- oD 50.50
- Shine A Light
This week's editor
Phoebe Braithwaite is openDemocracy’s submissions editor.
No to TTIP
How to travel lightly is the concern of many of our contributors.
Antony Woodwards aerial adventures are a source of discomfort, tiredness, and risk but the freedom, spiritual release and learning they offer are incomparable.
The author wonders the skies in pursuit of the goal of maximising journeys per mile, not miles per hour
From the skateboard, you feel differently about the city and come closer to who you really are.
Fast, healthy, exciting, convenient, stylish and the bike is pretty good as well. openDemocracys globalisation editor on the only way to go.
The sheer ugliness and anonymity of motorways seem only to reinforce their destructive environmental impact. Yet even motorways have their poets and celebrants. But what are they doing to our soul?
In a vigorous response to Martin Pawley, the Amsterdam-based editor of the Carfree Cities project argues that people can thrive in a dense urban fabric but only if the tyranny of the motor car is lifted.
The love affair between the city and cars is an illusion of the age. In fact, they are at war: an elephant and an army of ants. Cars rescue people from cities, offering a way of escape from urban concentration to the freedom of low-density living.
Brainstorming about how Britain can best develop its railways has been a national sport in the country for longer than football, and those outside the industry can be as partisan as football fans. But how does it look from the inside track? The director of the industry-wide Railway Forum responds to Stephen Plowdens article in openDemocracy.
The survival of an extensive railway network in the Czech lands was ensured under communism by the states preference for public over private transport. But can local lines survive the financial disciplines and free voices of a new economy? A former deputy minister of transport, torn between nostalgia and realism, argues that the railways future should be decided by respecting the ways that people want to travel.
The years of investment starvation on Britains railways are ending. But will the simplistic billion-pound cure for a network in decline prove as damaging as the disease? A leading transport specialist argues that regulating and pricing the roads, rather than subsidising the railways, is the best way to move towards an improved transport system.
European rail travel (unlike British) is getting faster. This veteran Euro-commuter isnt sure that he approves.
What is the origin of the seemingly permanent crisis of Britains railways? A key source of understanding is the experience of the signalmen and station staff who made the system work in the days of state control. The story of the Great Western Railway contains the best and worst of the tale.
The railways are in seemingly inexorable decline in the country that invented them. As the debate on Ecology & Place moves from walking to rail travel, the co-editors see an intrinsic connection between revivifying rail travel and repairing society. But can either withstand the relentless spread of the motor vehicle?
In a country obsessed with property and passion, the mere act of walking has often been seen as a political challenge. Yet English history is full of characters who have pushed against the boundaries to reclaim the empire underneath their feet.
Before the Great War, the authors grandfather mapped the route from the Welsh mountains to industrial Salford. More than thirty years later, his own escape from the mean streets of post-war Manchester to the Pennine hills begins the process of walking into that past experience and its still relevant truths.
Restless movement was to be an instrument of freedom and social advance. In an email to email@example.com, a critic of hypermobility argues the opposite: travelling more and further, we know and understand less.
A mother who takes her small children around their north London streets to walk, shop, play, smell, imagine and interact describes their endlessly various explorations. In an environment dominated by cars and speed, does this represent a different way not just of moving, but of being?
Transport, before it is policy or statistics, is the experience of movement; and the ways we move imply different patterns of living and being. The Ecology & Place co-editor opens our transport debate by reaffirming this truth, and looking freshly at the most elemental form of movement: walking.
The debate on planning, just concluded, has underlined the importance of aesthetic considerations; the forthcoming debate on transport will similarly broaden the topic by viewing it in the light of culture, history, and peoples everyday experience.
The British government has dismayed private investors by seizing control of the company set up in 1996 to own Britains railway tracks and property. Can the proposed hybrid model of a non-profit making private company open up a genuine third way beyond state control and the market?