Share/Transport: Jiaozou 2012
Background note of 03-Oct-2012 Page 2
Sharing in the 21st century - Will it shape our cities?
After decades of a single dominant city-shaping transportation pattern - i.e., for those who could affordit: owning and driving our own cars, trucks, motorcycles and bicycles, getting into taxis by ourselves,riding in streets that are designed for cars and not much else -- there is considerable evidenceaccumulating that we have already entered into a world of new mobility practices that are changing thetransportation landscape in many ways. It has to do with sharing, as opposed to outright ownership.But strange to say, this trend seems to have escaped the attention of the policymakers in many of theinstitutions directly concerned. It is not that they are not increasingly aware of the new generation of projects such as bicycle, car, taxi and street sharing, those we are seeing develop largely under their ownsteam. But the broader strategic frame for understanding and shaping these projects is something westill need to build and put to work.However transport sharing is an important trend, one that is already starting to reshape at least parts of some of our cities. It is a movement at the leading edge of our most successful (and wealthiest andlivable) cities -- not just a watered down or second-rate transport option for the poor. With this in view,we set out in 2010 to test these concepts in a range of international cities and fora, examining not justthe qualities (and limitations) of individual shared mobility modes, but also to put this in the broadercontext of why people share. And why they do not. And in the process to stretch our minds to considerwhat is needed to move toward a new environment in which people often share rather than necessarilyonly doing things on their own when it comes to moving around in our cities worldwide.As a contribution to international understanding in this fast emerging but still largely unexplored field,the City of Jiaozou is organizing, together with Global Environment Facility/World Bank, the PMO inBeijing and the China Urban Transport Development Strategy Partnership, this third World Forum onShare/Transport in an international conference and brainstorming session to take place from 20 - 22September 2012, in which a number of observers and experts working at the leading edge of thesematters will come together, first to examine together the general concept of sharing in the 21st century.And then, once this broader frame and understanding has been established, we will go on to considerhow sharing as an organizational principle is working out in each of the individual mobility modes whichare rapidly gaining force in cities around the world. But the conference will be looking far beyondproject level innovation, and to the broader public policy issues which have yet to be sorted out.