World Streets: Weekly digest for 3 January 2011

Heavy traffic on the way to sustainable cities and sustainable lives . . .


Democracy: Destination or voyage?

Eric Britton, editor | 30 December 2010 at 13:41 | Categories: New Mobility | URL:

[This thinkpiece comes from my personal blog and while it rambles a bit from the central focus of W/S, it ponders some issues that are to my mind definitely worth a detour. The excellent article by Pasi Sahlberg on “Learning from Finland” that appeared in Monday’s Boston Globe is certainly worth your time. There are many analogies with our troubled sector when it comes to learning from each other. Eric Britton]

Democracy: Destination or voyage?Let’s hop into the car, fill it up with some cheap gas, and take a quick tour of historic America with the help of legendary photographer Margaret Bourke-White. The image you can see just below caught my attention yesterday, arriving here during the festive holiday season thanks to a posting in from the Rebuilding Place blog of urban designer/consultant and activist Richard Layman from Washington DC. As you can see it’s … Read More

via Network Dispatches

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From Australia: Community Consultation – A failed experiment

Eric Britton, editor | 29 December 2010 at 10:38 | Categories: local government, participation, conflict resolution, collaboration, public consultation | URL:

angry-public-meeting.jpg?w=150&h=105#038;h=105A consistent central theme of World Streets is that without the full-throated participation of an active citizenry, sustainable transport and sustainable cities will remain a distant and unattainable dream. In this article David Engwicht gives us his view on why the usual bottled consultation techniques that often do little to achieve better and safer streets do not make the grade. Then he goes on to share his thoughts as to how we can do better.

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Streetsblog: Doing its job in New York City. In memoriam 2010

Eric Britton, editor | 27 December 2010 at 12:55 | Categories: slower, local government, health safety, behavior, street share, street code | URL:

Each year our friends over at Streetsblog in New York City publish a heart-rending testimonial to the mayhem that automobiles have wrought over the year on their city’s streets and the cost in terms of street-code.jpg?w=99&h=131#038;h=131lives lost by innocent pedestrians and cyclists. Putting names, faces and human tragedy to what otherwise takes the form of dry numbers, faceless hence quickly forgettable statistics is an important task. We can only encourage responsible citizens and activists in every city on the planet to do the same thing, holding those public officials (and let’s not forget, we call them “public servants” and for excellent reason) responsible for what goes on under their direct control.

And if there is a single lesson to be learned it is surely this: traffic on the streets of all our cities needs to be slowed down a sane and efficient 10/20/30 mph and no faster; supported a strict “Street Code”, whereby in every case the lighter slower party is fully protected both in terms of immediate enforcement, the law and insurance matters. (Is it really that hard to be decent?) Read more of this post

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