“The way Dutch streets and roads are built today is largely the result of deliberate political decisions in the 1970s to turn away from the car centric policies of the prosperous post war era. Changed ideas about mobility, safer and more livable cities and about the environment led to a new type of streets in the Netherlands. ”
The above films concludes: “The Netherlands’ problems were and are not unique, their solutions shouldn’t be that either.” We here in Australia can learn from the Dutch. And replicate some of their successes.
But in Sydney the idea seems to be just build cycle lanes. There needs to be a holistic, systems-thinking approach to encourage cycle use. New laws and policies, change in attitudes, and investment in proper in infrastructure. Driver education (or re-education) is a priority.
While “Japan is the most insular country surveyed, exchanging relatively little scientific talent with the rest of the world.” Britain is at risk of becoming just as insular as it introduces “new restrictions on non-European Union immigrants, including minimum salary requirements of at least £31,000 and tighter student visa rules, are blocking the brightest academics from working at British institutions.”
Unless students are exempted from this target, the ‘best and brightest’ will be put off from applying to the UK. Also, how about an exemption for “nations of the realm” like Australia? If not, what is the point of being part of a Commonwealth of Nations? What is the point of having a link with the British Crown if we Australians do not enjoy certain privileges and immunities in the United Kingdom?
Australians should also be exempt from the UK’s restriction on non-European Union immigration.
In 2011 I said that I had adopted “Mark Your Mark” as sort of theme for that year. It was also the theme chosen by the City of Sydney for the New Year’s Eve fireworks. I had not adopted a theme in 2012.
The City of Sydney welcomed this year with the theme of Embrace. Their media release talks of Embrace as being about “acceptance, tolerance, fun and, above all, love”. But sadly the City chose a non-resident of Sydney to be its NYE Ambassador. And I think the theme of embrace is a lot more.
This year will be about embracing the opportunities, possibilities and the challenges. It will be about taking risks and challenging oneself.
Happy New Year. Lets embrace all the possibilities and opportunities that this year will bring!