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Helsinki EBT Dialogue Final May2012

Helsinki EBT Dialogue Final May2012

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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, Recommendations Phase 2. Peer Review, Commentary & Finalization Eric Britton, New Mobility Partnerships Edition: 22/05/12 New Mobility Partnerships Association EcoPlan international 9440 Readcrest Drive. Los Angeles CA 90210 USA 9, rue Gabillot, Sainte Anne. Lyon 69003 France Annex Volume: Working Draft for Peer Review NOT A POLICY DOCUMENT The following is

Examining the prospects for Equity-Based Transportation A Public Enquiry lead by the City of Helsinki Phase 1. Report, First Findings, Recommendations Phase 2. Peer Review, Commentary & Finalization Eric Britton, New Mobility Partnerships Edition: 22/05/12 New Mobility Partnerships Association EcoPlan international 9440 Readcrest Drive. Los Angeles CA 90210 USA 9, rue Gabillot, Sainte Anne. Lyon 69003 France Annex Volume: Working Draft for Peer Review NOT A POLICY DOCUMENT The following is

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Published by: Eric Britton (World Streets) on Dec 18, 2012
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Objective: An independent project lead by Eric Britton under the sponsorship of the Department of
City Planning/Transportation of the City of Helsinki, the goal of this first phase was to initiate a
broad-based public inquiry and open discussion of the concept of equity as a possible keystone for a
new paradigm for transport policy and investment in Helsinki and beyond -- and to determine if
there is support for taking the first round of findings at least one step further.
The Process : This first stage took place from February - May 2012 and centered on a first round of
consultations and exchanges with something like two hundred people from a wide variety of
institutions and points of view from across the Helsinki region. At the core of the program was a
two-week mission during which meetings and events were scheduled to explain and test the
concept: some 20 workshops, three collaboratively organized Master Classes and a final presentation
and public discussion were the core of the project. In addition a number of international colleagues
pitched in by following the project and exchanging views, criticism and suggestions as it developed.
Finding: It is this author's view that the project has succeeded in its first stage objectives as set by the
organizers. Let me see if I can summarize in one sentence the position that we heard from the great
majority of all of those with whom we discussed the concept in all those meetings and events: "The
equity concept sounds interesting and possibly promising as a new base for transportation policy --
and although we are not at this point quite sure we understand in detail how it is going to work in
practical terms, we nonetheless agree that the concept is worth further attention".1
Starting Point: We had a significant advantage. This emphasis on equity – a concept not so widely
discussed in the context of public policy in most parts of the world -- is something that is well known
and widely accepted by people, political parties, and interest groups across Finland. In part this is a
matter of culture (no small thing in itself). But no less important we had the good fortune to be able
to draw on a solid base of world level achievement in the Finnish education sector, in which the
equity principle has served as the North Star of the country's educational reform and management
over last decades. This equity-based approach had achieved world-level results placing Finland
consistently at the top of the international list of student performance and preparation for life.
Peer review : This report summarizes the process and the principal findings of this first stage
investigation. However, rather than submitting it as a definitive final report with detailed
recommendations at this point, we decided first to put it to work as a base for a collaborative
"thinking exercise", sharing the present draft with as many as people and groups as possible in
Helsinki, Finland and abroad for critical comments, suggestions and opinions.
Dates - May/June: The report will be open for review and comment over this period subsequent to
which the project team will meet to collect and analyze the results and prepare a definitive report,
recommendations and program statement detailing eventual next steps. Please note, we are not
seeking a comfortable consensus: at this point we are looking for critical ideas and content. Once we
have received and dealt with these as best we can, it may then be time to think about getting
comfortable.

1

I am comfortable in making this statement since the present draft will be reviewed by a number of those who
participated in the various events and so there will be every opportunity to correct that wording.

Examining the Prospects for Equity-Based Transport in Helsinki

Phase I. Outreach, first findings & draft recommendations for review

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