INVITATIONAL THINKING EXERCISE: Why Ubernomics could be fatal to itself, its customers and mass transit?

taiwan Uber taxi demonstration

Commentary and reflection on an article originally appearing in a Geek Wire posting by Bob Sullivan on 24 January – which when posted last week to our World Streets Online Facebook site at https://www.facebook.com/WorldStreetsOnline attracted considerable attention. In the posting that follows, we propose an open thinking exercise in three parts which you are invited to join.

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The World Streets Sampler. Selected articles: 2009-2015

ws-newsstand-captionAdmittedly it may not be so easy to get a feel for what World Streets is supposed to be all about when you first check in here, since we have since 2009 published more than 1500 articles and twice that many graphics, photographs and illustrative short videos on a very large array of issues, approaches, countries and cultures.. So to open up this virtual Pandora’s box for first time readers we decided to cull about one percent of the contents to see if we could come up with a selection of diverse articles, most of them quite short, to try to give the first time reader an idea of the variety and quality of what goes on here. We call this a “Sampler” and invite your comments, suggestions and eventual contributions to what is, above all, an open, collaborative and convergent environment.

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Welcome to World Streets Worst Practices Department

man sleeping under sidewalk - top half only

Since our founding in 2009 World Streets has given attention occasionally to poor, and at times desperately poor, policies and practices in the fields of cities and transportation, in what we call our Worst Practices Department. The WPD has its useful place in World Streets and the world more generally because when it comes to transportation there has never been a shortage of bad ideas and even worse implementations.

Most of the bad ideas you will see skewered in this section are the results of some variable combinations of hubris, avarice, haste, short-sightedness, self-interest, pure ego, and invariably sheer ignorance of the complexity of the 21st century mobility environment.  And of course all too often of sheer unbridled  stupidity. (And so it goes.)

“Not by wrath, but by laughter, do we slay.”

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Why sustainable development is so hard, when it should be as “simple as riding a bike”?

UNLEARNING as a sustainability strategy?

What does not being able to ride a bike have to do with sustainable development?  Or rather of course UNsustainable development, which is the dominant and to now apparently unbreakable pattern? Thousands of conferences have been organized, more thousands of books printed,programs launched,  actions organized, treaties signed, promises made (and broken), and despite all that and by just about all valid indicators, the bottom line of our unsustainability continues tragically to deteriorate, to destroy our gasping planet. As you can see here:

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Interview: World Streets editor interviews busy mayor on his sustainable transport strategy

Asking the mayor of Freedonia to walk the talk

groucho at deskFreedonia City Hall, 20 June 2015.09:00. The mayor is comfortably seated  at his  imposing desk, looking fondly at an unlit cigar.  After a lengthy wait and a nod from the imposing receptionist, the editor of World Streets knocks lightly and waits timidly at the door, entirely drenched and  more than a bit disheveled. Not a pretty sight.

The Mayor: Well sir, you are a fine mess. Careful there, you are dripping on my favorite chair. Continue reading