tests” for sustainability and fairness, on which up to now we have had no concrete feedback and commentary. So I wonder if I might encourage those of you who care about these things enough to take the time to work your way down this provisional short list, and then to share your comments and suggestions with me and us with a view to turning it into a more bullet proof and practically useful working tool.  I must say that I have been trying to make it shorter, but at the same time I think it is important that we make sure there are no huge loopholes here.


      So there you have our latest on this. And thanks for giving this your time and thought.  Your reward? Well you know that.





      “Fair Transport” targets is a new policy model for the sector, which seeks to build on and extend the somewhat abstract and often ambiguous concept of sustainable transport or sustainable mobility. The specific idea behind Fair Transport is to move beyond generalities and instead come up with a number of specific criteria, sign posts and tests to guide investments, decisions and actions in the transport field, and in particular those that are funded through taxpayer contributions or which require public support or authorization. 


      The shortlist that follows, while still provisional and subject to review and comment, is our present best-stab at providing such a check list. We are convinced that no public or publicly supported projects should be carried out without these tests being applied and the results made openly and publicly available in time to make, support or eventually block or modify the go-ahead decisions that traditionally have been made more or less in isolation in central places.


      1. Human and social impacts: Requires as the very first priority a detailed and mature understanding of how the proposed new, improved or restructured transport investment, policy or action is going to impact on “we, ordinary people, step by step in our daily lives”.  Low income groups need as a priority excellent walking, cycling and bus service provision and the means to get rural produce to market. 
      2. Near term improvements: The Fair Transport approach places heavy emphasis on projects and policies which lead to measurable near term improvements within the electoral cycle of the decision makers in place. (say less than 2-4 years to achievement).   All such targeted improvements must, however, be within the broader strategic (that is long term) policy frame as set out here and mandated by the concepts of sustainable development..
      3. Non-Transport Solutions: Recognizes that at least a good half of the solutions needed to deal with problems or insufficiencies that in a first instance are identified with ‘transport shortcomings’ must in fact involve non-transport solutions . This means that the policy and decision makers need to have full knowledge of these parts of the solution set as well (typical examples being locational and land use changes, public spaces, TDM, time management, mobility substitutes, etc.)
      4. Full Access for All: All projects much provide or lead to full, fair and safe access to people of all ages, conditions of health, economic situation and in terms of where they live and work. Convenient rural accessibility to all services and functions is critical.
      5. Modal choice: Provides full and fair consideration of all forms of mobility (human-powered, public transport, intermediate/shared transport forms, motorized private transport) in the areas of planning, financing  and infrastructure provision, maintenance and operation – but subjecting them to strict consideration of lowest life-cycle CO2 emissions, least polluting, most equitable, most cost effective, and most resource economical. Given the fact that the majority of people are not car owner/drivers (or should not be), non “own-car” solutions should be heavily favored
      6. Cost effectiveness: (a) Represents the cheapest way to get the (full) job done to the key targeted specifications (those being human) while (b) also fully serving non-drivers and lower income groups.
      7. Gender, Women and Children: Gives full consideration to critical (and heretofore generally neglected) gender differences and needs at all stages of the discussion, planning, and decision process.  This can only be assured through full representation and participation of female leaders and active participants. Thus no project should be allowed to go ahead unless there is a strong plurality at least of female participation and leadership in the decision stage.
      8. Packages of Measures: the Fair Transport paradigm will be distinguished from the old ways of planning and making investments by the fact that it will in most places be characterized by very large numbers of often quite small projects and initiatives. And by many more actors and participants. One of the main challenges of an effective Fair Transport policy will be to find ways to see these various  measures as interactive synergistic and mutually supporting projects within a unified greater whole.  This is a significant challenge to our planners at all levels.
      9. New Actors/Entrepreneurship:  The transport sector has traditionally been heavily regulated in ways in which new approaches and new actors are more or less actively discouraged or blocked. A Fair Transport policy will create a much more open attitude and support structure for innovation, from the private and public sectors and from volunteer and community groups.
      10. Small project strategies and management: On the understanding that what is needed is large numbers of small projects each doing their own job, requires that at least 50% of the total investment budget be allocated to small projects (criteria?).  These projects should be generated through local actions and participation.
      11. Large projects: Suggests that any large project (say more than $100k) be carefully inspected to ensure that its most important human and social (this includes economic and environmental) objectives cannot be better met by one or a set of smaller projects or policies.
      12. Public spaces and community: Serves to improve quantity, quality, and social usefulness of public spaces, thereby reinforcing human contacts, sense of community, local and regional culture
      13.  New Tools: The traditional toolset (and mindset) of the planners and policy makers in the sector need to be dramatically expanded and more fully integrated in all project stages. A very incomplete list would include direct involvement of behavioral psychologists gender specialists, public space experts, and new forms of pubic participation and interactive communications. (This list is incomplete and intended here only for the purposes of giving a first indication.)
      14. Open public reporting:  All planning and project information, technical analysis, cost information, key parameters, etc. should be publicly available in a convenient transparent form which is make available both locally and nationally and to the international community with expertise and longer term interests in these areas.






      -----Original Message-----
      Behalf Of Rory McMullan Sent:
      Friday, May 12, 2006 12:53 PM To: NewMobilityCafe@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [NewMobilityCafe]
      Paris at slower speeds with cleaner exhaust, Fair?


      Perhaps this is part of the fair transport debate. Although cleaner fuels are a great advance and should be applauded and promoted, I do have the feeling that the auto, green fuel, and auto accessory companies are highjacking the sustainable transport and environmentally friendly transport issues.


      I believe demand management should be the priority for the movement, combined with the issues of smart growth and accessibility. One aim of sustainable transport must be to reduce the overall need for travel by powered vehicles, in the interest not only of reduced emissions and cleaner air, but also for safer streets and more livable equitable cities.


      Rory McMullan, - http://www.urbangreenfair.org.uk/


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