Comment from Yueh Kwong Leong in today’s WhatsApp S/P exchanges: “Kaohsiung in Taiwan was considered the most polluted industrial city in Asian. It is today considered as one of the most green city in Asia.”
For the record, we have been strategically involved in the Kaohsiung transition process in the transport sector since 2009. Among that city’s great accomplishments have been an important capacity building effort over the last decade, both within the various local government offices, but also because Taiwan has developed world level technical, planning and policy capabilities and a professional/university network that puts the necessary expertise at the fingertips of local government. These networks of competence are important factors in the advances being made not only in Kaohsiung but also a number of other cities in Taiwan. (Cities compete!)
As far as I am concerned this is THE GREAT WEAK POINT in your capabilities in Penang today – and the general chaos that has surrounded the so-called PTMP has in large part due to these persistent technical competence deficits.
Fifteen local NGOs have cautioned Penangites not to rush to endorse the state’s mega-billion transport master plan (PTMP), saying more consultation and transparency are needed in the massive deal.
The NGOs, including Aliran and the Penang Heritage Trust, issued a joint statement giving Penangites nine major reasons why “the people of Penang should not be rushed into signing this important agreement”.
They said this while commending and expressing support on the need to prioritise public transport over the present private car-centric transport system.
Critical issues they want the state and its appointed project delivery partner SRS Consortium to address include the tremendous costs involved – currently estimated at RM40 billion.. .
“The most worrying concern is that the PTMP lacks vision, it is touted as a plan for Penang for the next 50 years yet it is trapped in 20th century technology and approach in planning,” the NGOs said.
“It proposes obsolescent solutions to Penang’s transport problems, ignoring the latest developments in mass transit planning around the world.
Draft introduction: Welcome to a collaborative thinking exercise inviting any and all who may have some questions about the focus, the vision and in the end the quality of future mobility services as being proposed and aggressively pushed by the state government of Penang. The central instrument for this group investigative process is a group of poster illustrations which combine simple images and a few telling words in order test our understanding of the Penang Transport Master Plan — all this as prepared for the recent Gertak Sanggul Art Festival by Kin Yin and a group of young collaborators (who will be identified shortly in the final section of this first presentation).
Again and again and again, when it comes to “transport master planning” in Penang, it seems as if we always end up circling to the same old structurally wrong thing. And in the process allowing the under-trained proponents of the Big Bang “solution” of the present government package, to occupy the center of the debate. This is a huge mistake.
It is my position that the starting place for responsible and effective transport planning and policy in Penang is NOT to link it to land deals — but to look at the challenge in and of itself. From a well defined, explicit strategic perspective.
Some will say that they do not have enough money to accomplish their objectives — which quickly become wild, pharaonic, costly and not related to the real problems and priorities at hand. Remember, transport for people and not for cars (infrastructure included)
Here is the simple question that the policy makers need to be asked and required to resolve.
(a) What is it that they can accomplish for the people of Penang,
(b) working with available resources in order to
(c) alleviate the day-to-day mobility problems of the people of Penang – with
(d) especial attention to the needs of the poorer half of society and the vulnerable populations (elderly, handicapped, poor, isolated, non-car owners, and
(e) above all women of all ages and stations of life, and in
(f) in the coming three years, i.e., 2018-2020.
How hard is that? And why is no one minding this store?
Let’s open up a lively public dialogue between State government and their principal suppliers/partners, civil society
# # #
About the author:
13, rue Pasteur. Courbevoie 92400 France
Bio: Founding editor of World Streets (1988), Eric Britton is an American political scientist, teacher, occasional consultant, and sustainability activist who has observed, learned, taught and worked on missions and advisory assignments on all continents. In the autumn of 2019, he committed his remaining life work to the challenges of aggressively countering climate change and specifically greenhouse gas emissions emanating from the mobility sector. He is not worried about running out of work. Further background and updates: @ericbritton | http://bit.ly/2Ti8LsX | #fekbritton | https://twitter.com/ericbritton | and | https://www.linkedin.com/in/ericbritton/ Contact: email@example.com) | +336 508 80787 (Also WhatApp) | Skype: newmobility.)
– Statement of Eric Britton to the WhatsApp forum,
In support of the Better Choices process we are working hard to develop an open on-line library resource with select references on sources intended to be useful to planners, local government, decision makers, operators, the media, students, and concerned elements of civil society. These documents and references are being selected with the counsel of leading international authorities in our field.
For latest information on the Better Choices: Bringing Sustainable Transport to Smaller Asian Cities project, of which the Bookshelf is one part, click to https://goo.gl/qN85st