Monday, December 9, 2013

Macau government has head in sand, wants to build roads to relieve congestion

macaudailytimes : "Apart from the CCAC report, lawmakers were also interested in hearing policies that would smooth traffic, particularly measures that would reduce the well-known crowdedness of daily public transport. Lau Si Io explained that – due to the city’s urban features – it’s difficult “to ensure a gradual increase on the number of public buses.” Nevertheless, he added that with new developments at Cotai Strip underway, his office will work on the construction of more public roads. “Our goal is to open more lanes on the hillside.” "

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

East China Sea Island dispute is all about oil

National Geographic (October 2012) : "In Asia, and especially in China, demand for power and fuel is fast outstripping supply. (Related: "Pictures: A Rare Look Inside China's Energy Machine") Meanwhile, advances in deepwater drilling technology have put offshore oil and gas resources within reach for the first time. The result of all this, says Stephanie Kleine-Ahlbrandt, Northeast Asia director of the International Crisis Group, which studies conflict hot spots, is a "race to assert control over energy resources in disputed territories before they are developed by a rival."
Last spring China began drilling in deep water in the South China Sea—rattling Vietnam, the Philippines, and other nations that have competing territorial claims."
The people of China need to stop and think. Should China go the way of the U.S. -- dependent on cars, and constantly at war over resources?

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Could cities of the future have free public transport?

CNBC: : "Anyone living in a large, bustling city will have experienced the manic crush of rush hour and the overwhelming congestion it can bring to a city's roads. Attempts to reduce gridlock have included everything from congestion charges, such as in London, to public bike schemes, as seen in Buenos Aires, Paris and Hangzhou, China.
This January, Tallinn, Estonia, took a radical step in its efforts to reduce traffic jams, and became the first capital in the European Union to offer its residents free public transport."

'via Blog this'

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Desperate measures by Guangzhou as cars choke city

Next City: "At 9 p.m. on June 30 last year, the city of Guangzhou caught car sellers and buyers by surprise. The municipal government hastily called a press conference and announced, without warning, that starting the following day only 10,000 cars could be sold per month. The move would be an effort to unclog the city’s roads and clear up its skies, both of which were being choked by a boom in vehicle sales."

'via Blog this'

Monday, October 21, 2013

World demand for oil and gas driving corruption in Burma

Can Burma go out of Resource Curse? – Arakan Oil Watch: "According to a report by the Arakan Oil Watch, billions of dollars in revenues from the sale of natural gas have gone unrecorded in the country’s public accounts and been siphoned off by corrupt military rulers, leaving the nation with some of the worst social indicators in the world and embroiled in conflicts over natural resources."

Thursday, October 17, 2013

China police budget larger than military -- due in part to #climatechange

Thousands Protest in Flood-Hit Chinese City - ABC News: "The threat of violence has prompted massive outlays for the police and other internal security measures, spending on which now exceeds the defense budget, the world's second largest after that of the U.S.

Photos from Yuyao posted to various Chinese websites showed protesters smashing vehicles and attacking city offices. Some were bleeding from the head after apparently being clubbed by riot police who were shown massed in their hundreds in front of city hall."

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

South Korean city of Suwon goes car free for thirty days

(Source: ICLEI Korea)
RTCC: "As part of the EcoMobility World Festival, the residents of the Haenggung-dong neighbourhood in Suwon decided to adopt a car-free lifestyle for thirty days. During this period, roads were cordoned off, and the only vehicles allowed were those which did not consume fossil fuels."

'via Blog this'

Beijing particulate matter stops traffic

Friday, September 27, 2013

Shanghai may expand free public transport to more seniors

cns: "Among the changes being considered is a suggestion that non-local senior citizens be included in the free public transport scheme as well.

It is also being mooted that people between the ages of 65 and 70 pay 50 percent of the fare; and do away completely with the ban on free travel during peak rush hours.

Shanghai started offering free use of public transport for the elderly in 2007, except in the morning between 7am and 9am and between 5pm and 7pm during working days."

