To be stuck in (car) traffic is stressful and annoying: running late to a meeting, to family, a concert or a conference. Argh! Yes, one could leave earlier; but why plan your life around a traffic report?! Driving does not offer independence or the joys of the open road in such circumstances. On the contrary, it… Read More Stockholm’s Monday morning cycle commute: the joys of being car-free & carefree
In October 2016, 40000 people gathered in Quito, Ecuador, for the United Nations Habitat III Conference. Unlike other UN processes that focus on national government engagement, “H3” also saw 5000 city leaders make their voices heard, meeting in Quito and Bogotá (Colombia) at related local government events. They did so to ensure the final document adopted, the… Read More Quito: mountains, history & a giant conference about cities
Barcelona, Spain (population: 1.7 million) is a charming coastal city with a medieval town centre, fantastic and famous architecture, great beaches and cliff-side cafés… A friend of mine (from Barcelona) used to describe his city as “the GREATEST city in the world!” After several visits, I can attest: it is one of my favorites! Despite its… Read More Barcelona: “Superblocks” to the rescue! Returning city streets to the people.
No one likes to sit in traffic, and city traffic is the worst. But equally, when we step out of the car (or hopefully off the bus or metro) in a city, our pedestrian activities remain dictated by cars. We can only cross at designated points; we wait for traffic lights to cross the street – hopefully still… Read More Cars versus people: depicting battles over urban public space
In April I traveled to Bali, Indonesia for the 7th Regional Environmentally Sustainable Transport (EST) Forum in Asia, organized by the UN Centre for Regional Development, and the Environmental Ministries of Japan and Indonesia. Bali, the Island of the Gods as it is known by the locals, is famous for its beaches, its surf, its rice fields,… Read More Balinese dreaming: UN meetings on transport systems and real-life traffic problems