Monday, 17 September 2012

Is this really what a Future City looks like

I have just read that Coventry considers itself a "Future Sustainable City of tomorrow". Is this some kind of "EPCOV" vision of gleaming monorails gliding above the precint, low and zero energy buildings and waste reduction strategies?

Oh no, Coventry City Council can go much better than that with their "world-class", "award winning" meaningless twaddle:
The initiative encompasses integrated solutions, resource efficiency and security programmes, new and robust community engagement technologies, smart systems and state of the art transport.
I'm not sure how this translates into English, but when I tried to access the page, my browser warned me that this page "could not be trusted"! Too right! None of the above jargon means anything at all - it could be applied to just about any project that needed a power supply and a means of getting around.

Of course, the reality is that, when it comes to genuinely innovative transport, Coventry should be awarded a report comment of no more than "could do better", and an overall grade of something like C- (on a good day). 

It is true that Coventry has a comprehensive bus network, like any other European city of its size, a few bus lanes, and a city centre environment which is excellent for pedestrians, once you have negotiated your way past the concrete collar. However, when it comes to cycling, the city still lacks a single kilometre of route which is up to Dutch standards, and the only saving grace is that we are still a little bit "better than Birmingham". 

If Coventry wants to be serious about being a green city, at least in transport terms, it is time to start behaving much more like the Dutch city of Groningen, where 60% of commuter journeys are made by bike (compared with barely 3% in Coventry).

If the meaningless words above aren't enough, below is the even more meaningless "Future City" diagram. Time to consign both to the recycle bin, and come up with a plan that actually has some decent (organically farmed) "meaty" content!


 

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