Can your city learn some lessons from Malta when it comes to proving fair mobility for all, including those with mobility handicaps? (Lessons that they themselves are, ever so sadly, not learning. At least not thus far. ) Let me put this in other, stronger words. If your city is not giving careful attention to these equitable pedestrian issues, well you are living in a seriously underdeveloped, inequitable, third-rate city. Face it! Let us hear what Kevin Cutajar of the Gozo Federation Persons with Disability has to say on this as he goes eye to eye with government authorities on this important issue. If he does not speak up, who will?
Lyon, 23 November 2014
Dear Penang Friends and Participants in the Sustainable Penang/New Mobility Agenda program,
An end-year note from Lyon to let you know that in the year ahead my colleagues and I intend to persist in our efforts to support the efforts to bring sustainable transport to Penang. For the time being and to keep the project alive, this takes the form of (a) maintaining our Sustainable Penang/New Mobility Agenda website at https://sustainablepenang.wordpress.com (currently being kept up to date and followed by 153 people both in Penang and beyond) and the supporting Facebook site at https://www.facebook.com/SustainablePenang (117). (You can see a bit more about how these information and exchange points are working in the two maps at the end of this posting.)
After careful consideration I have come to two policy conclusions about the reality of the transport situation in Penang which I firmly believe are critical to your future and which I would now like to share with you. Good news, and less good news.
Lyon, France. 13 May 2014
This website at http://ecoplan.org/carfreeday/ has since 1995 served as the “Journal of Record” of EcoPlan’s long term World Car Free Days project, a collaborative program which continues to this day. The site has just been updated and is organized into two parts, as follows:
– – > Link to site here
Fortunately the kinds of pattern-break initiatives that are the core of the Sustainable Penang: New Mobility Program are not altogether unfamiliar in Penang. Over the last decade various agencies and groups have started to think about transportation and environment in different ways, and not only in the abstract.
Here is a shortlist of some of the more innovative related pattern-breaking initiatives already in place and starting to make a visible difference on the streets of Penang. Projects like these do not only change what is happening on the streets but they also, one by one, start to change people’s minds about the city and what they can achieve through their own actions and choices, our most important objective. *
Fortunately Penang does not have to start from the beginning and all by itself reinvent its presently troubled transportation arrangements to create a beautiful and sustainable city. There are many cities in different parts of the world who have in the past addressed these same challenges, patiently, consistently and with continuity and excellent results. So in many ways there is nothing new; it all depends on how you put it together. And it is these cities and these projects that provide examples for Penang. All of these examples taken together constitute what we call the New Mobility Agenda. Let us have a look as been learned over the last three decades in these “rethinking cities”.
Underlying objective: All of the strategic points set out in the following have already been adopted by leading cities around the world, many of them in Europe. And they will in time be adopted, adapted and put into service in Penang. But the objective of this program’s is to accelerate this learning process, in the hope of gaining at least five maybe ten or more years in bringing world-class mobility to Penang.
In the context of the Sustainable Penang/New Mobility 2014 program, the key to the success of the project lies in the identification and eventual preparation and implementation of concepts and measures which give more importance to non-motorized transport and public transportation than to the traditional uses of the private car. One of the concepts that came up early in the Focus Group brainstorming sessions was that of providing voice announcements for the blind and others with visual impairments on the new Rapid Penang bus services being developed across the state. In the following excellent list of needed measures prepared by the local NGO Saint Nicolas Home we see how thoroughly they are looking at the problems of mobility and access for the visually impaired. Thus it is not surprising that Saint Nicolas Home is emerging as one of the most engaged champions of this collaborative project for 2014. (We shall be seeing more about that project shortly here.)
The following listing of twenty-plus organizations is intended eventually to identify all those groups and institutions who are going to have a role in the restructuring of Penang’s transportation arrangements. (Each of these entries is clickable and will take you directly to the indicated source.)
But here’s our question. Are there other groups and agencies (and companies and media) who should be identified here for communication and coordination purposes in support of the project? And should you have a contact name and email address at hand, that would be much appreciated. If so please let us know via the email address email@example.com. Thank you.