Category Archives: Equity

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

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?

Continue reading

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

Helsinki’s Equity/Transport peer project kicks-off today

Today is the opening day of the 2012 Helsinki Equity-Based Transportation peer review program, the first in what we hope will become a growing thread of cooperating  city projects querying the impact of first reviewing and eventually restructuring our city and regional transportation systems around the fundamental core principle of equity. You will find details on the EBT site at http://equitytransport.wordpress.com/ starting at noon today.

Would you like to get involved as a reviewer, critic, informal work partner on the project as it unfolds. If so drop a note to me at eric.britton@ecoplan.org, Skype newmobility or Tel +331 7550 3788 and we can figure out together how to do this most efficiently.

Again, our shared goal is to query what happens in terms of not only equity (already a monumental issue and concern) but also efficiency, environment and economy when the equity principle is put at the center of the strategy.

It will be good to hear from you.

Eric Britton
Managing Editor

Road safety: a public health challenge (India)

India’s hurried quest for development and its disregard for road safety have resulted in a major public health problem that demands serious thought and action.

This article by Professor K.S. Jacob, which is central to the matters which bring us together here in the Safe Streets 2012 Challenge, originally appeared in the pages of The Hindu of 6 October 2010 and was reprinted immediately in our sister publication Streets of India. As with John Whitelegg’s prescient 1993 piece on Time Pollution which was published here on Monday of this week, this independent expert commentary on safe, or rather unsafe, streets helps us to better understand the realities we need to face on the streets of our cities. Continue reading