Weekend Musing: One more reason why Africa does not matter

africa map“In a fair world it should be unthinkable to ignore the needs of close to one billion of the poorest people on the earth living in its second-largest and second most-populous continent. A part of the world with already one-third of the population living in cities, most of whom in slums, and with a flow of people from the country side continuing at record rates.”

- From Cities, Transport and Equity in Africa: Unasked Questions

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Op-Ed. The horrendous costs of motorized transportation in (Indian) cities

Henrik ValeurEvery once in a while an article pops in over the transom, as happened this morning,  that provides us with a good, independent  checklist of the woes and, if not the solutions, at least the directions in which solutions might usefully be sought to our transportation related tribulations.  And this carefully crafted piece by Danish architect Henrik Valeur is a good case in point. His independent out of the box perspective leads him to making comments links and pointing out relationships which take him well beyond the usual transportation purview.  And if his immediate source of comment in this article is the awful, the quite unnecesssary situation on the streets of India, the points he makes have universal application. Healthy stuff for planners and policy makers. Let’s have a look..

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China 2030: Building a Modern, Harmonious, and Creative High-Income Society

WORLD BANK BEIJING February 27, 2012 – China should complete its transition to a market economy — through enterprise, land, labor, and financial sector reforms — strengthen its private sector, open its markets to greater competition and innovation, and ensure equality of opportunity to help achieve its goal of a new structure for economic growth.

These are some of the key findings of a joint research report by a team from the World Bank and the Development Research Center of China’s State Council, which lays out the case for a new development strategy for China to rebalance the role of government and market, private sector and society, to reach the goal of a high income country by 2030.

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Originally posted on ChemDispatches (Working draft):

Há quase 25 anos, abro a correspondência do dia e topo com uma carta do Japão, do poderoso MITI, perguntado se estaríamos dispostos a realizar um estudo sobre os monopólios estatais da cadeia produção/distribuição de sal que – apesar do crescente assédio dos eurocratas – ainda sobreviviam em dois países europeus: Áustria e Itália. A carta estipulava honorários mais do que generosos e dava a entender que se estivéssemos de acordo era só confirmar e ir começando. Bons tempos…

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Eric Britton: rodar sin auto

eb-cartoonThis charming piece appeared in a local newspaper in Guadalajara one year after my visit there in support of their World Car Free Day program in September 2011. The article is amusingly written and the cartoon is apparently what I looked like after a full day of biking without sunscreen protection in the tropical sun for their wonderful Cyclovia, the second oldest and second largest in the world.  While the original source can be seen here, the text is reasonably amenible to Googe Translate. I thought that some of my friends might enjoy it, so here it is. Continue reading

Originally posted on World Streets: The Politics of Transport in Cities:

We have no money gentlemen, so we shall have to think.
– Ernest Rutherford, on taking over Cavendish Laboratory in 1919

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