Date: 23rd September 2016 (Friday)
Venue: Penang Heritage Trust, 26 Church Street, George Town
Speaker: Dr Dorina Pojani
Megacities have frequently received a disproportionate amount of attention over other sizes of cities in recent discourse on urban sustainability. In this lecture, Dorina will present why a focus on smaller and medium-sized cities is crucial to achieving substantial progress towards more sustainable urban development, not only because they are home to at least a quarter of the world’s population but because they also offer great potential for sustainable transformations. In principle, their size allows for flexibility in terms of urban expansion, adoption of “green” travel modes, and environmental protection. At the same time, smaller and medium-sized cities often have fewer resources to implement new transport measures and can be more vulnerable to fluctuations in the world economy. This lecture will also discuss the potential role and impact of nine commonly considered options for sustainable urban transport in cities in developing countries: (1) road infrastructure; (2) rail-based public transport; (3) road-based public transport; (4) support for non-motorized travel modes; (5) technological solutions; (6) awareness-raising campaigns; (7) pricing mechanisms; (8) vehicle access restrictions; and (9) control of land-uses. Drawing on international research and examples of policies to reduce the environmental impacts of transport in urban areas, some key lessons for sustainable urban transport in smaller and medium-sized cities in developing countries will be shared with all attendants. While certainly not always identical to those for megacities in the global south, these lessons are apt for Penang in light of the recent controversial Southern Reclamation Scheme (SRS)-Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP).
Dr Dorina Pojani lectures in urban planning at the University of Queensland in Australia. Her research interests encompass built environment topics (urban design, urban transport, and housing), as well as international comparative planning. She was a postdoctoral fellow in the Urbanism Department of the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. She has taught urban planning in Albania and Austria. She completed her graduate studies in the USA and Albania, and worked for several years in urban design and transportation planning in California. She has published books and numerous articles on urban planning.