The idea of slowing top speeds on traffic in the city to reduce accidents and achieve other important systemic benefits would seem like a pretty sensible, straightforward and affordable thing to do. For a lot of reasons. Let’s have a look.
A morning like all others in Taipei traffic
Lyon, 3 February 2015
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
It had been a year and a half since I last worked in Taiwan, the longest separation since I started collaborating with colleagues there in 2009. During much of this interval, in addition to my teaching, editorial responsibilities, and advisory work, I have been working on a most challenging new book under the title “General Theory of Transport in Cities”. The book aims to set out what I believe to be a much needed, consistent base for planning, policy and investment decisions in this important and fast changing field where ad hoc decision-making by unprepared politicians and ambitious interest groups has all too often prevailed.
This last year has been a period of deep reflection on my accumulated experience in the transport and sustainable development fields in cities around the world over more than four decades. As a result of this ongoing process, I find myself this time looking at the issues in Taiwan from this broader international perspective. My keynote address to the International Forum on Livable City & Eco-Mobility in Hsinchu on 29 January was the first in a series of international “road tests”, which are giving me a precious opportunity to present some of the main arguments from the book before expert audiences to test them and seek their critical comments and views. The lively discussions that took place in Hsinchu during the forum and my four days there proved to be most valuable.
In this critical spirit let us see what happens if we put this idea of somehow addressing the performance of cities and countries when it comes to sustainable transport tin cities, in front of the collective intelligence of our readers and colleagues in order to see if something useful can be done with it. But first to get the ball rolling, some disorganized first thoughts about PISA and . . . PISTA.
World Streets and the New Mobility Agenda are strong and consistent supporters of bike sharing projects created in university settings, particularly when planned and implemented on the basis of collaboration with students and faculty. We have reported on the excellent bike sharing project at Taiwan National University, and today we are pleased to share with you information just in from the Bike Sharing Project at Makerere University in Kampala Uganda. Projects like this not only improve mobility and environment for all within the target area, but also serve to prepare future leaders.
Carsharing is most unevenly distributed over the world map. There are great extremes, running from countries like Switzerland in which it is universally known and widely practiced, to the situation of most countries on the planet where even the word is not much known. For this reason our 2013 country profiles have to be ingenious and flexible, one size will not fit all, if we are to give our readers a feel for the full range of practices and issues. Let’s have a look, starting with some “carshare basics”.
In the context of the ongoing World Carshare 2013/2014 program, we have been asked by several considering authors to provide some context and perhaps indicate some issues or questions concerning matters that our readers might be interested to know more about in order to better understand the evolution of carsharing in the target country.
This 2011 report by May Hald, Petter Christiansen and Vibeke Nenseth of the Norwegian Center for Transport Research on carsharing in Oslo gives us a good feel not only for carsharing activities in that one city but also more generally user preferences and choice factors in Norway and Scandinavia.