Falkirk Wheel, Panoramic view.

Falkirk Wheel, Panoramic view.
Image by Cameron Lyall, GNU license Wikimedia

17 June 2011

Decentralized Cooperative Logistics

The fire alarm going off is starting to get old. Really old.

Ninewells Hospital is an impressive place. In many respects it reminds me of a ship--it is almost its own little city with its own problems and logistics needs and balancing attempts. They have made an overt effort to bring the city folks into the hospital space, not just as a clinical space for treatment, but as a community space. One way this works well--and demonstrates the ability of smaller organizations to cooperate effectively for there logistics needs--is the inclusion of a fairly large bus terminal.

As I have seen in the US, parking is a huge issue around hospitals and other high-traffic destinations. It is the same at Ninewells. To counter the issue, and to open their services to a wider range of the community, they worked with the local government official--Kenny [I don't know his last name]--to broker deals and arrangements with the three local bus services.

Arranging traffic patterns and designing bus routes may not be a really sexy job, and it might not be the most precise science, but it is important. A brief list of the benefits of well thought out bus systems:

-A reduction in fuel consumption
-A reduction in vehicle emissions
-A reduction of vehicles on the roads

Yes, that is the same old tune of Al Gore and others, but that does not make it less important or wrong. Using less to achieve more saves money. Saving money is normally viewed as a good thing, regardless if it is good for the environment or not. And that stands out to me. In the highly-industrialized Dundee of the past, doing more with less was still the goal, but there were fewer considerations for long term effects. Now the goal is the same, but the focus now includes a broader understanding of long term effects.

Smaller organizations are effectively working together to change major aspects of the mass-transit system in Dundee. Transportation is an industry, and an industry that is growing. But at least here, it is growing in a cooperative relationship with non-trasnportation industries. One group is not dominating the system, but many groups are able to work together as needed to develop more comprehensive and community centered solutions.

1 comment:

Ross said...

I like the point you make about smaller organizations working together. That seems to be then were we as communicators would fill in the gaps between groups with different technical backgrounds and the like.