Prof Eric Britton says to Penang:
You have sufficient resources under your control to make virtually all of the improvements which are necessary over the course of the next two years, if you concentrate above all on the management of the transportation assets you already have in place, as opposed to doing as in the past, namely spending large sums on new construction projects to solve your problems. The priority at this point is not to expand supply of unnecessary infrastructure. But rather to manage and use it better. The Transportation Master Plan provides a number of useful guidelines for how to do this.
Visiting international transportation expert reports findings and recommendations for Penang.
In June of this year the chairman of Penang’s Think City initiated a series of conversations with Profesor Eric Britton, Managing Director of Eco Plan International in Paris, distinguished visiting professor of sustainable development, economy and society at the Institut Supérieur de Gestion, and Founder of World Car Free Days, suggesting that he come to Penang for several weeks to study and confer with a broad range of organizations both in the public, private and volunteer sectors to see if he might come up with some new ideas and perspectives for transportation improvements across the State.
These exchanges were supported by more than two dozen meetings, public events, symposia, workshops and other exchanges with a wide variety of organizations across the State which have taken place over the last two weeks, along with a series of Master Classes at the USM in cooperation with the Center for Global Sustainabilty Studies.
This ambitious project is now entering its final stages and on 5 October at 10 o’clock
Professor Britton will be making a final public report and statement to the media and to a number of the people involved in advancing this process, which will take place in Lepau Corner Penang Municipal Park.
Ideas for the future:
After giving attention to, in his words, The good, the Bad, and the Ugly of transport in Penang, when it comes to the behavior and performance of our streets and roads, Professor Britton has reached the following tentative conclusions and recommendations which he is now sharing with the media and all interested. In brief these include:
1. The State of Penang now has in hand virtually everything needed in order to initiate and advance a major sustainable transportation reform over the course of the coming two years. You have the money, the people, the technical capacities, the institutional framework, the autonomy and the ideas and examples needed to make major improvements, many at very low cost and well within the 2015 time horizon of the Transportation Master Plan.
2. You have developed a fine Transportation Master Plan which sets out a number of the institutional and technical reforms needed to improve the performance of all aspects of transportation in the state in terms of: efficiency, environment, economy, resources, energy, and quality of life for all. Treat this is your solid point of departure.
3. You have in place a solid institutional structure, led by the State, supported by the Penang Transport Council, and perhaps above all to be led by the dynamic Municipal Councils on the island (MPPP) and the mainland (MPSP). All of which supported by one of the most well developed network of civil society and public interest groups in all of Asia. These are huge assets for your transformational program.
4. You have sufficient resources under your control to make virtually all of the improvements which are necessary over the course of the next two years, if you concentrate above all on the management of the transportation assets you already have in place, as opposed to doing as in the past, namely spending large sums on new construction projects to solve your problems. The priority at this point is not to expand supply of unnecessary infrastructure. But rather to manage and use it better. The Transportation Master Plan provides a number of useful guidelines for how to do this.
5. Upon due consultation with a considerable range of the key organizations and actors in the sector, with the help of my colleagues at Think City and all those who have so generously given of their time and ideas over these last weeks, we have come up with a series of 21 specific project initiatives which can be done quickly, and which are entirely under the control of state and local governments.
6. Finally and in closing I would also suggest that you consider opening up working links with colleagues in the governments of the following five outstanding cities,two European and three Asia-Pacific, each of whom have been doing some interesting things that you may well wish to learn more about, and at the same time share your Mew Mobility ideas and experience with them. On this short list of working city partners, I would suggest that you consider
Utrecht, The Netherlands
I have spent an invigorating and instructive two and a half weeks in Penang and would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere thanks for all of the wonderful cooperation and the great ideas that I received from so many people and organizations with whom I have the honor to meet. It has been an outstanding learning and life experience, and I leave George Town with great confidence in your ability to meet the challenges that now lie ahead.