Author Archives: The author

Transportation Innovation and Reform: Finding the Way to Social Sustainability

As wise and balanced a summary as you will find of the fine art of dialogue and engagement when it comes to the hard job of developing and integrating new transport arrangements into a space as varied and in many ways contradictory and conflicted as a  21st century city, in any part of the world.  Bravo! With kind thanks to Christopher Zegras of MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning, one of the conveners of this event, for sharing this with our readers. (You may also wish to check out the short note of conclusion of the editor.)

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World Transport Policy & Practice – Vol. 18, No. 1

The Journal of World Transport Policy and Practice is the long-standing idea and print partner of World Streets and the New Mobility Agenda since 1995.  The Spring 2012 edition appears with articles by Helmut Holzapfel, Nick Williams , Clement N. Guasco, and W.S. Kuotcha, N.S. Ferguson, M. de Langen, G.K. Kululanga and A.M. Grimason.  In the article that follows you will find the hard-hitting lead editorial by founding editor John Whitelegg.  Continue reading

We’ve never needed geniuses more than now.

Look around the world today. Consider your country, your city . . .  Do you see signs of genius or even better “excess genius”, a deep-seated,  awe-inspiring 21st century Renaissance already underway?  We will dig into this later in the context of our Equity work, but for now let me draw your attention to this thoughtful piece  by Jonah Lehrer. And for myself just to take a bit of time to ponder this from the vantage of the place I am in today, Helsinki and Finland more generally.   (The following appeared in the Frontal Cortex column of Wired Science on March 22, 2012 .) Continue reading

Weekend Musing: Less, More and Mozart

These slipped in over the transom in the last days here in Helsinki, and while some of you will be well on top of all three let me take the risk and share them with those  who may not have spotted them  for your weekend reading, listening and musing pleasure . Continue reading

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. Continue reading

Late Night Thoughts on Equity from Helsinki

Equity? Hmm. This, it turns out on inspection,  is not quite so easy a concept to get across. In English, and after two days of discussions with a wide variety of groups and people here in Helsinki, it’s already tough enough.  And I have learned, it’s  even more challenging in Finnish. Here are some late night thoughts on this word that I share with you here in the hope that it may inspire comments and clarification. So here you have my notes, more or less in the order that they came to mind late in the night.  Continue reading

Editorial: On the plane to Helsinki

I have always thought of myself not as a consultant – that is, someone with specific expertise to whom you ask directed questions and who gives you what you think/hope are the right answers – but rather as an “advisor”, i.e. someone whose role it is to sit next to you for a certain period of time and draw your attention to a certain number of things to which you might wish to give a closer look. (NB. My experience shows that it is usually a lot more comfortable to work with consultants.) Continue reading

Crowdsourcing Equity/Transport/ Helsinki

What are, say, the five questions concerning transport and equity (and Helsinki) that you would like to have me ask in your behalf in Helsinki starting tomorrow in our first Stakeholder/Peer Group Dialogues? Maybe easiest if you might give me your list  via eric.britton@ecoplan.org.  Continue reading

Equity/Transport 2012: Road map for Helsinki Stage 1

This collaborative project takes the form of an “open conversation” looking into the pros and cons, the possibilities, barriers and perhaps eventual impossibilities, of creating an equity-based transportation system at the level of a city and its surrounding region. This first pioneering project, in what we hope will become a series of leading world city projects building on this first example, is being carried out under the leadership of the Helsinki Department of City Planning and Transportation, and is taking place over the period mid-February through mid-April 2912. (You will find further working papers and supporting media sources in the second half of this introduction.) Continue reading

Helsinki Focus Group Workshops – First guidelines

The Focus Workshops are a central pillar of the March 2021 collaborative enquiry: Examining the prospects for Equity-Based Transportation Practice in Helsinki.  This open dialogue  is hosted by the Helsinki Department of City Planning and Transportation in collaboration with a wide range of local stakeholder groups.

Helsinki, Equity and Common Sense: What is the non-car majority and how do we serve them best?

When it comes to investing in the transport sector, we make continue to make some strange choices.  In city after city around the world we are spending hard-earned taxpayer money for a distinct transportation minority of all citizens and voters. What’s going on here?

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Helsinki Master Classes – Working notes

Note to the reader: What follows here is still very rough and as you can surely see I am still struggling with it. But I think the pieces are starting to fall into place, and we should have something we can work with and share in the next day or two. It is always like this when you are trying to create a new pattern. So have a look and tell us what you think we need to do. Thanks for being critical and creative, and check back here in a few days for a more definitive posting.   Continue reading

Energy and Equity: Ivan Illich

In 1974 the genius, courageous thinker and social visionary Ivan Illich wrote a small paradigm-challenging book entitled “Energy and Equity”, the entire contents of which is presented here.  The entire second half of the book is given over entirely to a reflection on transportation and equity, so what could be more appropriate to this project as we get underway for us to have some understanding of what this great mind had to say on our topic – a full generation ago. Continue reading

Helsinki March 2012: Main events and project schedule

The Helsinki open dialogue in which we are together engaged in investigating and commenting on the potential for (more) equity-based transport in Helsinki is taking place in seven main stages. The collaborative project is engaging as full partners  a broad range  of Civil Society groups as well as representatives of both public and private sector from both center city and outlying areas, with the core work and events taking place in the city over the month of March.  As of this date the main project benchmarks look like this: Continue reading

Weekend pause: Equitable Music Flash from a Train Station in Helsinki

In the main rail station in Helsinki, host to the first Equity/Transport Civil Society project, a musical event that can help us to understand. Continue reading