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Re: [sustran] Re: [sustain] Re: [carfree_cities] Slow transport? (editedslightly -sorry)

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  • Sujit Patwardhan
    1 January 2008 New Year Day Dear Lee, Very interesting and insightful observations. We need to think about all these issues when we think about urbanization,
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 31, 2007
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      1 January 2008
      New Year Day




      Dear Lee,

      Very interesting and insightful observations. We need to think about all
      these issues when we think about urbanization, but I doubt if many of us
      are.

      Ken Livingstone the Mayor of London has published many papers, best
      practices etc that are available on the web site, and it's clear that his
      congestion charging initiative is part of a much larger vision.

      Unfortunately most cities grappling with growth are only dealing with
      quantity and not quality and indirectly and even unknowingly contributing to
      turning the whole city into a huge slum.
      --
      Sujit



      On Jan 1, 2008 6:07 AM, Lee Schipper <schipper@...> wrote:

      > And I cycled to work for six years in DC and 6 years in Paris just to
      > see what the city looked like on the surface. But I also paid through
      > the nose to live in homes close to cycling opportunities/Metro (in a
      > pinch) etc. Those that choose larger homes over proximity to the most
      > densely built up areas must need more room from their 100 cm (40 inch)
      > plasma LED Dvs and their large motorized lawn mowers!
      >
      > The question for megacities I think one has to be concerned about is
      > where do millions of people live, under what kinds of real estate
      > prices, with how much area to live in, as they get wealthier. There are
      > huge apartment buildings going up in Shanghai in Puxi, the densest
      > oldest part. Sadly, these are displacing the older traditional walkup
      > houses, making room for more commercial space, probably leaving the day
      > + night time population density higher. The result is much more built
      > space/capita. The nice thing about these skyscrapers is that an elevator
      > takes inhabitants part of the way to the metro or bus line. The bummer
      > is that they are totally overwhelming. Even after 18 trips to Shanghai
      > in nearly 10 years I feel dwarfed, and more so than in NY City. (And if
      > you like Shanghai, just watch Dubai!)
      >
      > If the Chinese continue with a mostly walking/two wheeler (motorized and
      > non motorized) urban structure, how many jobs and other opportunities
      > are available within the 30 minute radius of each person's home. The
      > answer is plenty if a large share of people and jobs live in these
      > towers, thanks to Mr. Otis and his elevators. If they beyond metro and
      > to some extent bus based, how long can they hold the line (and their
      > pocketbooks) before jumping to cars at the fringes in order to (perhaps
      > falsely) "enjoy" more space.
      >
      > What is a key element in all of this is land -- values, prices,
      > regulation, housing prices and above all housing space available in a
      > city of 1 to 10 million or more. My guess is that per capita space in
      > Shanghai is 10-15 sq m/capita of home, up from 5 sq m in say 1985.
      > That's quite an achievement, but it only came by pushing out hundreds of
      > thousands of traditional dwellings in low rise buildings in order to
      > make room for the skyscrapers.
      >
      > But in the US that number is closer to sixty square meters, reinforced
      > by housing tax policies. What will keep Chinese bundled up in small
      > homes, for how long? In New York the number for per capita area is
      > smaller, to be sure, but in Manhattan expensive. That seems to be the
      > reality - proximity in dense cities is cramped and expensive.
      >
      > There is also the issue of proximity to good transit and land prices.
      > Land and housing near Transmilenio in Bogota is more expensive than
      > elsewhere. (I commend you to Benoit Lefevre's new Phd (in French) that
      > dealt with this issue extensively). In places like Bogota (soon),
      > NYCity, Shanghai (soon), Hong Kong, Stockholm certainly Barcelona (80%
      > of population within 500 m of a metro or fast bus line) it's hard to
      > argue that there is a big bias towards places near fast transport, since
      > most of the city is relatively close. In places like San Francisco
      > region, Los Angeles, certainly Atlanta, relatively few live by rapid
      > transit, transit that came at an enormous price, too. But housing space
      > is higher.
      >
      > So there is a key element here-- living space and its cost has to be fit
      > into speed/travel time, urban structure, etc. Discussion about what
      > kinds of urban forms, densities, etc that focus solely on transport and
      > speed and ignore how much space (of what quality) there is inside
      > buildings for living, shopping, having fun, etc may be missing the
      > forest through the trees, or rather the buildings for the streets.
      >
      > Wish I had the answers!
      > Happy New Year to everyone.
      >
      >
      > Lee Schipper
      > Director of Research,
      > EMBARQ the WRI Center for Sustainable Transport
      > www.embarq.wri.org
      > and
      > Visiting Scholar,
