Archive for the ‘Society’ category

A Waiting Game

November 28th, 2010

The organisation 20s Plenty For Us says…

“Already nearly 5m residents live in towns which are adopting or have adopted this policy. Most importantly, through democratic debate those communities have decided that “20’s Plenty Where People Live”. And it is those same communities who have then changed their behaviour to drive slower in residential streets and where people walk and cycle.”

So how long do we have to wait before people are put first on the streets of Witney?

» Read more: A Waiting Game

The Road to Hell

November 27th, 2010

I’ve heard Danny Dorling talk twice now on how choosing to limit the difference between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’ is beneficial to the quality of life for all. Great graphics bringing to life the facts and figures of his subject, Human Geography, and the juxtaposition of what are seemingly unconnected statistics make for entertaining presentations. If only I’d known how interesting geogger’s could be.

Now he’s applying it to road safety, and this lecture he gave in Westminster to the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety gives a compelling reason for introducing 20mph and for reordering the priority of people and vehicles.

» Read more: The Road to Hell

Prosperity, Growth and Us

October 11th, 2010

“A car club for Witney?”

September 23rd, 2010

Cars are greener if they're car-club carsThis was the provocative title of the recent talk from Cliff Jordan of Oxcar, a car club founded in East Oxford in 2008. You might think the answer would be an easy “yes”, as there’s clearly a lot of people who like their cars in Witney, but he wasn’t talking about a car appreciation club, but something entirely different. So what are car clubs; how do they work in practice; and could Witney have its own car club?

» Read more: “A car club for Witney?”


September 20th, 2010

10:10:10 A GLOBAL DAY OF DOING from 10:10 on Vimeo.

The Sustainable Bookshelf

September 8th, 2010

Meetings on transport tend to be dominated by male engineers and planners, with a focus on figures, discussing the minutiae of inscribed circle diameters and junction capacities. Monday morning in the University Club on Mansfield Road felt very different. Could sociology departments across the country be about to rescue Britain from the hash we’re making of a seemingly inevitable cycling revolution? Let’s hope so.

The 7th Cycling and Society Symposium was far more balanced from a gender perspective, in fact three papers were presented on that particular topic, and a day looking at the cycle’s place in society and the built environment made for a refreshing change.

» Read more: The Sustainable Bookshelf

Well Oiled

July 16th, 2010

Finally some good news from the Gulf of Mexico – BP have managed to stem the flow of oil for the first time. It’s not clear if it’s a permanent solution yet, but if it is then a line can drawn on the balance sheet and the total cost calculated.

The Greenpeace alternative logo competition is open for voting. Sustainable Witney didn’t submit an entry in the competition, but should we have?

Has the situation in the gulf got anything to do with us?

Answers in the comment box below…

A Sustainable Society

May 5th, 2010

It turns out that Human Geography isn’t about locating ones navel with a cartesian coordinate system at all. It’s about mapping society, filling in the contours between the Haves and Have-Nots, and identifying the emerging trends.

Professor Danny Dorling has made a career of investigating the human landscape and, speaking last night in The Hollybush, he gave some stark examples of trends which are patently unsustainable; if the life expectancy of women in Kensington and Chelsea continues at it’s present rate they’ll be the first immortal beings on the planet since Mount Olympus was the centre of civilised Europe.

His book ‘Injustice – Why Social Inequality Persists’ puts into societal context the proliferation of groups such as Sustainable Witney. We’re familiar with the environmental arguments, we’re hearing more about the economics, this is the human angle – a must read for any government wishing to resolve “deep social problems”.

Currently available at Policy Press for £13.99