Reading and UK Petition – Monthly Car-Free Work-Day #TimeToAct2015 #MyCarFreeDaysRdg

Reading Borough Council
Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport Committee
Local Transport Plan (LTP3)
Civic Offices
Reading
RG1 7AE

Subject: Reading climate change air-pollution strategy and monthly Car-Free Work-Day

Reading and UK Petition – Monthly Car-Free Work-Day #TimeToAct2015 #MyCarFreeDaysRdg

Reading should get on board a monthly car-free work-day!

As part of a car free day every motorised vehicle should be forbidden in the whole of the Regional area; with the exception of public transport, emergency services, buses and minibuses, taxis and public vehicles of authority (office, transfer of funds, collection of garbage). Certain people can for exceptional reasons benefit from passes delivered by the municipality.

A car free day is the opportunity to make motorists more aware of the environmental impact of pollution and allow better use of public space.

Background

Air Quality
Air quality is important for our health, quality of life and the environment. Air pollution is harmful to human health, plants and animals, and also corrodes materials and buildings.

Transport
An effective transport system is fundamental to building sustainable and thriving local communities. The challenge is to minimise transport’s contribution to green-house gas emissions, through reducing the need to travel, encouraging the use of more sustainable modes of transport and alternative energy sources, and reducing congestion

  • Develop a transport infrastructure which supports more low carbon travel options for people in Reading
    By developing a friendly pedestrian/cycling infrastructure such as bridges, premier cycle routes. By supporting electrical charging stations for electric vehicles and introducing more cycle hire
  • Encourage non-car travel for all sectors of the population, through targeted advice, incentives and enforcement
    By promoting and helping to develop personalised travel planning,  introducing incentive schemes like a monthly car-free work-day and increasing enforcement on parking and bus lanes
  • Reduce energy use and ‘embodied energy’ in transport infrastructure
    By better control of lighting and use of low energy lighting. Reducing unnecessary lighting of street furniture
  • Manage transport infrastructure and services to prepare for climate change
    By developing infrastructure appropriately given the changing climate, reallocating space for public transport and cycling and introducing smarter ways to manage congestion and speed, e.g. with social media and best practice road layouts and divest from fossil fuels
  • Reduce the air pollution from vehicles
    By supporting relevant technology and car-pooling schemes, expanding park and ride system and supporting charging sites for electric vehicles in our sharing economy

Overall we fully agree with the “Outline Development Framework- Reading Air Quality”, however we believe a Reading monthly car-free work-day is a perfect opportunity to build upon London’s success with their clean air initiative, and create Reading’s own sustainable pathway route for its citizens. We would like to put forward this idea to Reading Borough Council of using the site Reading’s Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) during the period of 2015-2020 as a functional space to let local community groups use street space as a sustainability hub to promote Reading to becoming a greener place to live and work in. The “monthly car-free work-day” will promote various green project solutions and can also be a testing facility for monitoring and analysing local community for the council.

We hope a car-free work-day will lead to a change in behaviour, enabling the community to work towards becoming a zero-emissions society.

A regular car-free work-day in Reading could fuel an International monthly Car-Free Day which could be an astonishing example of traffic development and public realm. Reading has great potential to embrace the sustainable pathway and become a British role-model in climate change (the air is our all urban common) to honour a successful climate change agreement taking place in Paris December 2015.

On behalf of the Climate Change Centre Reading (CCCRdg), as Reading’s leader in the green movement against climate change, we would like to ask you for your consideration of our proposed project to help drive Reading’s bid for a monthly “Car-Free Work-Day”.

This is an event that has been held in cities around the world, with areas being closed off to cars thus encouraging people to use more sustainable forms of transport, such as walking, cycling or public transport. The event challenges people to:

  • Spend one day without the use of a car
  • Observe the difference this makes to their locality
  • Reflect on how car use can be reduced permanently

This will help us to achieve our aims of reducing air pollution, developing sustainability and increasing Reading’s green credentials through:

  • Encouraging people to find alternatives to car use
  • Reducing emissions / pollution
  • Raising awareness

A Car-Free Work-Day has the potential to improve the quality of life in Reading through a reduction in traffic, and therefore noise and pollution, and also make people more aware of how their own actions impact on the environment. It will also increase Reading’s chances of enrolling for the European Green Capital Award in the future.

We want to strive for community usage of the streets in order to preserve its heritage qualities but also as a sustainable landmark for the future.

Balanced and mixed use of our public space between integrated interest groups; people, bikes, public transport and cars is a kind of damage control, keeping the new agenda safe and sustainable. Especially regarding the cars’ use of the public realm, which is still 80% of street space (if you design mixed use streets you design a healthy city). This high percentage for car use needs to drop dramatically to cope with future challenges. For instance if urban neighborhoods could interact and agree (Empowered interconnection) to regular car free days on, life in our citizen communities would improve considerably.

