This week I’m co-hosting a Smart Transport for New Zealand conference at Parliament with Shane Jones, Labour Party Transport Spokesperson.
It’s going to be a great chance to get various community and advocacy groups, and interested individuals from across New Zealand together to discuss smart transport solutions. Steven Joyce asked me last week what smart transport was. I told him (balanced, resilient and sustainable) but could have quite easily said “much of what you’re doing…but just in reverse.”
Transport is likely to be an interesting election issue with the Government recently announcing they intend to spend $19.3 billion on State Highways for the next ten years, yet over that period the average spend on “Public Transport Infrastructure” within the GPS is only $372 million.
I’m excited that Dr. Paul Mees is able to travel to New Zealand for the conference. He’ll also be speaking in Auckland this Friday evening at Auckland University. He is a senior lecturer in transport planning at RMIT. Previously, he worked at the University of Melbourne and the Australian National University’s Urban Research Program, and before becoming an academic he was a lawyer. Paul is the author of A Very Public Solution: Transport in the Dispersed City, published by Melbourne University Press, and has been a consultant to local, regional and State government transport and planning agencies in Australia and Canada. His new book Transport for Suburbia: Beyond the Automobile Age, published by Earthscan of London, was launched in April 2010 and is now in its second print run.