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Car Free Day and Regional Practicum for mayors and their representatives

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  • Eric Britton
    Paris, Thursday, April 11, 2002   Dear Friends,   This is to let you know that the web site in support of the Fremantle Car Free Day and the Asia/Pacific
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 11, 2002
      Paris, Thursday, April 11, 2002
      Dear Friends,
      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 wouldn’t 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
      can’t 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,
      Eric Britton 
      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__
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