Skip to main content

What is Reinventing Urban Transport trying to achieve?

For the last year or two, most of my work (and blogging) has focused on parking (see the Reinventing Parking blog or on facebook).

But now I also want to revive this neglected blog and to use it to stay mindful of what really motivates my work (including the parking work).

So what exactly is it that motivates my transport policy work?

The statement below is an attempt to capture what I am trying to achieve as clearly as I can. A mission statement for my professional life, if you like. Yikes.

You will see signs of these motivations throughout this blog, its predecessor, in my tweeting and in much of my professional writing
I aim to help cities, towns and streets unleash greater success, equity and conviviality 
by focusing more on transport's 'ends' (such as placemaking, accessibility and mobility) than its 'means' (such as vehicles and traffic)
and 
by enhancing choice and choice-making in transport (especially by escaping or avoiding car dependence, which locks in just one choice and impoverishes other options).  
Does that sound a bit wanky? I guess 'mission statements' often do.

More of a problem perhaps is that it is too wonky. Oh well.

By the way, I am inspired to do this in part by a helpful little book by Tad Waddington: Lasting Contribution. Among many other things, he suggests injecting a dose of mythical, heroic quality into important life goals. They need to be dramatic.

Maybe a wonky mission like mine doesn't sound very heroic?

Not until you think about the trends it is up against.

Comments

  1. Dear Mr. Barter

    Thank you for your blog posts. I am a budding Transport Economist/Business Consultant from India and I would love to pick your mind on Smart urban transport options especially for a country like India as the country gets ready for several smart city projects.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Podcasts on urban mobility and urban issues: a LONG list

Below is my increasingly long list of podcasts on urban mobility and/or urban issues. 

If you are not yet a regular podcast listener, you need to download a podcast-listening app to your phone, tablet or desktop and subscribe (it's free) to the podcasts that interest you.

UPDATE 1: This list has many podcasts but obviously I hope you will try mine! They are Reinventing Transport and Reinventing Parking.

UPDATE 2: I have added FOURTY ONE more since this was first published. Thanks to everyone who has sent tips.

Transport-based City Types and their Trajectories

I want to help you get perspective on your city and its transport system with the help of simple city types based on their dominant transport modes, such as Walking Cities, Transit Cities, Bus Cities, Motorcycle Cities and Car Cities.

This way of thinking about cities is a heuristic (an imperfect mental model or technique that is nevertheless good enough to be helpful). And it obviously is imperfect. For example, real cities often have various modes of transport, and modern cities are really all some kind of hybrid city type.

But it is still useful, especially if we add the idea of a Traffic Saturated City, which is a very different beast from a Car City. It is important for change-makers in Traffic Saturated Cities to be aware they are not in automobile dependent cities yet.

Options for digesting this: 
Read the brief article below and study the diagrams. They complement the podcast. For more depth, LISTEN to the 37 minute audio with the player above. A full transcript of the podcast is…

Parking: What's Wrong and How to Fix It

We should stop planning parking the way we plan toilets. I began with that odd (but true) statement to get your attention, obviously. But I am also serious.

Many people think parking policy is boring, which is unfortunate, because boring or not, parking is important.

If you care about cities and urban mobility, you really need to pay some attention to parking.

Most local governments really do plan parking the same way they plan toilets (using minimum parking/toilet requirements) and it is disastrous. More on that below.

Municipalities do this because of another mistake - treating on-street parking as a public good (and therefore failing to manage it properly). Please take note: parking in cities is generally NOT a public good.

These two mistakes cause huge problems:
1. on-street parking problems, which worsen many other mobility and street problems, and  2. a slow-motion disaster of increasingly excessive (but under-used) off-street parking supply which fuels car dependence.

It's …