'via Blog this'

Monday, September 23, 2013

Shanghai promotes public transport on car-free day

Eastday: "It was the seventh year Shanghai participated in World Car-Free Day along with 150 other cities around the country. Officials used the theme“Greener Traffic, Cleaner Air”to encourage car owners to take public transportation more often and help ease road congestion and contribute to better air quality.

A total of 150 volunteers bicycled past some of the city’s landmarks including Xintiandi, Yuyuan Garden and the Bund to raise awareness of the health and environmental benefits of cycling."

'via Blog this'

Thursday, September 19, 2013

China credit bubble expanding

CollapseNet: "The country has relied on loan growth to keep the economy firing on all cylinders but the law of diminishing returns has set in, with the each yuan of extra debt yielding just 0.20 yuan of economic growth, compared with 0.85 five years ago. Credit of all types has risen from $9 trillion to $23 trillion in five years, pushing the total to 200pc of GDP, much higher than in emerging market peers."

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

China confirms new gas pipeline through Tajikistan "Dushanbe, Tajikistan: China's Xi Jinping at a regional summit signed a deal to build a gas pipeline through the impoverished ex-Soviet country of Tajikistan, Tajik television reported on Saturday.

The pipeline will transport gas from energy-rich Turkmenistan to China in as part of a huge supply deal.

"Carrying out this project will allow us to attract more than $3 billion of direct investments from Chin into the economy of Tajikistan," said the press service of Tajik President Emomali Rakhmon."

Sunday, September 8, 2013

China buys into giant Kazakhstan oilfield for $5 billion

The Times of India: "ASTANA: President Xi Jinping on Saturday will oversee China's entry into Kashagan, a vast oilfield in Kazakhstan, as he tours post-Soviet Central Asia to secure hydrocarbons for the world's largest energy consumer.

The $5 billion deal futher increases China's rising clout in Central Asia, once Russia's imperial backyard, and blocks an attempt by global rival India to get a stake in the oilfield, the world's largest oil discovery in five decades. "

'via Blog this'

Hong Kong choked with cars, roads, and parking.

Government should stop coddling private road users | South China Morning Post: "Instead of learning from these mistakes, or from cities in the van of urban planning, the government is now planning, and in some cases already building, a vast system of highways and spaghetti junctions for east Kowloon and the Kai Tak area as though it were trying to follow 1960s Los Angeles."

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The United States: "the example not to follow."

Economy - John de Graaf | Center for Humans & Nature: "In short, his argument is this: Growing inequality has left median American hourly incomes flat for a generation while GDP doubled. We were able to purchase the increased volume of consumer goods produced by working longer hours and by taking on excessive personal debt. But more work and more stuff have left us lonelier and less connected with each other, while growing debt has led to calls for slashing taxes, leading to higher prices for public goods such as higher education or access to public parks.

We have been encouraged to counter these losses by purchasing even more private goods (Want friends? Buy a hot car… Want nature? Fly to a tropical paradise…), leading to even heavier debt and workloads. Moreover, our lifestyles, built around private consumption, have created low-density sprawl that makes public transit too expensive and encourages automobile dependence, longer commutes, and even less social connection, while further reducing public space and access to nature. It’s a vicious circle."

'via Blog this'

South Korea to have universal #publictransit swipe card

Arirang News: "That means cardholders will be able to visit almost any corner of the country with the swipe of a single, pre-paid card."

Now prices can gradually go to zero in a controlled way.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Cars choking Beijing. Solution. Free buses.

Beijing Symposium Shares International Experience in Urban Transport Development: "Guo Jifu, Director of BTRC, initiated the discussion by illustrating the following four transport challenges faced by Beijing, as registered vehicles in the megacity reached 5.2 million in 2012 and its metro system carries 10 million passengers per day.
  • Low efficiency of road utilization and severe congestion
  • Inadequate public transport capacity
  • Funding gap for infrastructure development
  • Difficulty in raising public awareness and gaining social acceptance to promote innovative solutions and reforms."
Attention Mr. Guo, make it free and you will get the attention of the public. Do you remember Guangzhou during the Asia games?

