The New Mobility Agenda - Focus programs and peer discussions
If you follow the discussions here, it may be useful for you to know a bit more about how the New Mobility Agenda websites and focus discussion groups are organized. The following note intends to do that job.
We have talked about email overload in the past, and just below you will see our suggestions on how to avoid that unpleasant state of affairs.
The New Mobility Agenda – Focus programs and peer discussions
The New Mobility Agenda has a twenty year track record as a fully independent, open, and diversified world wide collaborative peer program concerned with showing how progress can be made, step by careful step, toward more sustainable communities and lives by creating more human and more efficient transportation arrangements.
The Agenda has been organized into a cluster of related but specific focus groups -- each with its own targeted concerns, working style and membership base. For each program (indicated here in large font), there is a corresponding discussion forum and shared library which can be reached directly in all cases via the top menu (where it may be marked as Forum, Café, or Idea Factory). The discussions are lightly but firmly moderated to ensure that they keep on track, produce more light than heat, and generally provide good value for the busy participants. See the final section of this note for a few use hints.
Welcoming Note: Before actually participating actively in any of the groups, we invite you most energetically to read our Welcoming Note here. Also: There are pretty good internal Search tools in most of the following. These help to turn what are otherwise just ephemeral one-time messages into useful and in many cases quite substantial databases. Give it a try using your selected keywords.
Email overload?: Some busy readers may wish to sign into the Daily Digests, particularly for the New Mobility Idea Factory and the Lots Less Cars Café, both of which can get quite busy from time to time and generate what may to some prove an uncomfortable flow of email and references. No problem. Click to the forum in question, go to “Edit Membership” on their top menu, click and put yourself down for the Daily Digest, preferably in their quite nice “Fully Featured” version.
The New Mobility Agenda (The Politics of Transportation.) – at http://www.newmobility.org
The New Mobility Idea Factory, opened its virtual doors in 1988 as the Access Café, offering a free, public, flexible discussion space for our international peers, concerned citizens and groups who feel that our transport systems need to be, and can be made to be, more sustainable and more just -- and who wish to freely exchange ideas and information about it. Unlike most generally similar fora the focus is above all on the Politics of Transportation. The orientation of the exchanges is strategic, informed and generally sober if often quite contentious.
Kyoto World Cities 20/20 Challenge: -- http://www.kyotocities.org
The Kyoto Cities Forum Since 2004 a reserved area for announcements and discussions in support of Kyoto World Cities Program, Organized around a single question: "What can you do in your city to reduce traffic and its negative impacts dramatically (say on the order of 20%) in a very short period (we propose 20 months), and within your existing transportation budget."
Lots Less Cars in Cities Idea Factory – http://www.lotslesscars.org
Lots Less Cars Forum "What we are looking at here is not quite zero cars (in most places) but, let us say, many fewer cars in our cities, a more tranquil environment, and a lot more safe and happy people." Free flow exchanges & shared information on how to address and achieve "less car" solutions to the challenges of transport in cities. Lots on non-motorized transport and traffic reduction measures. And lots of disagreement. Quite activist, rather informal and laid-back.
New Mobility Advisory/Briefs – at http://newmobilitybriefs.org
The New Mobility Idea Factory serves as the forum for the Briefs. Informs and advises local government and concerned agencies about measures and policy options which can get visible results within a time horizon of two to three years. Supported by Accelerated Learning Sessions which tackle key topics in intense three day workshops, the first being organized in Monaco for European subscribers and other s interested from 29-31 March 2007: The Monaco New Mobility Policy Dialogues: Accelerated Learning for City Managers, Planners and Decision-makers
World Transport Policy & Practice – http://www.wtransport.org
The World Transport Forum goes back more than a decade, and at present serves more than five hundred transportation experts, activists and policy makers world wide. The main business of the forum is to provide support and interactive discussion space for the Journal of World Transport Policy and Practice. For exchanges of a more general nature on the transport-environment theme try the New Mobility Agenda and its Idea Factory.
Global South Mobility – http://www.globalsouthmobility.org
Global South - Sustran Network : Global South Mobility provides a Collaborative relay station for world-wide information and discussions. The forum is run by Sustran - the Sustainable Transport Action Network for Asia & the Pacific -- an email discussion list devoted to people-centred, equitable and sustainable transport with a focus on developing countries (the 'Global South'). Sustran: a major discussion forum on urban transport in developing countries." Discussions are well focused, expert-based and of very high quality.
The Gender, Equity and Transport Forum - http://www.gatnet.net/
GATNET - Gender and Transport - This is the discussion group of a community of practice that began with a program on mainstreaming Gender into the World Bank's Transport Sector. It is open to all those who are interested in issues relating to improving mobility and access for poor women, children and men in developing countries.
Carshare Café: This free, cooperative, independent, international communications program supports carsharing projects and programs, world wide. Since 1997 it offers a convenient place on the web to gather and share information and independent views on projects and approaches, past, present and planned future, freely and easily available to all comers.
World Car Free Days – http://worldcarfreeday.com
The Lots Less Cars in Cities Forum – also serves for Car Free Day exchanges. This program resulted directly from the early work of the New Mobility Agenda, which led to an international call for days without cars in October 1994 in a new mobility congress in Toledo Spain. This wide open program looks at Car Free Day projects around the world and tries to determine if they are working, not working, useful or in need of a real overhaul. Critical discussion with at least half of the members convinced that all this is a good idea. But only half.
xTransit: New ways of getting there - http://www.xtransit.org/
xTransit Idea Factory for small vehicle transit- Another joker, this one given over to what we believe to be one of the most important single transport modes for the future, small vehicle systems, usually independently owned and operated, and prime targets for technology and supportive rethinking of legislation and relationships with the rest of the system. Getting people in and around cities in road vehicles, smaller than full sized buses, driven by real human beings, dynamically shared with others, and aided by state of the art communications technologies -- and all of that as no less than the only way to offer "car like" mobility in most of our 21st century cities without killing the cities themselves (the good old old mobility way).
The Land Cafe: Putting Value Capture to Work – http://www.landcafe.org
The Land Café: But how are we ever going to pay for all this? Check out our very busy Land Cafe if you are on the lookout for new thinking on this critical topic. An informal, shared, public interest, knowledge-building consortium -- supported by The Commons as an independent Open Society project, specifically to serve and bring together people and groups around the world who are concerned to find practical ways for our societies to come to grips with the troubling but important issues of value capture and land tax reform in an age in which important public services remain substantially under-funded.
The Small-Steps Forum: If children cannot get around safely and with full independence in our communities, then we are in real trouble. If there is a mine canary to the New Mobility Agenda and the challenges behind it, this is it. You have a framework here you can work with and the next step is to extend the net to bring in a couple of hundred concerned citizens like you (our proven critical mass to get anything done in this fora.) Dig in. Get involved. Make the future.
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Videos, audio, media: You will find that many of these programs are supported by a variety other than print media, valuable components of the tool kit needed if we are to move toward more sustainable cities. You will find this information in the respective sites.