The Archives: Background and Introduction

The goal of this supplementary website is to offer a comprehensive, easy to use archive offering ready access to the close to seventy editions of the Journal of World Transport Policy & Practice that have published under the leadership of Founding Editor John Whitelegg since 1995. We also offer here easy one click connections to a certain number of supporting projects and media, which you can see on the left hand column here.

The archives are intended to serve anyone who may have missed these articles the first time around, and in particular younger researchers, academics, activists and people working with transportation/environment/cities groups and agencies in cities and countries on all continents.  At the same time this site and its several social media extensions provides an opporunity for comment and discussion.  The Archives, like the Journal itself, are freely available and provided and supported by volunteers who believe in the power of Open Systems and collaborative problem-solving.

The Journal of World Transport Policy & Practice first hit the street with Vol. 1, No. 1 in 1995, offering a first collection of articles vigorously contesting mainstream thinking in the sector.  It included “The well travelled yoghurt pot” by Stefanie Böge, “The end of the urban freeway” by Peter Newman, “Urban transport policy paradoxes in Australia” by Paul Mees, “How Amsterdam plans to reduce car traffic” by Leo Lemmers, “New roads generate new traffic” by Rudolf H.H. Pfleiderer and Martin Dieterich, “Violence and the car” by Helmut Holzapfel, and “Living without a car” by Michael Glotz-Richter. (To see how they stand the test of time, happily all you have to do is click here.)

That first edition, now eighteen long years ago, opened with an editorial by our founding editor John Whitelegg in which he set the stage for the future by reminding us that:

Many of the issues raised within the transport debate do not fit into the narrow and stultifying disciplinary compartments that characterize science and Society in the developed world. This journal is topic and issue-based and will encourage as many contributions as possible from as many perspectives as possible.

Many of the issues raised will be controversial and this journal will publicize material from all sides of the debate. There is a solution to our global environment and local environmental problems, and there is such a thing as a sustainable city sustainable region and a sustainable community.

Solutions are more likely to emerge from vigorous debate, dissent and replies than they are from set pieces on transport economics, transport geography, transport engineering or traffic science.

That was true back in 1995 and is still right in the mainstream of Journal policy today. It is indeed what we are all about.”

It is now 2012 and looking back this has been an exciting, encouraging and often very challenging association. Over this time the Journal and its advocates have gradually moved from being very much a voice in the wilderness and now are stepping right into the critical mainstream of policy, practice and thinking in the sector. Which is exactly where we belong today.

It is my hope that these archives will serve to open up and reinforce the messages and the values  that have been set out by more than one hundred leading thinkers and authorities within these virtual covers now and in the years ahead.

Eric Britton,
Founding partner and member of the Editorial Advisory Board.


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