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Helsinki Final Report-7may12 -V2

Helsinki Final Report-7may12 -V2

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Published by: Eric Britton (World Streets) on May 08, 2012
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Examining the prospects for
 
Equity-Based Transportation
 
A Public Enquiry lead by the City of Helsinki
Phase 1. Report, First Findings, RecommendationsPhase 2. Peer Review, Commentary & Finalization
 Eric Britton, EcoPlan International, Paris, 7 May 2012
Helsinki Department of City Planning and TransportationKansakoulukatu 1 A FI-00099 City of Helsinki
 
Part II. A Collaborative Thinking Exercise
Phase II. Peer review, brainstorm and finalization
 
Page 1
A word of introduction
Nothing is more attractive to me than a muddled discussion awaiting its first theory.
- E. O. Wilson, Biophilia, Harvard University Press, 1984And if ever there were a "muddled discussion" in the domain of public policy, just about everythingwe have heard and seen over the last decades under the heading of "sustainable development" and"sustainable transportation" has to be placed firmly in this category. Hopes, rhetoric and promiseshave run higher than high, while concrete achievements and realities have been tragically few andfar between. We are grievously losing the war of sustainability on just about every front you canimagine. Something has to be very wrong, something fundamental, something structural andsomething which apparently is not getting the attention it requires.Against this background the goal of this project is to see if we can make way toward some kind of unified approach or theory of sustainability on the basis of one concept which has not gotten muchplay in the past and which just might help us to cut through all of the confusion, all the muddle, andgive us something firmer to build on. To this end we set out to do a bit of wide-open brainstorminglooking at the challenges of creating a better and more sustainable transport system in the city of Helsinki , working specifically through the lens of 
equity 
. (Note: The idea of equity stresses fairnessand equal opportunities, not be confused with the concept of equality. But more on all that shortly.)The draft that follows and the open collaborative project behind it have been commissioned by theDepartment Of City Planning/Transportation of the City of Helsinki. However the information andviews you will find here are the responsibility of the author alone. That is not to say that these aremy original ideas: to the contrary my role in this project is more that of co-organizer and keenlistener than author and certainly not authority. That said I have to say here up front that anythingyou find that is foolish or wrong, almost certainly comes from your author. And anything that youfind engaging and worth more thought almost surely comes from someone else.Here and there you may get the impression that I am not sufficiently aware of all the good ideas,projects and progress advanced in your beautiful city up to now. I am afraid that is inevitable for anon-Finnish speaking visitor on his third trip here. But what I can say in my behalf is that I havecome here not to be right and certainly not wise, but to see if I can do my bit to get a discussiongoing on a new approach that I truly believe can serve Helsinki and other cities very well indeed.
To comment on report:
This is work in progress and more specifically what we call a "thinking exercise". My hope is that itwill in the month ahead benefit from many and vigorous comments, criticisms, and corrections fromyou and others. You are therefore cordially invited to share your thoughts on any aspect of thisreport. You can reach me directly at: eric.britton@ecoplan.org | T. 336 5088 0787 | S. newmobilityEric BrittonEcoPlan International, Lyon, 7 May 2012
 
Examining the Prospects for Equity-Based Transport in Helsinki
Phase I. Outreach, first findings & draft recommendations for review Page 2
Phase 1 Report Contents
A word of introduction ...........................................................................................................1Executive Summary ..................................................................................................................41. Start .....................................................................................................................................51.1 "Mr. Britton. We have no traffic problems in Helsinki" ................................81.2 What went wrong with transport in cities: 1950 - today? ............................91.3 Helsinki 2012 mobility score ................................................................................... 102. 2012: Time for a paradigm change?........................................................................ 112.1 We need a policy that is comprehensive, coherent, consistent .......................................... 122.2 Equity, efficiency and the invisible majority ................................................... 132.3 What is an equity-based transport system ? .................................................... 142.4 People, places and polices ...................................................................................... 152.5 Future of the automobile in the city .................................................................. 162.6 A "better than car" mobility system ................................................................... 173. Equity-based transport for Helsinki? Round 1 conclusions .......................... 183.1 New financial realities and constraints .............................................................. 193.2 Measuring and Management .................................................................................... 203.3 Flat (open and efficient) systems .......................................................................... 213.4 What about labor-saving/job creation? ............................................................ 224. Some first projects to test and refine the principles ........................................ 231. Advancing the concept of an Equity Audit ................................................................................ 232. Sound clues for visually impaired on public transport ............................................................... 243. Creating an equitable public bicycle project for Helsinki ............................................................ 254. Carsharing for all ...................................................................................................................... 255. Looking into equity refinements for Metropol DRT demonstration project ............................... 266. Exploring the potential of open government and the "social brain" .......................................... 265. Next Steps .............................................................................................................................. 28A word of thanks ...................................................................................................................... 29End notes: ................................................................................................................................... 30

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