This is a special issue of to celebrate the life and work of our friend, colleague and inspiration, Paul Mees. Paul died at the far too early age of 52 in June 2013. He was a fierce and highly articulate advocate of the public interest. His contributions ranged over traditional academic activities including teaching, researching and publishing but went much wider and embraced campaigning, media activity and an ability to engage with senior public figures in a way that could not be ignored and in a way that exposed the utter wrong-headedness of much Australian and State of Victoria transport policy and spending. He is greatly missed.
This special issue once again reiterates our commitment to sustainable transport, which embraces the urgent need to cut global emissions, reduce the amount of new infrastructure of all kinds, and to highlight the importance of future generations, the poor, those who live in degraded environments and those deprived of human rights by planning systems that put a higher importance on financial objectives for the few, than on the environment and social justice for all..
This issue of World Transport Policy and Practice opens the journal’s 20th year of consistent commitment to sustainable transport, which embraces the urgent need to cut global emissions of carbon dioxide, to reduce the amount of new infrastructure of all kinds and to highlight the importance of future generations, the poor, those who live in degraded environments and those deprived of human rights by planning systems that put a higher importance on economic objectives than on the environment and social justice.
The lead editorial by founding editor John Whitelegg reports on the wrong-headed intensification of the mobility paradigm which is now firmly locked into a very strong, highly destructive infrastructure fetish. Articles by Jeff Kenworthy (Australia) , Nguyen Thi Cat Tuong (Vietnam), John Baptist Gauci (Malta), and the team of Mary Surridge, Cathy Green, Dynes Kaluba and Victor Simfukwe (Zambia) complete this latest edition of the Journal.
Matthew Bradley and Jeff Kenworthy help us to set out on our search for economic instruments that can be effective in reducing traffic congestion while leveling the playing field between cars and other transport in ways that are both efficient and equitable. They tell us that: “A major part of the urban transport problem today is a failure from the very beginning to acknowledge that congestion is fundamentally inequitable and unfair, impractical to construct away, and therefore must be properly charged for and controlled to eliminate the transport system dysfunction which is systemic in cities today.” Recommended reading for anyone with a serious interest in how to get the most out of economic instruments in our troubled, seriously underperforming sector.
This issue of WTPP returns to some earlier themes that are central to an improved understanding of how to get things right and reduce the likelihood of wrong-headedness. Jeff Kenworthy opens 19/4 with a robust study of 42 cities and demonstrates that car use and GDP growth are decoupling. Helmut Holzapfel looks at German road and motorway planning and building and shows that it is totally removed from the reality of life as lived by citizens. Editor John Whitelegg closes this latest edition of WTPP with a critical review of a compendium of articles, Transport Beyond Oil, while in his opening editorial reminding us of the work and contributions of our greatly missed colleague Paul Mees, a world-class transport researcher and policy analyst,who died in Melbourne on 19th June 2013, aged 52. Far too young and still so much to do.