South Korean city abandons cars for one month

DW 30.08.2013: "In an effort to encourage residents onto public transport, one South Korean city is asking its residents to go car-free for a month. As one of the organizers explains, the project is meant to have a long lasting effect."

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Beijing's public transportation needs improvement " there is a far from sufficient number of public buses. In some newly constructed neighborhoods, there is still no bus line and a new service called "lady motorpad" has emerged, with women driving passengers to and from subway stations that are a long way to walk to and from."

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Climate change. Three meters of water in Shantou. Time to rethink cars.

This picture taken on August 19, 2013 shows residents travelling on boats and rafts down a flooded street in Shantou, in southern China's Guangdong province. Picture: AFP
Gallery: China floods death toll passes 100 | eNCA: "Flooding in the northeast which left 72 people dead was described as "the worst in decades" by state news agency Xinhua, while another 33 people died in the south as a result of the weather, it said citing the ministry of civil affairs."

Saturday, July 27, 2013

China Coal-Fired Economy Dying of Thirst as Mines Lack Water

Bloomberg: "About half of China’s rivers have dried up since 1990 and those that remain are mostly contaminated. Without enough water, coal can’t be mined, new power stations can’t run and the economy can’t grow. At least 80 percent of the nation’s coal comes from regions where the United Nations says water supplies are either “stressed” or in “absolute scarcity.”"
Electric vehicles? Not a solution.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Beijing bikeshare is free for first hour, helps people get to metro "The time Lu spends commuting has been cut by almost by a third with the greater allocation of public bicycles throughout the city, with one bicycle rental station in the community where Lu lives, in Chaoyang district. "Now I ride a rental bike from my community to Liangmaqiao subway station, where I return the bike and take the subway," Lu said. "You can return the bike right away and don't need to worry it will be stolen."
As more public rental bicycle stations are set up throughout the city, Lu said his family sometimes rents a bicycle for grocery shopping as well. As long as he returns the bike within an hour, the use is free of charge.
The commission said the bikes are free to rent for the first hour, then are charged at 1 yuan (16 cents) for each additional hour. The maximum expense for a full day is no more than 10 yuan but people can only rent a bike for a maximum of three days each time."

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

China losing money and people in floods. Raising #publictransit fares in Beijing will mean more cars and more CO2.

Transport fares should benefit the public interest - OP-ED - "Some complain that one of the rare privileges of Beijing residents may soon be taken away. Experts are also divided.

Beijing residents have been enjoying these low prices for almost six years. The city had invested in public transportation before the 2008 Olympic Games so as to promote public transport and avoid traffic headaches. The policy has continued since then as the city witnessed a growing population over the following years."

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Traffic congestion choking Beijing. BPT gets creative, but #freetransit would work better "The customized buses would guarantee seats for every passenger and take passengers directly to their destinations on designated bus routes, BPT said. The buses also have Wi-Fi, it added."

Monday, July 15, 2013

Excellent article about the history of #publictransit in Shanghai

The push for passengers - SHANGHAI - "More than two decades after Russia opened the world's first tram service in 1880, the British-owned Shanghai Electric Construction Co was given permission to run a tram service in the former International concession in 1905. Workers began laying tracks in April, 1906, installing overhead wires and building terminals and depots. In 1907, the company imported its first batch of four-wheeled single-deck trams from Loughborough, England."

Thursday, July 11, 2013

China floods. We need dramatic action on #climate. Let's abolish the private auto.

AFP: China rain, landslides leave 9 dead, 62 missing: "BEIJING — Heavy rain in southwest China has left at least nine dead and 62 missing, officials reported Thursday, after landslides crushed homes, bridges collapsed, and dozens of villages were cut off."

