Paris, Thursday, April 11, 2002
This is to let you know that the web site in support of the Fremantle
Car Free Day and the Asia/Pacific Regional Practicum for mayors and city
representatives is now fully on line. And as you will see if you check
into the site in the next seconds ;-) there are something like 27 days,
9 hours and 21 minutes until the doors open on this first United Nations
Car Free Days Programme event in the region.
Up to now, the contact effort has primarily been confined to mayors and
groups in the Australia/New Zealand area, as a first wave effort to
ensure that there was going to be a sound background of support there
and in the process ensure that the Practicum element was going to have
interesting and capable participants. It is now time however to spread
our wings and to see if we can extend the participants list to bring in
mayors and their representative of a number of the towns and cities in
the Asian region.
You may well ask: what is there to be learned by looking at how a small
town on the coast of a prosperous place like Australia in its attempt to
find a way to move toward a more sustainable mobility system, including
by just taking comes of the cars off of some of the streets for a few
hours. Is not an example like the Bogota project that was at the center
of the first UN CFD Practicum in February much more to the point for our
Third World cities, many of which are fast sinking under the weight of
their egregiously unsustainable transport arrangements?
The answer may surprise you. It is our view at any rate that there is
in fact a great deal to be learned by versatile minds from the sort of
bottom up, almost neighborhood approach that our Australian friends are
taking in this case. There may be cities in the Third World that are
going to be able to follow the Bogota example right out of the box and
rip 800, 00 cars off the road for most of a working day. But there risk
to be many more than are going to have to try to find something rather
different, and perhaps a bit softer. For them, there is quite
possibly a lot to be learned in Fremantle.
And wouldnt you believe it, but there is not as yet any money earmarked
to pay for the transport and lodging of our visiting mayors and
representatives from the Third World. But I hope that will not stop you
in your efforts to get this message out and expressions of interest
rolling in. Because I am confident that if we begin to have concrete
expressions of interest from people in Third World cities, we shall be
able to dig up the funding support that is going to be needed to bring
them to Fremantle for the events. Most often in these cases of course,
they start with the money and then the people come. But in this case I
am betting that if we start with the good idea and the right people, we
will be able to find the support to make it work. Quite possibly with
your good support.
If you have any questions on all this, you know where to turn. And if I
cant handle them myself, I will at least be able to channel them on to
someone who should be able to give you satisfaction.
With all good wishes,
PS. We are also keen on inviting mayors and their representatives from
North American cities who are eager to look at what we believe to be a
most relevant example. So if you can share this note with your networks
there, this would be most appreciated. And it is all in a great cause.
Senior International Advisor
United Nations Car Free Days Program at http://www.uncfd.org
The Commons __ technology, economy, society__
Le Frene, 8/10 rue Joseph Bara, 75006 Paris, France
Day phone: +331 4326 1323 Mobile: +336 8096 7879
24 hour Fax/Voicemail hotline: +1 888 677-4866 http://ecoplan.org/