Posts Tagged ‘public transport’

Jaime Lerner…Environmental Star

March 1, 2009


For the past 2 weeks we have been working on a sustainability brief. Whilst doing some experience prototyping with Isabel (CIID lecturer) she pointed us in the direction to read about Jaime Lerner, and i feel i have to write a brief post on him, as i feel absolutly inspired by the work he has done.

Jaime Lerner  was born December 17, 1937, he was a renowned architect and urban planner who was elected mayor and then later governor of the state of Paraná, in southern Brazil.

During this time he made radical urban planning changes that turned the city of Curitiba into one of the greenest cities in the world, which people from all around the world now look to, to learn lessons from. Some of his successes included approving 150km of bike paths and a bus system that soon became so popular that commuters left their cars at home. The buses now account for 55% of the city’s transport demand. People still own cars, but they use 30% less petrol than other brazilian cities.

Other programs he set up included gardens and parks that were looked after by street children and teenagers and recycling centers where handicapped people worked sorting bottle and cans. Personally my favourite intiative that he set up was one to teach children how to do recylcing within their home, so they could then pass this knowledge onto their parents. I love this idea as it is what my group in our last project were trying to acheive……teaching children to teach their parents. So seeing this success story fills me with hope!

“We decided to teach kids in all schools for six months [to separate garbage], and then children taught their parents. So then we started a campaign [to encourage recycling], and Curitiba has been the city with the highest indicator or garbage separation in the world for 20 years now: 70% of the population separates garbage.” Lerner

Obviously not every initiative worked perfectly, but the majority of lerner’s initiatives were a huge success inspiring so many people especially those living in Curitiba,  so much so that 98% of them say they are happy with their city.

TED talk on Jaime Lerner

Wind Powered Subways

February 21, 2009


For the last week we have been working on a service design project to increase environmental awareness with regards to transport and mobility. Whilst scouting around to see what other people have been up to, i came across this post on GOOD/magazine.

New York City’s Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, recently announced a massive plan to dramatically increase the city’s level of sustainability by 2030. Here is an idea that might help the Big Apple reach its goal. It’s free for the taking.

The idea:

Each year, the New York subway system uses 1.8-billion kilowatt-hours of electricity, making it the city’s single largest consumer of electricity. What if the subway’s MetroCard machines offered the option of paying a small premium to purchase the rider’s share of electricity from non-polluting wind power instead of traditional hydroelectric, nuclear, and fossil fuel sources?

How it might work:

For its residential customers, ConEdison—the city’s only electricity company—charges an additional 2.5 cents per kilowatt-hour to use wind energy. The average subway ride uses 1.2 kilowatt-hours of power (based on 1.5 billion 2006 rides), which means the wind power surcharge would amount to 3 extra cents a ride—a 1.5 percent increase from the normal $2 charge.

What it means:

With a 1.5 percent surcharge, a seven-day unlimited pass would

cost $24.36 (up from $24), and a 30-day unlimited pass would cost $77.14 (up from $76). Say the surcharge was 5 percent—those prices would only increase to $25.20 and $79.80. A 5-percent per ride surcharge with a slim 10-percent participant rate could inject as much as $15 million into the wind-power market annually”

To me this sounds like an absolutly amazing idea, the increase in the cost of the tickets is tiny, but i guess the biggest challenge is convincing people of NYC and inspiring them that this is a good idea, and good decision to make! All which are issues we have been facing this week when doing research for our project!