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
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About the author:
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 https://goo.gl/9CJXTh and @ericbritton