on bike sharing

Noted on the Bike-Share blog, (provided by MetroBike, LLC, based in Washington, US, providing information on the emerging public transportation mode of bike-sharing) the impressive statistics on how the Velib bike share programme in Paris is transorming the city, see below.

But the disappointing find on the Bike Share blog was the lack of schemes in the UK compared to the rest of Europe. (is this because there are no schemes or because they are not on the google map, or have a web presence – which is how Bike Share picks them up?)

We have a few (ok too many) bikes here which we would willingly share for anyone wanting to cycle around the Forest of Bowland !!

From Bike-Share:

The latest Velib’ survey results are available and posted on the Velib’ Website. Just in case you don’t parlez Français, here’s a summary:

  • Trips to date: 20 million
  • Average trips/day: 70,000
  • Average trip time: 18 minutes
  • 190,000 annual pass holders
  • 42% of users are female, 58% are male
  • 1/3 of users come from outside the central city
  • 17% of users are 46+ years old
  • 94% of users like the service

These results are highly impressive. The stats that amazed me the most are the number of trips to date and the percentage of female users. As Velib’ is not yet one year old, there are still about two months of trips still to be made which could equate to another 5 million trips, or a total of 25 million trips, before the anniversary of it’s launch date of July 15.

Having nearly the same percentage of female and male customers shows how mainstream bike-sharing has become in Paris. In cities where lesser bike cultures exist, such as those in North America, males tend to dominate bike usage by 3 to 1. Women are less likely to ride a bike when concerned about their safety compared to men. Men also tend to be generally more risk-taking and will ride in less safe street conditions. While not 50/50, this male/female customer demographic shows that women are using Velib’ confidently, so Paris has done a good job in creating safe bike facilities before the launch of the program.


image credit: Velib’

an eco car for your eco home?

Dont you just love this.? The eco car to go with your eco home, if your allowed one that is.

Futurist, and Shaping Tomorrow colleague, CindyFW over in Kansas brought this to my attention through a recent twitter.

I muse: what if in 10 years or so this is the common persons car, the one we all drive, powered by human, solar and hybrid fuels, then does it really make sense to conceive, plan and create new developments, eco towns and villages that restrict even prevent car access or ownership.

Can we / do we want to restrict the use of such shiny eco friendly cars used on a community sharing basis?

I guess the question is are eco towns attempting reduce / restricting cars on an environmental, pollution, carbon issue, or on a traffic congestion issue, or both, or on an approach that hasn’t been quite thought through using possible future scenarios as yet?

isite radar and roundup monday 23rd june

Last week was a busy one so not too much posting here, but below are a few of the items that caught my eye

Bristol is to become the first cycle city with 11 others – York, Stoke, Blackpool, Cambridge, Chester, Colchester, Leighton Buzzard, Southend, Shrewsbury, Southport and Woking – named as demonstration areas for the scheme. They will be added to the current six demonstration areas – Aylesbury, Brighton, Darlington, Derby, Exeter and Lancaster.

Last Saturday I led a benchmarkwalks walk in the English Lake District for a group of Facilities Management people. Great discussions over usability, eco towns, fm sustainability, fm in Cape Town shanty towns and the future of fm.  An emerging topic from the conference earlier in the week, and continued on the walk – the need for Aggressive Facilities Management

On blogs, Mel’s excellent article over at Elemental on Global air conditioning while Phil at ZeroChampion has an interesting post on Should we carbonize interest rates? and Pam over at Public Works talks from the trenches on investing in infrastruture in the face of credit crunch.

The Guardians articles that ‘revealed‘ the UK Governments blue print plans for a tougher approach to climate change. Many of which involved housing or buildings. Now why was this not included within the UK Government Strategy for Sustainable Construction. Joined up thinking, just in time thinking?

On a similar line a German town forces homes to fix solar tiles

Eco towns seem to be never out of the news with google alerts working overtime – has the opposition changed, from ‘we cant build zero carbon’, to ‘nimbyism’ to what now seems to be the ‘tescopolising’ of eco-towns. Next weeks headline? Eco towns ate my cat.  But today the Guardian reports on the forthcoming report that criticizes eco town proposals:

The choice of sites put on a shortlist to be England’s first ecotowns has been strongly criticised for their lack of adequate public transport links and other shortcomings by a government advisory panel.

George Monbiot on coalWe must leave the fossil century behind to reach the golden age of renewable energy, Mr Brown – making the important comment that its not what we do but what we stop doing

And finally, for now, much blogging and twittering of the planned be2camp event in London in October. here here and here

is it time for aggressive fm (aFM)

Over the last week or so I have attended a number of FM related events and discussions, read any number of FM articles, blog posts and papers.

Each time, within the built environment sustainability agenda, FM is seen as an underdog, attempting to justify its presence and role, with a “what about FM” whimper. Too content to be a responsive, monitor and report sector, frightened to stand up and take a lead?

In respect of sustainability, has FM reached a fork in the road, are the options dead ends without changing our patterns of thought?

Too many built environment initiatives (eg Eco Towns), reworked frameworks (eg BREEAM and LEED) and tools, strategies, ( eg UK Sustainable Construction Strategy), milestones and targets for zero are being introduced without being driven from an FM, facilities in use, end user usability perspective. This makes them in themselves weak and ‘unsustainable’.

FM isn’t just about buildings though, it is of course more about people, end users and communities. Yet as peoples lives are shaped by the buildings that they create, FM MUST be involved, even lead, in the built environment debates on a sustainable future

For a while now I have been putting the built environment sustainability agenda in the context of a facilities management one. Two things happened recently though that convinced me that we need to be stronger, stand forward and ‘go for it’ .

