Since our founding in 2009 World Streets has given attention occasionally to poor, and at times desperately poor, policies and practices in the fields of cities and transportation, in what we call our Worst Practices Department. The WPD has its useful place in World Streets and the world more generally because when it comes to transportation there has never been a shortage of bad ideas and even worse implementations.
Most of the bad ideas you will see skewered in this section are the results of some variable combinations of hubris, avarice, haste, short-sightedness, self-interest, pure ego, and invariably sheer ignorance of the complexity of the 21st century mobility environment. And of course all too often of sheer unbridled stupidity. (And so it goes.)
“Not by wrath, but by laughter, do we slay.”
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The above map reports the locations of 451 readers checking into World Streets over the last two days. (Approximately 10% of our total registered readers as of this date.)
Transformative Realities and Trends for 2015-2020
One of the great recompenses of having watched the sustainable transportation and related technology developments evolve over the course of several decades, is that if one takes the time to step back and scan the evidence for pattern breaks, one can readily spot a certain number of fundamental structural changes, quite a few of which bode well for a different and better future for transport in and around cities. Here are a handful of the fundamental underlying changes which I have spotted over the last decades and which I would like to share with you this morning.
In the context of our search for creating a method for reliably and usefully benchmarking the sustainable transport performance of cities around the world – see http://worldstreets.wordpress.com/tag/benchmarking/ for first background – we would like to address our readers’ attention to the Copenhagenize Index for Bicycle Friendly Cities. In this short article you will find background information and reference on how they carry it out, as well as links to their results and conclusions.
We intend to continue to seek out and report on important benchmarking projects that can help us in our own thinking and efforts to create a more general approach to understanding city performance in the face of the tough challenges of sustainable transport, sustainable cities and sustainable lives. In addition to performance indicators for city cycling we are inventorying the state of the art in such areas as walking, public transport performance, parking, car restraint, mobility for specific underserved groups, shared transport, etc. Stay tuned.
The following was initially posted in World Streets on 6 January 2014. It is reproduced here with the key references in the hope that it wlll be of use to all those involved with or concerned by the proposed Bike Share project for George Town in 2015.
More than 600 cities around the globe have bike-share systems, and new systems are starting every year. The largest and most successful systems, in places such as China, Paris, London, and Washington, D.C., have helped to promote cycling as a viable and valued transport option.
The Institute for Transportation & Development Policy (ITDP) studied 25 bike-share systems throughout the world, analyzing which ones perform the best and why. That informed ITDP’s Bike Share Planning Guide, which has copious data and fascinating charts to pore over, helping cities create bike-share systems that will thrive
This guide evaluates international best practice in bike-share, helps to bridge the divide between developing and developed countries’ experiences to provide guidance on planning and implementing a successful bike-share system regardless of the location, size, or density of your city. For more information on the growth of bike-share systems, watch this Streetfilms video, Riding the Bike Share Boom.
The “humble” bicycle has a major role in 21st century cities, large or small, North or South, rich or poor. Getting city cycling right is a matter of high priority when it comes to local and planetary environmental impacts, solid economics, affordability, fossil fuel and resource savings, public health, equity, democracy and quality of life. For all of those of our cities around the world who have over the last decades bought into the car-plus-speed lifestyle without giving it much thought, getting this transition right is a significant technical, social and political challenge.
Fortunately there is a large and fast expanding base of experience and information on the topic, which should guarantee success for all those who are not too lazy or in too much in a hurry to do their homework properly and lay a successful base for their project.