The mobility/growth paradigm
– By John Whitelegg, extract from his book MOBILITY. A New Urban Design and Transport Planning Philosophy for a Sustainable Future, Chapters 2 and 3. For more on the New Mobility Master Class program click here – https://goo.gl/BB2pPE
Mobility is most commonly measured, if at all, as total distance travelled per annum per capita in kilometres and/or total distance travelled per day per capita. There are other important dimensions e.g. number of trips made per day or number of destinations that can be accessed by different modes of transport in a defined unit of time but these are not generally measured in a systematic way or included in data sets. Usually mobility is not defined. It has become a rather vague concept associated with quality of life or progress and it is invoked as a “good thing” and something that should be increased. This is very clear in most national transport policies and at the European level where major transport policies and funding mechanisms are increasingly framed.
A recent EU research and development document (European Commission 2013a) begins with the main heading “Mobility for growth.” It does not define mobility. The document is an undiluted manifesto accepting and promoting the growth of mobility and advocating the importance of this growth for the success of wider economic policy objectives, asserting the unquestioned importance of endless economic growth and ignoring the voluminous literature on the impossibility of endless economic growth and of ecological and resource limits to growth (Douthwaite, 1992, Schneidewind, 2014).
In the context of our 2018 online educational outreach program on New Mobility Master Classes – of which you can check out the initial work plan at https://wp.me/s1fsqb-7777 and https://www.facebook.com/NewMobilityMasterClass/ — we decided to look closely with the help of a handful of our colleagues working in different language environments at the potential for using Google Translate’s offer of immediate machine translation of your web site and with one click in to close to one hundred languages.
Paris, 15 Feb. 2018.
This draft posting is intended for informal peer review and private commentary in the context of a new international collaborative program of New Mobility Master Classes being planned for 2018-2020. The core text you find here is taken verbatim from Chapter 3 of John Whitelegg’s well-received 2015 book Mobility A New Urban Design and Transport Planning Philosophy for a Sustainable Future. The remainder of the text for this session is still in process and presented for now as a draft intended for review, comment and suggestions. It will shortly be completed with an introduction to the 2018 Master Class program by the editor who is serving as course leader, along with a short list of recommended reading (3-5 online references) and a closing discussion and commentary by participants and visiting colleagues)
- General introduction (2 parts)
- Mobility: Chapter 3. Death and Injury
- Conclusions and last words
- Selected references
- About the authors
- How to obtain
- Facebook page
- Reader comments
1. General Introduction
* * *
2. Mobility Chapter 3. Death and Injury
One of the most obvious, pervasive and unacceptable consequences of motorised mobility is death and injury in the road traffic environment. It is over 60 years since John Dean addressed the problem in his book “Murder most foul” (Dean, 1947):
“It is common ground that the motor slaughter ought to be stopped; it is also common ground that it can be stopped, or at least greatly reduced.. it is realised that the killing or maiming every year of about a quarter of a million persons ..are not items that any country can afford to ignore .. i t is also realised, if less clearly, that the motor slaughter leaves behind it an ever widening trail of private misery-bereavement, poverty resulting from the death of the breadwinner, crippledom and the rest and that this, too, ought to be stopped.
Finally, it is realised, if again it is less clearly, that the motor slaughter is bad in itself: that it is bad that human beings should kill and maim other human beings.in this cold blooded way: worst of all that as happens in a very large proportion of the cases, vigorous adults should kill or maim children and elderly and infirm persons and then criminally and meanly put the blame on their victims: that in short, it is not only the lives and well-being of about a quarter of a million persons and the material loss every year that are at stake, but to a high degree, the standards of decency and the moral health of the nation.
Complied in support of Master Class on The Future of Business: Circular Economy. 23 June 2017
* Link to working library: https://1drv.ms/f/s!AivPCmA_7fpkh_0qYfxT0IX98O5ivg
In memoriam 2013
Streetsblog: Doing its job year after year in New York City.
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 lives 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, “public servants”) responsible for what goes on under their direct control.
Who is doing this job in your city?