Dear Friends of a Sustainable Penang,
I am hard at work on a challenging book under the title BETTER CHOICES: Bringing Sustainable Mobility to Smaller Asian Cities, which is not about Penang, the focus being much broader. However, at one point in the book I intend to comment on some of the most interesting things I have observed that are being done in Penang via the internet and civil society in order to broaden the debate and inform both concerned citizens, government, the business community, policy makers and the public more generally. We call this The Third Force.
WHY ARE THEY THERE? NOW? (Work trip in Jakarta on one more busy morning) Each person behind a wheel there made a choice. How can we give them Better Choices? That’s the rub.
What many people call “transportation” . . is at its very essence not about road or bridges, nor vehicles or technology, and not even about money. Above all it is about people, their needs, fears, desires and the decisions they make. And the backdrop — real and mental — against which they make those decision. The transport planner needs to know more them and take this knowledge into the center of the planning and policy process. What makes them tick, individually and collectively. What do they want and what they are likely to resist. And people, as we all know, are intensely complicated, personal and generally change-resistant. . But if we take the time and care we can start to understand them, at least a bit better. Which is a start.
That old transport paradigm, the one we are still living with today, is far too narrow in terms of the range and quality of people targeted and services offered, and in the process fails to serve what is — in fact — the transpiration majority.
The TMAPC Planners Toolbox:
To take full advantage of the fundamental structural differences between Old and New Mobility, it can help to reflect on the five necessary different steps of analysis and action suggested by the expression TMAPC – which sets out five alternative views or ways of bridging space, which of course is what transportation is supposed to be all about. These are the essential building blocks of a full-function sustainable transport plan for your city. If you have not integrated the best of each of these essential steps into your plan, it is time for a bit of continuing education.