Our main aim is to bring together businesses, the local community, the Government and those who want to learn about Climate Change, in order to create collaborative momentum to reduce CO2, find new solutions to commuting, increase remote working and develop sustainability in the Thames Valley Berkshire, and beyond.

We hope after the first year trial the Reading Borough Council, who have already evaluated future usage of streets as a historic move and i.e. permanent decision for the Thames Valley Berkshire area, will take action and actually do something that will lead us and a small part of the UK in to new pathway for a shift away from fossil fuels promoting the Reading area as one front leaders in traffic development of turning into city status for 2020 and forth coming…

This brilliant illustration shows how much public space we’ve surrendered to cars

There are very good reasons to hold community street events in a traffic-free street:

  • Making use of the space that a car-free day provide~ Boris Johnson
  • Streets are open and ‘owned’ by everyone and so very accessible
  • Communities normally suffering from traffic can be opened up
  • Neighbourhood shopping centres can be revitalized by a traffic-free event
  • They provide new sites for local street markets which are very popular

Once the traffic is cleared the space opens new possibilities for community activities, particularly in areas needing regeneration – their image can be improved. Communities of different ethnic origins sometimes use streets in different ways, drawing on their own culture.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your consideration and invite you to consider future meetings with us or events to discuss from a business perspective the challenges set out in new agenda of curbing CO2 emissions and contribute to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC´s proposed reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent by 2050, necessary if the world is to achieve and to stay below the 2degree target.

Climate Change Centre Reading (CCCRdg)
17 Newbury Close
Charvil
Berkshire
United Kingdom

www.CCCRdg.org.uk
Contact No: 07447 934700

 

NOTES
Note: Clean Air in London builds public understanding of poor air quality but does not provide advice

CAL 186 About_environmental SCIENTIST April 2013_Air Quality

CAL 186 EA letter to Sutton re SWLI 091112_redacted and reduced file size

CAL 186 10 steps_Smog hospitalisations

CAL 208 Presentation to Public Health Presents 271112_Benefits slide only

http://www.theguardian.com/cities/2014/jan/31/air-activists-social-media-pollution-city

– See more at: http://cleanair.london/solutions/10-steps-for-clean-air-in-london/#sthash.wS9LAHB5.dpuf

 

Will Reading be the European Green Capital 2017?

Rdg CAN!

– Have a well-established record of achieving high environmental objectives.

– Commit to ambitious goals for future environmental improvement and sustainable development.

– Inspire other cities through new ideas, best practices and experiences.

LOGO CE_Vertical_EN_quadri

Will your city be the European Green Capital 2017? The Commission has launched its search for the 2017 European Green Capital. The European Green Capital Award recognises cities that are at the forefront of environmentally-friendly urban living. The..

Read more here: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/europeangreencapital/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Will-your-city-2017_Web-Copy-F01.pdf

First ever global assessment of best practices in green growth reveals pathways for success – Regions 20

First ever global assessment of best practices in green growth reveals pathways for success

Category: News

Published on Tuesday, 11 March 2014

R20 is pleased to announce the release of the summary of key findings from the Green Growth Best Practice (GGBP) book, ahead of its full release in June 2014. This summary report was unveiled at the 1st Global Conference on Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE) in Dubai earlier this month.

The Green Growth Best Practice book is the result of an initiative led by the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), and was written by 75 authors in the field of green growth from a variety of organizations, including R20.

Lead authors Christophe Nuttall (R20’s Executive Director) and Tadashi Matsumoto (OECD Senior Policy Analyst), wrote the chapter on National and Subnational Integration that explores approaches to advancing green growth through coordinated national and subnational programs and across government. Several co-authors contributed to this chapter, including Denise Welch (R20’s Director of Research & Technical Initiatives).

By analyzing around 60 specific government programs from different countries and regions around the world, the GGBP makes recommendations for effective green growth approaches, based on the experience of early movers, and provides practical guidance for national and subnational policy planning.

Green growth strategies play vital roles in unlocking synergies between economic growth, environmental protection and poverty reduction, and enabling a transition to an inclusive green economy.

The Synthesis of Key Findings elaborates on nine key actions that enable effective green growth policy:

·      Use well-designed planning and coordination processes;

·      Establish clear visions, targets, and baselines;

·      Undertake robust analysis and balanced communication of the benefits of green growth;

·      Prioritize options and develop credible pathways towards targets;

·      Design policies to address multiple goals and respond to specific market failures;

·      Design public finance instruments to overcome barriers and mobilize private investment;

·      Tap the power of public-private collaboration;

·      Pursue mutually reinforcing action across all levels of government;

·      Build and maintain strong monitoring and evaluation systems.

The report and supporting case studies will also be available in the form of an online “living handbook,” which will feature an interactive interface.

Read the Synthesis of Key Findings here.

via First ever global assessment of best practices in green growth reveals pathways for success – Regions 20.

Will Reading be the European Green Capital 2016?

Rdg CAN!:

– Have a well-established record of achieving high environmental objectives.

– Commit to ambitious goals for future environmental improvement and sustainable development.

