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Towards a healthier and happier city: why London’s transport system needs to change


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Presentation by Bruce McVean, Founder, Movement for Liveable London to Islington Cyclists’ Action Group AGM, 14th May 2014

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Towards a healthier and happier city: why London’s transport system needs to change

  1. 1. Towards a healthier and happier city: why London’s transport system needs to change Islington Cyclists’ Action Group AGM 14th May 2014 Bruce McVean, Founder, Movement for Liveable London @liveablelondon @brucemcvean
  2. 2. "Will the city assert itself as a good place to live?" William H Whyte, Are Cities Un-American?
  3. 3. Health, wealth and happiness "Cities were invented to facilitate exchange … Cities are a recognition that, if we are to grow to our full potential, we need what other people can give us. The city is therefore an ecosystem created for mutual enrichment." David Engwicht, Towards an Eco-City
  4. 4. Health, wealth and happiness “Lowly, unpurposeful, and random as they may appear, sidewalk contacts are the small change from which a city’s wealth may grow.” Jane Jacobs, The Death & Life of Great American Cities Image: Living Streets
  5. 5. Health, wealth and happiness “The most powerful ingredient of human happiness is strong positive social connections. So the city is most successful when it facilitates great relationships between people.” Charles Montgomery, author Happy City
  6. 6. Health, wealth and happiness “The potential benefits of physical activity to health are huge. If a medication existed which had a similar effect, it would be regarded as a ‘wonder drug’ or ‘miracle cure’.” Liam Donaldson, Annual report of the Chief Medical Officer
  7. 7. Health, wealth and happiness “For most people, the easiest and most acceptable forms of physical activity are those that can be incorporated into everyday life.” Liam Donaldson, At least five a week
  8. 8. Cities – our natural habitat Image: Michael Tompsett
  9. 9. 80% Londoners travel time is on streets Bike 1 Bus Train/Tube Walk Car/Taxi 20 14 27 38 Percentage of time spent by each transport mode 2005-2011
  10. 10. Image: Lucy Saunders/TfL
  11. 11. Streets – limited space, fierce competition “Roads and streets must not only provide for the efficient and safe movement of people, goods and services, but must also provide great places which contribute to the look, feel and reputation of the city.” Roads Task Force (2013)
  12. 12. Restoring the balance “The automobile is a servant that has become a master ... Relegating the car to its proper role is essential to reclaiming our cities for pedestrians ...” Jeff Speck, The Walkable City
  13. 13. The politics of traffic reduction “Road space for cars is a political decision not a technical decision.” Gil Penalosa, 8-80 Cities
  14. 14. The politics of traffic reduction
  15. 15. The politics of traffic reduction “In most cities, the motorist’s perception is so dominant that their confusions can become political imperatives.” Jarrett Walker, Human Transit
  16. 16. No time for confusion - the need for urgent change • Double carbon crunch • Physical inactivity • Air pollution • Road danger • Supporting local high streets • Growing population • Aging population • Accessibility • Cost and pace of ‘mega projects’ • International competitiveness • National and global leadership
  17. 17. Boroughs can lead the way …
  18. 18. … but ultimately London needs a proper plan (and a Mayor to match) “No goal, then no direction: no underlying plan, no consensus, then no effective practical action. If society is paralysed today, it is not for lack of means but for lack of purpose.” Lewis Mumford, The Culture of Cities
  19. 19. London needs a proper plan
  20. 20. “You can wish people onto bikes, but you won’t get them onto bikes unless you provide a safe network.” Jeanette Sadik Kahn
  21. 21. All it takes is political will … “You can’t be friends with everyone.” Bo Asmuskjeldgaard, Mayor for Technical & Environmental Administration, Copenhagen
  22. 22. The advance guard to the campaign for a liveable London Image: LCC
  23. 23. @liveablelondon @brucemcvean