First a discussion with Karen Ford of Creative FM who founded Footprintfriends, a personal attempt to do something to engage with the next generation, rather than just talk about it, hold a seminar, maybe a workshop or two and then like all good intents, fade away. Well done Karen.

Secondly it was more than reassuring to partake in discussions on sustainable fm as part of the Euofm confernce in Manchester where the expression of Aggressive FM (aFM) was born. My interpretation of which is:

Aggressive FM is not stuck in the monitor and report paradigm …

Aggressive FM is about making FM count …

Aggressive FM is not adversarial but is engaging …

Aggressive FM is about taking FM to the center stage of the built environment …

Along side Aggressive FM is FM2.0 – the facilities management use of Web2 technology, again as footprintprints has embraced, creating a social, learning and sharing network for change. FM2.0 is Facilities Management using Web2 to engage on a person and relatiosnhip level within FM communities, users, customers, desicion makers, people, next generations … for real change.

As is often used these days in sustainability events is the Quote from Ghandi – be the change you want to be in the world. So in FM do we want to be a passive group of monitors and reporters or an aggressive FM on the center stage of sustainability? There will be much much more about Aggressive FM very soon, watch this space. Are you ready to Go For It ?

built environment events … coming soon

News of up and coming events which in some way isite / fairsnape are involved or participating in. Information and contact links are included below but please feel free to leave comments or contact here for more information, or indeed for help on accessing the online events

(V indicates the event has virtual or online access elements, saving your travel and environmental footprint.)

Saturday 28th June. V

Open and Orientation day on the Public Works Island in Second Life. Your chance to pop into second life and see what all the fuss is about, get a guided tour around interesting construction activities, view environmental and education projects, talk to second life users and see how second life can help with your collaboration projects and meetings.

Details: Open Day register through the Public Works Group Web site,

July 1/2 V

Sustainability Now, Building‘s online conference organised by ZeroChampion blogger Phil Clark, is to take place from 8am to 8pm on the 1 and 2 July. From your home or office computer, visit this unique FREE online event and have the opportunity to Network with like-minded professionals; Hear from industry thought leaders; Visit the exhibition, and take part in Q&A sessions.

A series of live online seminar topics are planned  including “EPCs – Surviving Them Now and Assessing their Impact” and “The Cost of the Code for Sustainable Homes”.

Details: Sustainability Now virtual conference

July 10th

Best Practice Procurement and Support. A Lancashire Best Practice drop-in event hosted by UCLAN, (University of Central Lancashire)  in Preston. Find out the ‘best practice’ issues your customers are looking for in procurement and seek assistance from the ‘best practice’ support organisations. There will also be a series of mini presentations throughout the day and a chance to network and chat.

Details: Latest event news here

July 16th

Route to Zero improvement module as part of the Elevate Constructing the Future programme.  An early evening event to learn about starting out on a route towards low or zero carbon future for your organisation

Details: Route to Zero . Register through Constructing the Future here

October (date to be fixed but between 10-17) V

be2camp. A planned event to discuss and explore the use of web 2.0 technologies and applications for built environment activities.  The event is being organised on non-conference and bar-camp ideas, which means you can get involved in designing the event, speaking at the event, or providing support and sponsorship. This event is already attracting much interest in the UK, the USA and Australia.

Detailsbe2camp wiki, blogs

October 29th / 30th V

Elevate’s Constructing The Future national sustainability conference.  Details to follow but get the date into your diary now.

Note that it is planned to host a Best Practice Club Question Time Event on the evening of October 29th

Details: background competition contact for more info

Watch this space for more events and updates

Web 2.0 meets Built Environment – possible event

Some Web 2.0 enthusiasts, including myself, have started talking, Tweeting, wikifying and now blogging about a possible UK event where built environment people interested in Web 2.0 (and, equally, Web 2.0 people interested in the built environment) might get together and share ideas about synergies between the two worlds.

Provisionally named BE2camp, the event would be run on unconference, BarCamp principles (similar to PodCampIreland), possibly in mid-October, but as the BE2camp wiki-site currently says: “At the moment this is just a seed, an idea that has bounced around….”

It needs people’s involvement to make if fly (can a seed fly? – bit of a mixed metaphor there!). If you are interested in getting involved, whether as a speaker, attendee, a sponsor, a host (we need a venue – London would be good, but don’t let that put you off suggesting an alternative), or an online participant, please register your interest on the site. In addition  this would be a great event to find out just what is Web2.0, blogging, wiki, twitter and second life all about – and how it can help you and your organisation.

Thanks to Paul over at EvolutionExtranet for writing this item – feel free to syndicate to your blogs 🙂

eco tour in second life

In advance of the Public Works orientation day take a look at the video, Eco Tour on Second Life. produced earlier this year by UC/Berkeley graduate student Stephanie Gerson (Sequioa Hax in Second Life) and Charles Lawrence (Geuis Teses in Second Life),  part of a larger project with the Environmental Protection Agency to explore how computer and video game technologies can be applied to environmental issues.

The tour will take you to places like:

  • Eolus One, where a virtual world energy management system is reducing energy consumption in real-world buildings; This should be of interest to all facilities managements people and those in the built environment.
  • Etopia Eco-village which showcases sustainable architecture and sustainable living;
  • the Avatar Action Center that seeks to educate Second Life residents about sustainability issues and empower them to take action in their real lives; and
  • Second Chance Trees where residents plant virtual trees that trigger the planting of endangered tree species worldwide.