      > Univ of Calif Transport Center
      > Berkeley CA
      > www.uctc.net
      > skype: mrmeter
      > 510 642 6889
      > 202 262 7476
      >
      >
      > -----Original Message-----
      > From: sustran-discuss-bounces+schipper=wri.org@...
      > [mailto:sustran-discuss-bounces+schipper=wri.org@...] On
      > Behalf Of Simon Baddeley
      > Sent: Monday, December 31, 2007 10:52 AM
      > To: Carfree Cities
      > Cc: NewMobilityCafe@yahoogroups.com; sustran-discuss@...
      > Subject: [sustran] Re: [carfree_cities] Slow transport? (edited slightly
      > -sorry)
      >
      > Try looking at Newman and Kenworthy (if you haven't already).
      >
      > http://davidpritchard.org/sustrans/NewKen99/
      >
      > These authors use a model of the pedestrian, the rapid transit and the
      > autodependent city - in which time is fixed. People seem willing to
      > spend a
      > given amount of time commuting so you can imagine 30 minutes mainly on
      > foot
      > producing what are now the small compact often 'heritage' old towns of
      > most
      > autodependent cities. The rapid-transit city where people will do a 30
      > minute train, tram or bus journey into the centre. This produces a
      > spider
      > pattern of lineal routes in and out with small settlements around rail
      > stations and other rapid transit stops. With cars the door-to-door
      > capability of the car means that in the same 30 minutes people will live
      > anywhere that is 30 minutes from their work and removes the need for
      > 'centres' and 'places' containing premises for trading, for worship,
      > attending school, participating in government. 30 minutes remains the
      > same
      > but the settlement patterns differ according to dominant means of
      > transport.
      >
      > What Adams also says is that drivers use up their extra safety on speed,
      > and
      > use their 'enhanced' speed on distance - so that the 30 minute periphery
      > of
      > the auto-city gets larger, especially if more roads are built. So time
      > and
      > people's willingness to spend a given amount of it on travel is a very
      > significant parameter.
      >
      > As an urban cyclist for the last 15 years I have valued cycling less for
      > its
      > speed but for the amount of predictability that cycling introduces into
      > the
      > planning of travel. It is often faster to get from A to B in a city by
      > cycle, but for me the greatest value is the way I can plan my day when
      > cycling between different meetings - sometimes combining this with tram,
      > bus
      > or train travel, a combination made far better as more information about
      > rapid transit schedules becomes available.
      >
      > Best wishes
      >
      > S
      >
      >
      > Simon Baddeley
      > Inlogov, School of Public Policy
      > University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT
      > 0121 554 9794
      > VoIP 0121 343 3614
      > mobile 07775 655842
      > Campus: Sue Platt 0121 414 5002
      > s.p.platt@...
      > http://www.inlogov.bham.ac.uk/staff/Baddeley.shtml
      >
      >
      >
      > > From: Carlosfelipe Pardo <carlosfpardo@...>
      > > Reply-To: <carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com>
      > > Date: Mon, 31 Dec 2007 10:14:31 -0500
      > > To: Global 'South' Sustainable Transport
      > <sustran-discuss@...>,
      > > Newmobility Cafe <NewMobilityCafe@yahoogroups.com>,
      > > <carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com>
      > > Subject: [carfree_cities] Slow transport?
      > >
      > > Hi,
      > >
      > > Does anyone know of any research or theory of urban planning or
      > > transport planning that takes *speed* as a factor to be taken into
      > > account? I have been searching for this and haven't found anything.
      > > I thought about this because I've seen that transport planning
      > normally
      > > takes land use, modes, infrastructure and other factors into account,
      > > but it doesn't seem to take speed as a component in its own right.
      > >
      > > The only explicit reference I could find was Le Corbusier, who
      > > emphasizes the role of high speeds in a city, and plans around those
      > > high speeds (elevated highways, etc). Should we think about slowness
      > as
      > > a *positive* characteristic of transport? Should we propose slow
      > > transport as one solution to the problem?
      > >
      > > I think slowness should be promoted not just for reasons of road
      > safety
      > > but for issues of sustainability in shorter distances traveled (slower
      > > speeds means longer travel times, so people would try to reduce their
      > > travel distances) and thus lower energy expenditures and emissions. Of
      > > course, this would need us to think about strategies to reduce speeds,
      > > which would include what we're normally promoting (bicycles,
      > pedestrian
      > > areas, 30km/h speed limits, etc).
      > >
      > > Comments on this are most welcome.
      > >
      > > Ah, and happy new year!
      > >
      > > Best regards,
      > >
      > > --
      > > Carlosfelipe Pardo
      > >
      >
      >
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      > SUSTRAN-DISCUSS is a forum devoted to discussion of people-centred,
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      Sujit Patwardhan
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      sujitjp@...

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