Transport, Equity and Safe Streets: A Tale of Two Cities

Stuttgart Congress 2011

Sitting here in Helsinki right in the midst of  a teeming two weeks of meetings,  presentations, dialogues, site visits, and Master Classes, all to be capped by a final public presentation of key findings and recommendations on 27 March, my thoughts not unnaturally turn at times to the forthcoming Stuttgart 2012 Congress on Safe Streets – precisely because these are so many links and relationships that come up time and again.

Because if you look into it closely enough, safe streets for all — call it “equitable safety” as opposed to safety for some, say motorists–  relates directly to control of speed.  It’s that simple.. You find coherent strategic ways to slow traffic then you are moving toward greater equity and all that goes with it.

The trick of course is to achieve this without reducing  the quality and the economics at all levels of the mobility system. But that then is what wise policy and governance is all about.

So as we wait for the opening day of this year’s Stuttgart Congress in July, let me recommend that you spend a bit of time at your convenience with the Equity/Transport site and the Helsinki process which you can follow easily at http://equitytransport.wordpress.com/helsinki/. If you have questions or ideas for us, this is the place to turn.

We shall from time to time post  selections from the articles, tools and events that are being generated by the Helsinki project here as well. But for a full view, we suggest that you turn to  the full Equity site itself.

And if you are looking for clues to the necessary examples of new mobility practices that can lead up to sustainable transport and social justice, the cities leading the pack are surely the best place to start.

Eric Britton

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