The NGO Challenge to the SRS TMP

reading a map - lost

The goal of this section of the Sustainable Penang supporting websites is to provide easy access to anyone from within Penang or beyond in order to get a clear understanding of what is going on in the at-times painful path of contradictory  and withheld information on the topic of how best to go about creating a sustainable, efficient and equitable mobility system for all in Penang. It works like this.

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Sustainable Transport in Cities– 101 Things You Have to Keep Your Eye On

brain2One of the reasons why such a small proportion of the world cities are working on having more sustainable transportation systems has to do with the fact that these are literally “complex systems”, a category of social and economic interactions which is far more complicated than laying down additional meters of concrete.

A complex system is filled with nuances and surprises, as a result of the fact that all of the bits and pieces that constitute them interact with each other, and all too often yields contradictory results which are quite opposite from what the initial practitiones or policymakers may have wished to bring about.  The classic example of this is of course the discredited “predict and provide” approach to transport which famously creates a mindset which consistently favors more traffic.  So even with all of the goodwill and hope in the world, many of these policies or approaches achieve results which are contrary to the initial expectations and often deleterious.

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Penang Sustainability Classics at your service

Universal right to mobility wheelchair
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” – G. Santayana in The Life of Reason, 1905
In the rush to get the contracts signed and construction underway so that Penang can in a decade or three be served a hopefully unique collection of free-standing monorails, sky high LRTs, wobbling Sky Cabs, and tunnels and ever more and wider roads and parking, it is useful to recall that some prescient analytic work has been done by individual expert observers and groups over the last two decades — which should not be forgotten in today’s rush to market.
With this in mind, we started to develop a section of our S/P Public Library that will contain a certain number of “Penang Sustainability Classics”: a free and open collection of reports and working papers that present of very different view of priorities and possibilities other than those presently being pursued. And it is here where we would like to ask for your help. But first by way of example let us point to a small handful of several earlier of these reports which have some very interesting things to tell us, even today.

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SUSTAINABLE PENANG VIRTUAL LIBRARY

If we are to be useful in creating a strong action plan and wide civil society backing for fair and efficient mobility in virtual library hand book penangPenang, it is important that all concerned are aware of the work done on these issues over the last several decades, of which there has been quite a lot.  And in particular of course since the decision to take on the respected international transport consultancy, the Halcrow Group, to come up with a strategy for both the immediate future, and the longer term (stretching out to 2030).
Moreover it is important that this information be immediately and freely available to all who wish to consult in this open analytic process. To this end, we have taken the first steps to create a virtual library freely accessible by internet as follows.
And while there are already more than one hundred reports and working papers available here, you are invited to draw others to our attention so that we can with your help turn this into a valuable tool for all those concerned about creating a Sustainable Penang.

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