I ask this group the following.
(1) Is it possible for men and male-dominated decision fora and processes in general to plan and implement efficient and fair mobility policy and practice for women and girls?
(2) Are the planning and decision fora in Penang largely dominated at present by males?
(3) In your view should women and women’s group organize to support a state-wide movement to full gender parity in the transport sector? Starting on Monday morning?
(Please share your thought, including on the COMMENT link here.)
Civil Society is the life raft of 21st century democracy
The following listing of twenty-plus organizations is intended eventually to be extended to identify all those groups and institutions who are going to have a role in the restructuring of Penang’s mobility arrangements. (Note: Each of these entries is clickable and will take you directly to the indicated source.)
But here’s our question. Are there other groups, programs and agencies (and companies and media) who should be identified here for communication and coordination purposes in support of the project? For example, are there units or projects at the level of local government which are aimed at specific near term problems or issues
And should you have a contact name and email address at hand, that would be much appreciated. If so please let us know via the email address email@example.com. Thank you.
Penang civil society led by Penang Forum have protested against the state government’s plans.
If you are looking on another independent point of view for all that relates to the Penang Transport Master Plan and its various add-ons, derivatives and unwelcome surprises, from an international perspective, I have a small handful of references points which I hope you may find useful:
- “TO AN EMERGENCY CLIMATE/MOBILITY ACTION PLAN FOR PENANG” – at http://bit.ly/2PJyWEV
- “STRATEGY FOR A CLIMATE/MOBILITY ACTION/PLAN FOR PENANG: 2019-2020” – Facebook at http://bit.ly/2ZThVg8
- GOOGLE ON “CLIMATE EMERGENCY” PENANG MALAYSIA” – at http://bit.ly/2WjN0ao
- Not like this.
Now, as your long-time pro bono consultant and resilient Parisian friend in the struggle for equitable, efficient and fully sustainable mobility for the last six long years, I would like to share with you my most important and heart-felt single policy recommendation for Penang.
And that is that to deal equitably and efficiently with these important issues and necessary actions, you now immediately invite open public discussion of the need for the passage of a law at least at the level of your state which requires FULL GENDER PARITY for all future, policy, investment and decision fora in and related to the mobility sector.
To be quite certain that we are on the same page here, permit me to explain in one short sentence why this is essential in a modern democratic society. AND THAT IS BECAUSE IT IS WELL PROVEN BY EXPERIENCE THAT MEN SIMPLY CANNOT ANTICIPATE THE DAY TO DAY NEEDS OF WOMEN OF ALL AGES AND SOCIAL CONDITIONS FOR MOBILITY. Even the most sensitive males are in the dark when it comes to understanding and attempting to deal with the day to day experience and needs of the 170 million American females who were not invited to the table in Washington. It’s that simple.
It’s the weekend, so a few pictures to warm up our topic:
Penang Forum Highway Review Committee in discussion. January 2019.
Dr. AH Abdul Hamid, an eminent traffic and transport engineer from the School of Housing, Building and Planning at the USM, has recently issued a strong call to respond to the at times acrimonious debate between the government and its consultants who are defending a high cost, car-oriented, project-oriented “Big Bang” program of costly investments (PTMP), and on the other side a coalition of representatives of civil society in Penang who are asking for a revised planning process that better corresponds to the needs, the environment and the vision of the people of Penang. This call, first published locally in Chinese in the China Press of August 13, 2016 was translated into English and reposted in the Wednesday edition of World Streets – http://wp.me/psKUY-4wd.
Dr. Hamad takes a step back from the increasingly acrimonious public arguments and recommends that
- “the government engage independent experts to study both the proposals by SRS and the NGOs, based on best scientific estimates of construction cost, acquisition cost, maintenance and operation cost, life cycle, opportunity costs and externalities, ridership, environmental and life quality impacts, cultural and heritage issues, impacts on vulnerable populations, etc. . . . instead of keep on arguing.”
Inspired by this call for perspective in the following article I have pulled out of my working notes this article sketching what I believe to be the first basics of an appropriate planning structure and strategy for the much-needed rethink, based on the experience of many cities at the leading edge of sustainable transport that works for all. In this form it is not an easy read, and for that I appologize. My point is that we need to find a solid science-based middle ground, and as Hilmy advises get on with it “instead of keep on arguing.”
For extensive background on both sides of this debate readers are invited to consult the right hand column of the Sustainable Penang/New Mobility website at https://sustainablepenang.wordpress.com/, .
Transport in Penang (and all around the world for that matter) relies on almost exclusively on non-renewable sources of energy. Think: 20 cars with one person in each vehicle vs. one bus with 20 passengers. The former creates traffic jams and worsens pollution to detract from the overall liveability of a city. It is often argued that supplying more roads only creates more demand for their usage. With 10,000 more vehicles added to Penang’s roads each month , we will have to commit ourselves soon to a decision to enhance sustainable transport.
Think City Bhd invited Prof Eric Britton, managing director of EcoPlan International in Paris, founder of World Car Free Days and longtime advocate of sustainable transport initiatives, to Penang with the purpose of studying the transport system, meeting stakeholders and hosting a series of events to come up with ideas and a new perspective for transportation improvements across the state. Thus, Sustainable Penang: Towards a New Mobility was arranged as a two-week itinerary that featured 11 focus group discussions, three master classes, a lecture, a symposium and dialogues with MPPP, MPSP and the Penang Transport Council. (See Mission Statement at https://sustainablepenang.wordpress.com/the-mission/ for details.)