Monthly Archives: March 2012

“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

Helsinki 2012: Program overview

This collaborative project takes the form of an “open conversation” looking into the pros and cons, the possibilities, barriers and perhaps eventual impossibilities, of creating an equity-based transportation system at the level of a city and its surrounding region. This first pioneering project, in what we hope will become a series of leading world city projects building on this first example, is being carried out under the leadership of the Helsinki Department of City Planning and Transportation, and is taking place over the period mid-February through mid-April 2912. (You will find further working papers and supporting media sources in the second half of this introduction.) Continue reading

Late Night Thoughts on Equity from Helsinki

Equity? Hmm. This, it turns out on inspection,  is not quite so easy a concept to get across. In English, and after two days of discussions with a wide variety of groups and people here in Helsinki, it’s already tough enough.  And I have learned, it’s  even more challenging in Finnish. Here are some late night thoughts on this word that I share with you here in the hope that it may inspire comments and clarification. So here you have my notes, more or less in the order that they came to mind late in the night.  Continue reading

Editorial: On the plane to Helsinki

I have always thought of myself not as a consultant – that is, someone with specific expertise to whom you ask directed questions and who gives you what you think/hope are the right answers – but rather as an “advisor”, i.e. someone whose role it is to sit next to you for a certain period of time and draw your attention to a certain number of things to which you might wish to give a closer look. (NB. My experience shows that it is usually a lot more comfortable to work with consultants.) Continue reading

Crowdsourcing Equity/Transport/ Helsinki

What are, say, the five questions concerning transport and equity (and Helsinki) that you would like to have me ask in your behalf in Helsinki starting tomorrow in our first Stakeholder/Peer Group Dialogues? Maybe easiest if you might give me your list  via eric.britton@ecoplan.org

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Pasi Sahlberg on Equity and Education

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Go to the back of the bus

This is a photograph of Mrs. Rosa Parks, a brave pioneer for equity in transport. On December 1, 1955 Mrs. Parks boarded a bus in the southern city of Montgomery Alabama after a long day of work and took a seat in the back of the bus that was marked for use by both white and blacks.

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Faces of Transportation Equity in the USA: Troy Buchanan

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Faces of Transportation Equity in the USA: Quig Komorrah

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Faces of Transportation Equity in the USA: Roger Shope

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Faces of Transportation Equity in the USA: Cynthia Jarrold reports

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Faces of Transportation Equity in the USA: Mahasin Abdul-Salaam

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Faces of Transportation Equity in the USA: Crystal McMillan

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Honk! The future for transport in Helsinki? (Have a stupid weekend)

As we get together here in Helsinki to swap ideas about what a more equitable transportation system might look like in a city, what if we take a moment this weekend day to travel back a bit in time and examine some of the more flagrant concepts floated by visionaries and accepted by many in the past? We here at World Streets always have problems with these “cities of the future” visions, not so much because they are almost always consistently wacky in some totally weird unreal-world way, but because they tend to project things so far into the distant, almost always thoroughly magical future, that they get us off the hook for doing anything about it TODAY. So sit back and relax, dear citizens and voters, and realize that you don’t have to do anything other than to passively await the future, and let the benevolent forces of the economy and technology solve the problem for you.

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New Social Equity Agenda for Sustainable Transportation

Todd Litman and Marc Brenman discuss in this report  the importance of incorporating social equity and environmental justice objectives into transport policy and planning analysis. It recommends a more systematic and comprehensive analysis framework that considers how planning decisions affect transport system diversity and therefore the transport options available to non-drivers, plus various external costs that harm disadvantaged people. More comprehensive analysis can help identify more integrated, win-win solutions, which achieve a variety of social, economic and environmental objectives. Continue reading

The Stakeholder Dialogues – First guidelines

The Stakeholder Dialogues or conversations are a central pillar of the March 2021 collaborative enquiry: Examining the prospects for Equity-Based Transportation Practice in Helsinki.  This open dialogue  is hosted by the Helsinki Department of City Planning and Transportation in collaboration with a wide range of local stakeholder groups. Continue reading

Equity and common sense: What is the non-car majority and how do we serve them best?

When it comes to investing in the transport sector, we make continue to make some strange choices.  In city after city around the world we are spending hard-earned taxpayer money for a distinct transportation minority of all citizens and voters. What’s going on here? Continue reading