Saturday, July 6, 2013

MACAU DAILY TIMES - Free electric shuttle bus to Cotai

MACAU DAILY TIMES - Free electric shuttle bus to Cotai: "In order to promote the use of electric buses in Macau, which will reduce emissions, the government begun a trial operation of free electric shuttle buses today. The buses connect the public housing estate of Edificio do Lago in Taipa with the resort district Cotai Strip, and will run between 6:30a.m. and 5p.m."

'via Blog this'

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Shanghai Metro considering free rides, rebates to beat rush

Shanghai Daily: "The Metro operators are considering offering free rides between 5am and 6am every day, and half-price tickets between 6am and 7am like in Melbourne, said Ji Baohong, a local legislator.

"It is estimated that some 3,000 passengers can avail of the free and discounted tickets before 7am everyday, which is nearly the capacity of three fully loaded trains," Ji said."

Friday, June 21, 2013

China joins mad dash for oil in dangerous arctic

Guest Post: China’s Arctic Strategy | Zero Hedge: "These moves come on top of recently announced deals with Rosneft and Gazprom to explore Arctic fields for oil and gas. At the recent Sino-Russian summit, China concluded a contract with Rosneft to triple the size of current oil deliveries to China to 900,000 BPD, putting it on a par with Saudi deliveries to China, according to a recent report in the Financial Times print edition."

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Xiamen introduces free public transportation plan for the disabled

Xiamen: "The municipal government has recently announced that the disabled will be able to enjoy free public transportation in the city, which means that people with disabilities in Xiamen can travel for free on buses and the BRT in the future.

In the past, disabled people could enjoy favorable treatment while taking public transport in Xiamen, but they still needed to pay a reduced fee. In the near future, people with disabilities will be able to use public transportation throughout the city at no cost.

'via Blog this'

Thursday, May 16, 2013

A tramway moves eight times as many people as a road lane

Tramways a pollution-free option | South China Morning Post: " a city that rightly prides itself on putting priority on public transport, and where only 10 per cent of trips are done by private car, it should not be impossible to allocate space to tram lanes that can each carry eight times as many people as a road lane.

In fact, befitting the vision of a "smokeless" Kai Tak, promoting usage of emission-free modern tramways rather than polluting private cars, would be a perfectly sensible policy decision. "

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Public transit must come first to get to a walkable city - Hong Kong Transport Secretary

Speech by STH at Walkable City, Living Streets - Conference on Pedestrian Network Planning, Safety and Streets as Public Spaces in Hong Kong: "if a densely populated city like Hong Kong is to function well as a walkable city, we must first of all provide an efficient mass transit system so as to free up road space. The entire city should be well served by easily accessible public transport with good intermodal connectivity, and pedestrians should be able to move around in a safe and comfortable environment. At the same time, the needs of the elderly and disabled must be well taken care of.

...For too long, like other big cities, Hong Kong has been working hard to cope with motorised transport by building more roads and highways, yet the number of cars keeps on increasing and traffic congestion and roadside emission worsens.

It is indeed time for us to pause, to rethink the future of our city design and transport planning, and to put pedestrians back on our policy map.

When I was a young boy, I lived in Wan Chai, and I went to school by walking. I walked to the City Hall library every Saturday, and I walked to Causeway Bay and Happy Valley for leisure and shopping."

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Big Oil, Burma and the Genocide Against the Rohingya

The Cutting Edge: "The last two years has seen first the US, then the UK and the EU, lift decades of economic sanctions with a view to "open a new chapter" in relations with Burma.
Nestled strategically between India and China, Burma is rich in fossil fuels and other mineral resources, including oil, gas, gold, timber and jade."

Monday, April 22, 2013

Cause of death? Competition

A proven way to cut road deaths | South China Morning Post: "Last year, according to a report tabled in the Legislative Council, taxis clocked more than 1,700 speeding offences per 1,000 vehicles, a worrying 37 per cent increase over 2011. Even such a high incidence of offending could understate the problem, given the competition for fares. That is a worry, since speed is one of the main killers on the roads.
...An industry spokesman urged the government to curb illicit fare discounting that encourages drivers to speed to earn more money...."

