Finland, Music and Equity

Over the last months we have given considerable  attention to trying to learn from Finland’s outstanding accomplishments over the last decades in creating   from a very poor base one of the world’s highest performing  school systems, building on a foundation which puts the concept of equity at the vital core of their policy and performance.  And over the last several decades, the country has likewise undergone an enormous transition to become a leading country as well in the field of classical music, transforming it from “a moribund luxury into a vital part of everyday life.”  Let’s have a look at this short article on  “Finland’s Classical Crescendo” and see if there are any lessons to be gleaned for our work in the mobility sector. Continue reading

Thinking about Equity-Based Transport Systems: Get Ready to Embrace Complexity (or Get Off the Bridge)

As is or at least should by now be well known, a transportation “system” is well more than a collection of largely free-standing bits of infrastructure, modes, links, agencies, institutions, operators and more.  It is in fact a textbook example of a disorganized complex system, or more specifically a vast, chaotic but ultimately manageable ecosystem.  And if it is our ambition — which it should be — to construct, or rather reconstruct, our city transport systems into functional high-performing sustainable ecosystems. it can help to build up our understanding of the process in steps. Continue reading

Transportation Innovation and Reform: The Path to Social Sustainability

As wise and balanced a summary as you will find of the fine art of dialogue and engagement when it comes to the hard job of developing and integrating new transport arrangements into a space as varied and in many ways contradictory and conflicted as a  21st century city, in any part of the world.  Bravo! With kind thanks to Christopher Zegras of MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning, one of the conveners of this event, for sharing this with our readers. (You may also wish to check out the short note of conclusion of the editor.)

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Editor’s Desk: Radio Silence from World Streets

If you have tried dipping into World Streets from time to time over the last two months in attempt to follow the action, you will have found the cupboard quite bare. Why, and what next? Let’s have a look at what has been going on behind the scenes. Continue reading

When the history of automobility and transport policy is properly documented . . .

The Journal of World Transport Policy and Practice is the long-standing idea and print partner of World Streets and the New Mobility Agenda since 1995. The Spring 2012 edition appears with articles by Helmut Holzapfel, Nick Williams , Clement N. Guasco, and W.S. Kuotcha, N.S. Ferguson, M. de Langen, G.K. Kululanga and A.M. Grimason.  In the article that follows you will find the hard-hitting lead editorial by founding editor John Whitelegg.  Continue reading

“We’ve never needed geniuses more than we do now.”

Look around the world today. Consider your country, your city . . .  Do you see signs of genius or even better “excess genius”, a deep-seated,  awe-inspiring 21st century Renaissance already underway?  We will dig into this later in the context of our Equity work, but for now let me draw your attention to this thoughtful piece  by Jonah Lehrer. And for myself just to take a bit of time to ponder this from the vantage of the place I am in today, Helsinki and Finland more generally.   (The following appeared in the Frontal Cortex column of Wired Science on March 22, 2012 .) Continue reading

Weekend Musing: Less, More and Mozart

These slipped in over the transom in the last days here in Helsinki, and while some of you will be well on top of all three let me take the risk and share them with those  who may not have spotted them  for your weekend reading, listening and musing pleasure . Continue reading