– Inspire other cities through new ideas, best practices and experiences.

LOGO CE_Vertical_EN_quadri

Will your city be the European Green Capital 2016? The Commission has launched its search for the 2016 European Green Capital. The European Green Capital Award recognises cities that are at the forefront of environmentally-friendly urban living. The..

Read more here: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-13-585_en.htm?goback=%2Egna_4704185%2Egde_4704185_member_252057251#%21

Reading 2050: Revealing Reading’s Potential

Following our inaugural Reading 2050 networking event for young property professionals, this report examines Reading’s standing in the UK, areas where the town could be improved and ideas for development going forward.

Barton Willmore have compiled thoughts and ideas from the June networking event alongside some interesting statistics on Reading in the Reading 2050 Introductory Report.

READING2050 REVEALING READING´S POTENTIAL
READING2050
REVEALING READING´S POTENTIAL

You can download the report here: http://www.bartonwillmore.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/GA-Reading-research-doc-version-3D-low-res.pdf

 

George Osborne unveils ‘most generous tax breaks in world’ for fracking

We must have centralised energy policies at ALL COSTS!

@ClimateRDG This is an open request to Reading Climate Change Partnership #Climateready

SUPPORT CCCRdg now! – https://tvb-climatechallenge.org.uk/partners/

Anti Fracking – UK anti-fracking animation June 2013. “There’s No Tomorrow”

Links:
George Osborne unveils ‘most generous tax breaks in world’ for fracking
http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2013/jul/19/george-osborne-tax-break-fracking-shale-environment?

Fracking Water Warning As Tax Break Announced
http://news.sky.com/story/1117721/fracking-water-warning-as-tax-break-announced

UK Fracking WARNING idiots – Risk of small earthquakes triggered by larger temblors across the globe
http://www.climatecentral.org/news/distant-quakes-trigger-temblors-in-the-oil-patch-study-16238

Former Mobil VP Warns of Fracking and Climate Change
http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/17605-former-mobil-vp-warns-of-fracking-and-climate-change

This Is What Fracking Really Looks Like
http://www.slate.com/blogs/behold/2013/07/19/nina_berman_fractured_the_shale_play_looks_at_lives_affected_by_fracking.html?utm_source=tw&utm_medium=sm&utm_campaign=button_toolbar

Gangplank to a Warm Future
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/29/opinion/gangplank-to-a-warm-future.html?_r=1&

,,and the list goes on and on..

Team CCCRdg

In 1897, a Bicycle Superhighway Was the Future of California Transit

By Brian Merchant

1897

Image: Wikimedia Commons

In 1897, a wealthy American businessman named Horace Dobbins began construction on a private, for-profit bicycle superhighway that would stretch from Pasadena to downtown Los Angeles. It may seem like a preposterous notion now—everyone knows Angelenos don’t get out of their cars—but at the time, amidst the height of a pre-automobile worldwide cycling boom, the idea attracted the attention of some hugely powerful players. And it almost got built…

via In 1897, a Bicycle Superhighway Was the Future of California Transit | Motherboard.

Tele2arena – Bike racks for 1000 bikes!

There are bright spots in life, new modern (safe) bike racks are regularly being installed in places like underground- train, bus stations.

But newly constructed venues seem to be an exception. It is not cyclist friendly; there is not a bike rack in sight. In a recent press release came from the large Småland furniture manufacturer (IKEA) regarding a trading post built at the southern city of Stockholm in the old slaughterhouse area. Quote from IKEA’s press release. “Its central location also makes the market place becomes easy to reach by public transport ? and in the next breath will notify you that the planned number of parking places is 4000 ?.

The message is: Going by public transport is great, but we are creating up to 4,000 car parking spaces, and have not considered cyclists and their needs.

But there is hope. This is a message in the subway close to IKEA, a new sports arena taking place:

Tele2-Cykelparkering2 = TELE2

The Tele2 arena have made 1000 bike parking places available from start. Hopefully this is the modern way of planning / thinking, and thus less room for “the bewildered cyclist ?” looking desperately for a space to park his bike – nice.

Src: U&We http://uandwe.se/den-forvirrade-cyklisten/

Coal’s unpaid health bill – Health and Environment Alliance

How is coal pollution making us sick?

A new report launched on 7 March 2013 by the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) aims to provide an overview of the scientific evidence of how air pollution impacts health and how emissions from coal power plants are implicated in this. It presents the first-ever economic assessment of the health costs associated with air pollution from coal power plants in Europe as well as testimonies from leading health advocates, medical experts and policy makers on why they are concerned about coal.

The-unpaid-health-bill

The report develops recommendations for policy-makers and the health community on how to address the unpaid health bill and ensure that it is taken into account in future energy decisions.

Download the report here (45 pages):
http://www.env-health.org/IMG/pdf/heal_report_the_unpaid_health_bill_how_coal_power_plants_make_us_sick_final.pdf

The Exhibition at the Crystal

FUTURE CLIMATE CHANGE NEWS