This issue of World Transport Policy and Practice is a significant milestone in the life of the journal. It marks 20 years of publication and for anyone with a serious interest in understanding the importance of transport, the links between transport, mobility and accessibility and the links with sustainability, health and quality of life, there is more than enough material here to work on.
At the outset we chose to emphasise the word “policy” and that remains a strong focus. 20 years of publication have examined policy in detail, more often the lack of intelligent policy, but always with a keen eye on “this is what we have to do if we want to improve things”. There is now no excuse for anyone anywhere in the world to sit at his or her desk on a Monday morning and wonder how to sort things out. The answers lie in our freely available archives.
This is a special issue of WTPP to celebrate the life and work of our friend, colleague and inspiration, Paul Mees. Paul died at the far too early age of 52 in June 2013. He was a fierce and highly articulate advocate of the public interest. His contributions ranged over traditional academic activities including teaching, researching and publishing but went much wider and embraced campaigning, media activity and an ability to engage with senior public figures in a way that could not be ignored and in a way that exposed the utter wrong-headedness of much Australian and State of Victoria transport policy and spending. He is greatly missed.
This special issue once again reiterates our commitment to sustainable transport, which embraces the urgent need to cut global emissions, reduce the amount of new infrastructure of all kinds, and to highlight the importance of future generations, the poor, those who live in degraded environments and those deprived of human rights by planning systems that put a higher importance on financial objectives for the few, than on the environment and social justice for all..
The following represents a preliminary listing of key links and sources which in our view will constitute useful reference materials and background for our readers on the matters that concern us here. This listing will be extended and refined on a regular basis. The titles in each case are directly linked to the indicated titles.
Please let us know if there are other sources that you think should be added here. (Eventually we may loop them on into a combined search engine. But first let’s develop our source list.)
The goal of this collaborative project is to prepare and publish in easily readable form the content of all of the editions of the Journal of World Transport Policy and Practice that have appeared since its founding in 1995, and which until now have been available only in hard-to-reach print or more recently PDF form.
The thesis behind this exercise is that all too often valuable information and insights that appear in book or journal from tend over time to disappear from the scene, as much as anything because they are bound between the covers of the publication. Now in many instances this may be a blessing, but there are others in which it can be a real loss. And in this particular case it is my personal position that in the case of the quality of insights contained within the seventy volumes that have been published over the last eighteen years, many of the articles are worth a second or more read. Hence this Archives project.
We have been hard at it supporting and contributing to the Journal of World Transport Policy and Practice under the leadership of John Whitelegg since 1995. We are now in the 19th year of publication with seventy editions already in circulation, offering close to three hundred original articles by contributors from every continent on the planet. An extremely valuable and unique resource.
But a book or journal is not only a valuable source of information, but to an extent it also works as a kind of prison. This may not be immediately self-evident. But if you look closely you will see that once something gets published and a few years pass, the individual articles tend, no matter how brilliant and insightful, all too often to get lost in the rush of time. And particularly of course if we are talking about a collection. And that is what this project is all about. (And if you think “Free Willy” you actually do have a point.)
The WTPP 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 opportunity for comment and discussion.