'via Blog this'

Monday, April 15, 2013

Chengdu is interested in cooperation with free public transport in Tallinn

Tallinn: "China's Sichuan provincial capital of Chengdu, Liu Shoucheng deputy mayor in charge of Transport confirmed on 26 At a meeting in March, Mayor Jim loop Chengdu interest free public transport in Tallinn and deepen contacts Chengdu to participate in the activities of the public transport network."

Monday, April 1, 2013

Cars choking Mongolia

Mongolia’s car-free day urges cycling instead - NZweek: "ULAN BATOR, March 31 — The Mongolian capital held a “Car-Free Day” Sunday, calling on people to travel by bike in a bid to cut the city’s severe winter air pollution.

Traffic congestion and environmental problems caused by vehicle emissions have become a thorny problem for the government. Sunday’s campaign, co-sponsored by Ulan Bator city hall and the Bicycle Federation, included bicycle touring, cycling performances, parade square running, children’s painting, health consultation and other activities."

'via Blog this'

Saturday, March 30, 2013

China to build walkable city

China’s Tianfu Ecological City will celebrate pedestrians | Toronto Star: "In Tianfu Ecological City, feet will rule — along with the people who use them.
“It should be easier to be a pedestrian than a motorist,” says Kindel. “That’s the reverse of the thinking in Toronto or Chicago. The needs of the pedestrian have been neglected over the past 30 years in North America.”"

'via Blog this'

Thursday, March 21, 2013

China: Do-it-yourself #freetransit

Car sharers call for support - CHINA - BEIJING - "Shunfengche non-profit foundation, an NGO providing free rides to those in need, announced Tuesday at an event at the China Millennium Monument that they have designed a sticker for drivers who participate in the scheme to affix to their cars, to differentiate them from illegal taxis. Liu Kunming, director of Shunfengche, said they have asked municipal traffic authorities to recognize their drivers are providing a public service, and allow them to use the bus lanes, be excluded from license plate restrictions and can have toll-free highway access.

Previously, the organization has mostly helped offer rides to people who need to go home during Chinese holidays, although some have already been offering rides in the capital.

"We are a free voluntary organization. All our drivers are from different social backgrounds," he said.

'via Blog this'

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Want to solve #climatechange? #freetransit, not electric cars is the answer.

Norway shows the way with electric cars, but at what cost? | Reuters: "In fact, in places like China, the requirements for electric cars just add to environmental problems.

Many Chinese power plants use coal with few filters, spewing out particulate matter - chemicals, acids and metals - that causes more pollution per km for electric cars than gasoline-powered cars, said Chris Cherry, an electric vehicle analyst at the University of Tennessee.

"In China, electric vehicles may worsen health effects compared to normal cars," said Cherry, who was lead author of a study published in February in the journal Environmental Science and Technology."

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Urbanization lowers birthrate, a terrifying prospect for captitalism

China Hits Key Demographic Ceiling As Working-Age Population Now Declining | Zero Hedge: "The impact will be more pronounced between 2015 and 2020, as the labor force is expected to see outright contraction. This wrenching demographic trend will also have a particularly negative implication for China’s capital stock growth, which accounted for 40-50% of the double-digit growth in the 1990s and 2000s"

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Oil demand in 2012 expected up 1% mainly due to China - IEA. Let's not.

International Energy Agency - Oil Market Report: "The world is forecast to consume 90.8 mb/d of oil in 2013, 240 kb/d more than in last month’s report and 930 kb/d (1.0%) up on 2012. A raised 4Q12 demand estimate and heightened expectations for China are the main contributors to the hike."

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

China pollution anger spills into state media (Update)

China pollution anger spills into state media (Update): "The choice between development and environmental protection should be made by genuinely democratic methods," the Global Times said. "Environmental problems shouldn't be mixed together with political problems."
Ironically, the smog from coal-burning actually mitigates global warming, at the same time climate disruption aggravates the coal smog. Either way, degrowth is the answer.