Battle of Ideas: Towards a New Mobility Agenda for Penang

The central premise of the State’s strategy is simple . . .  to “move people, not vehicles”.    – From the Penang Transport Master Plan, at


Can we get your support for or your reactions to a draft proposal that follows, for comparing the merits and the usefulness for the people of Penang for five alternative strategies for dealing with Penang’s most pressing transport/mobility needs and priorities? (Note: This is a very rough first introduction to this idea for creating a comprehensive independent basis for comparing the alternative strategies, targets and competence.)

This is a straight forward process and could be accomplished with proper teamwork, support and leadership in (I estimate most provisionally, to be confirmed) four to eight weeks. Specifically, we propose to compare neutral expert baseline reports summarizing the main assumptions, building blocks, recommendations, short-comings and costs of five radically different strategies or approaches for Penang.

1. Halcrow 2012 Recommended Transport Master Plan (2012-2030) –

2. Britton/Think City 2013 report: Sustainable Penang: Toward a New Mobility Agenda (2013 – 2015) –

3. . Penang State/SRS Penang Transport Master Plan (2015-2060) –

4. Better, Faster, Cheaper challenge lead by the Penang Institute (2016 – ??) –  at  

5. A fully revised 2017 strategy, let us say for starters here, perhaps something along the lines of a Slow City: Strategy for a New Mobility Agenda, 2017-2020 – as introduced in and

 *** There may be a couple more key actors, reports, projects that should be brought into the analysis. They will be added to the sketch program as we are informed.

Key Indicators

To accomplish this the team will develop a standard summary table that will present and report on the key decision indicators for each plan and its recommendations to permit informed comparisons and decisions.

We propose that the process for this comparative analysis be fully open to public inspection, comment and suggestions from the initiation of the analysis.

We also propose that the entire process will be opened up to  and recommendations, review and commentary, including the leading groups and experts in sustainable transport planning and policy.

The analysis and report(s) will also be fully open to all the key actors and decision makers in Penang and across Malaysia.

One perhaps interesting possibility will be to invite an international jury of experts in the field to review and comment on the final result

To accomplish this we are going to need a team and a plan. And oh yes, a sponsor.

Your suggestions and critical remarks will be most appreciated.

Contact: Eric Britton,  @worldstreets  Skype: newmobility  #eric.britton  M/Wap +336 5088 0787

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Eric Britton
9, rue Gabillot, 69003 Lyon France

Bio: Educated as an international development economist, Eric Britton is an American political scientist, teacher and sustainability activist who has worked on missions and advisory assignments on all continents. Professor of Sustainable Development, Economy and Democracy at the Institut Supérieur de Gestion (Paris), he is also MD of EcoPlan Association, an independent advisory network providing strategic counsel for government and business on policy and decision issues involving complex systems, social-technical change, civil society and sustainable development. Founding editor of World Streets: The Politics of Transport in Cities | See Britton online at and @ericbritton

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