Sydney: Green, Global & Connected

Ken Livingstone & Clover Moore MP

Former Mayor of London Ken Livingstone & Lord Mayor of Sydney Clover Moore MP

The former Mayor of London Ken Livingstone, Lord Mayor of Sydney Clover Moore MP and SMH Editor Peter Fray were among the speakers taking part in a talk last night on Sydney’s transport issues and what we can do now to plan for a city in 2030.

With a state election in 79 weeks, NSW Lord Mayor Clover Moore says we need to take action now and plan for a greener more socially connected Sydney for the year 2030.

With a city in urban decay and a rail network that was choked, Ken Livingstone was brought in by Tony Blair to reform London’s transport network.  ‘Red Ken’ brought in the controversial congestion charge, climate positive zones, low emission zones and introduced trains with 50% more capacity.

Currently only 1% of journeys in the city are by bicycle, it is hoped that the infrastructure reforms will see this number go up to 15% or higher in the next 10 years.  Cycle confidence courses and cycle ways were two initiatives proposed to get more people out of their cars and onto their pedals, “a significant modal shift in public transport” based on the highly successful Vancouver Model.

Ken Livingstone, a self confessed fan of “democratic civic activism” says we now spend more time “commuting in cars than with our families”.  By looking at city densification around transport hubs (building up, rather than spreading out) and other modern approaches to growing city populations we can retain and build on the cultural base that cities provide.

Carbon emission figures facing London when Ken Livingston became Mayor:

  • Home (inadequate loft insulation is a large part of this stat in London) = 40%
  • Business = 40%
  • Cars = 20%

Some of the topics the panel talked about this evening:

  • A new independent public inquiry into Sydney’s transport issues headed by SMH
  • Investing more percentage of the GDP is the way forward in a recession
  • Congestion charges in inner Sydney CBD and using this money (must be public money/not private) to improve infrastructure
  • Reduction of Carbon Emissions can be achieved in Home, Business and Transport sectors with little additional technology – just a change of attitude
  • Locally generated electricity
  • Shared access roads for pedestrians and cycles
  • More light rail
  • A holistic approach to city planning covering sustainability, productivity and livability.
Ted, a regular commuter by bicycle attended the talk

Ted, a regular commuter by bicycle attended the talk at Sydney's National Theatre

More information on the transport inquiry can be found here; http://www.smh.com.au/national/transport

Free cycle confidence courses in Sydney can be found here: http://cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/AboutSydney/ParkingAndTransport/cycling/CyclingCourses.asp

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