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Showing posts from June, 2010

India's years of walking dangerously - a sobering video

Just how bad can walking environments get?

Answer: Very bad, as demonstrated in "Where are we to walk?" a 9 minute video from Pune in Maharashtra, India. 



Parisar explains who was behind the film:
The film was conceptualised and shot by Susan Michet, an American student intern during her time in Pune in May 2009. The Alliance for Global Education funded Susan's stay and work in Pune, Janwani provided the office space and infrastructure, while Parisar provided the inputs regarding the content of the film. We also acknowledge Hema Gadgil's contribution of her voice-over to the film.
After watching the film, do you have any ideas for our Indian friends? What can turn this around? Do you know of a city where things got this bad but which has since created a walkable city? Do you see redeeming features of Indian cities that offer some hope and which can part of the solution?



For more on (un)walkable cities in Asia (especially South Asia) see also:
Walkability Study…

Parking slots are like toilets (according to conventional parking planning)

[Update: Looking for more parking policy information?  
Try Reinventing Parking.]

Planning systems treat parking and toilets in very similar ways and for similar reasons (such as to deter people from 'doing it in the streets'). Is this just a funny observation? I guess it is quite funny but I also have a serious point.

Planning toilets like we plan for fire-escapes, elevators and plumbing does work quite well (mostly). However, planning for parking like we plan for toilets is problematic. Below, I list ways that conventional planning does in fact treat parking and toilets the same. Then I highlight key differences which make planning parking like toilets seem like a very bad idea.

First, a list of how parking and toilets are (conventionally) planned in very similar ways:
Both are treated as an essential ancillary service that every building will need.
It is usually assumed that no fee (or a token fee at most perhaps) will be charged. Remember, we are talking about the conventi…

Connections*

Connecting you with web destinations that caught my eye recently. 

From a public domain image at Wikimedia commons CityFix Mumbai on transport and the gathering monsoon season in an Indian megacity
A wonderful Streetfilm on the Cycle Chic movement which has grown from the Copenhagen Cycle Chic blog
Nate Berg at Planetizen on Johannesburg 'Persecution of the Pedestrian Majority'
Transit (Klang Valley) analyses Malaysian objectives for public transport in the Kuala Lumpur region (under the National Key Result Area (NKRA) targets)
Econoblogger Felix Salmon hosts a fascinating debate on congestion pricing (with a New York focus)
The Infrastructurist on a hi-tech corporate effort to help Ho Chi Minh City with its traffic problems
The CityFix on South Africa's public transport improvements leading up to the football World Cup
The CityFix again on NyayaBhoomi, a Delhi-based NGO that works for a better auto-rickshaw system in Delhi
Coming event on 'sharing in transport' - World Sh…

Shoup's parking agenda is more profound than you think

[Update: Looking for more parking policy information?  
Try Reinventing Parking.]


Donald Shoup's 'The High Cost of Free Parking' points towards a profoundly different way of thinking about parking policy. It offers much more than just a nifty way to price on-street parking efficiently. 
Conventional parking policy in action in New Zealand
Yet, in real-world policy debates over Shoup's parking ideas most people seem to focus only on his call to price kerbside parking for 85% occupancy. That's a pity because his agenda is much more interesting than that.

First, a recap on Shoup's parking reform ideas.  He is focused on cities that currently have a conventional suburban-style parking policy, with cheap on-street parking and every building required to have plentiful parking. He is based in Los Angeles and his focus is on American cities. His ideas are also obviously relevant to places like suburban Canada, Australia and New Zealand which have adopted the same par…