New Mobility Consult: 2013

One way of looking at World Streets and its world wide network of diverse international partners, publications, programs, multiple networks, complex systems networkfocus groups. continuing research and professional activity in our chosen field is to see it as the visible tip of a very large iceberg of experience and competence which can be put to work on your projects and programs.  The greater part of this considerable mass is the New Mobility Agenda, an open collaborative program that has been in constant progression since 1988.  By making use of our consultancy and advisory services through New Mobility Consult, you are, I might add, also helping us to fund and carry on with the non-profit work of the journal. Here are some of the ways in which this competence can be put to work for your city, agency or firm.

Contents

  1. Consultancy and Advisory Services
  2. 2013 Work Program
  3. City Dialogues
  4. EuroCities Leader Tours
  5. Conference Organization
  6. Joint consulting projects
  7. Test Drive your project
  8. Training Programs/Workshops
  9. Presentations/Participation
  10. Master Classes
  11. Media
  12. Europe and Open Governance
  13. Representation/Missions
  14. Mediation/Negotiation
  15. Program Leader
  16. International references
  17. Contact us to discuss

CONSULTANCY/ADVISORY  SERVICES.

Our strategic consultancy/advisory capabilities are intended to be most useful at key strategic intervals to brainstorm,  cross-check, review, support and eventually, if circumstances warrant, even to help you sell your new project or plan. These projects can be carried out either on a confidential in-house basis, or as an open public review.

Experience shows that our services are most useful: (a) as your project is being formed up in the initial questioning, scoping and planning stages, (b)  at strategic intervals for mid-term reviews and suggested fine-tuning; (c) on-line consultation and discussion as the project moves ahead, and (d) project launch.  Then it can be helpful in some cases if there are occasional (but not too often) periodic reviews and commentaries.  However the point is that our services are useful in relatively  small strategic doses and cannot substitute for the hard work, technical capabilities and staff work that will be critical to make sure your project succeeds.

What we bring to such working partnerships is probably above all two things: (a) a proven capacity and real taste for international cross-disciplinary team work, along with (b) great breadth of experience in the field, both in terms of our having worked with vastly different kinds of cities, and of projects and approaches, technological and other.  Probably the best way we can sum this up for a first time visitor who does not know our work is by pointing you to the following  “mind map” which we use to summarise both the complexity and the promise of new initiatives in this field.  We understand that people with operating responsibilities simply do not have the time to follow what is going on at the leading edge in all these related fields and areas of activity. But that is what we bring to our working  partnerships, along with a very strong drive for success.

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* Click to view full size map

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2013 Work Program

The New Mobility Agenda, the long term collaborative program behind World Streets, is not only an open public dialogue on better (and worse)  ways of improving transport and quality of life in our cities around the word, it is also an “agenda”. That is, a continuously updated and ordered program of objectives to be met and work that needs to be done in our sector.  And this agenda has been underway and expanding consistently since 1988.

Our draft program for the challenges to which we intend to give especial attention in World Streets and the related fora in the year ahead, is now available here - http://wp.me/psKUY-2yu.  You may find it useful to have a look if you are considering working with us on some of your own challenges, to see not only what but also how we are addressing a certain number of issues which we think to be of priority importance important for our cities.

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City Dialogues

The New Mobility City Dialogues program organizes carefully prepared “public conversations” in a host city bringing together a broad group of people,  organizations and interests, each in their way interested in exploring an extended range of about ideas that can change the face of the city’s mobility arrangements. The goal is to bring together and give voice to the full range of organizations, institutions, groups and responsible individual citizens who give importance to better and fairer transport in their city.  (Click Outreach for success: Local Actors & Implementation Partners for a general listing of the full range of organizations and interests whom we try to bring into the active dialogues. - http://wp.me/psKUY-1zd.)

A good recent example was the dialogue  which we organized in the Spring of 2012 with the City of Helsinki  on the topic of Equity-Based Transportation systems, — http://worldstreets.wordpress.com/category/equityfinland/ —  under the sponsorship of the Department of City Planning and Transportation. The goal of the project was explained as follows: “This collaborative project takes the form of an ‘open public conversation’ looking into the pros and cons, the possibilities, barriers and perhaps eventual impossibilities, of creating an Equity-Based Transportation system at the level of our city and its surrounding region.”

Over that two week process three major public meetings and several dozen workshops and brainstorming sessions brought together more than two hundred people, who contributed their ideas, energy and perspectives to the success of the collaborative projects. The steps of this process can be seen here at Equity/Transport 2012: Road map for Helsinkihttp://wp.me/ssKUY-8553. To fully appreciate the accomplishments of this collaborative effort, have a look at the final Helsinki report: Examining the prospects for Equity-Based Transportation: A Public Enquiry lead by the City of Helsinki available at http://ecoplan.org/library/Helsinki-EBT-Dialogue-report.pdf .

These projects key on the active support of the city leaders and sponsors. They require at the very least a full week of careful preparations and exchanges, most of which at least one full month before the actual initiation of the Dialogue. And then at least a full week of time for reflection and lesson learning, to culminate in a broad statement of what has been learned and what has been recommended for attention by the various groups actually involved. Again the general organizational information that appears in the Helsinki report provides a good first lead to this process.

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Eurocity Leader Tours.

Europe has over the last two decades emerged as — though you may wish to argue it — the world leader in transportation innovation in and around cities. And while a great deal can be learned from books and conferences, learning by meeting, seeing and testing by yourself is one of the best solutions to benchmark and get new ideas for your city.

We have for some years now organised and led visiting foreign delegations of political leaders and transportation and city professionals on a small number of study tours and missions in Europe each year, looking into some of the leading cities,  projects and innovations in our field, including in the golden triangle of Paris, Lyon and Strasburg — but also other cities in other parts of Europe that are leading the way through their innovations — and the processes behind those innovations.

As possible we like to invite the visiting delegations to take some time in their host city to present  something about their work, preoccupations and hopes for the future. We find that three-way exchanges (the visiting delegation, their city hosts, and we as informed intermediaries) are far richer than passive visits and the usual one-way intellectual traffic. These direct contacts open up the possibility to develop long term partnership with different stakeholders, including exchange programs for young professionals.

To cement this experience, we try also to arrange for at least one day of side trips to help the visitors better grasp the culture, food, architecture and quality of life that is the backdrop to the transportation system and the investments that it requires.

On the last morning, we try to organise a two-hour (or so) debriefing session, in which discuss and as possible verify some of the more important matters and clues that the mission has run into, to be sure that the main points are fully understood, given the eventual language and cultural differences.

After each visit we prepare a short wrap-up report with recommendations and clarifications that are intended to deepen and extend the learning experience.

As a matter of long-held principle we ask that each delegation be strongly represented by female participants, on the grounds that our sector needs more active leadership and participation by women both as political leaders and professionals who help shape the transportation agenda.

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CONFERENCE ORGANIZATION

This is something we do often and, if you will, well. You can bring us in to help you organise significant conferences or events on the broad theme of sustainable transport, but with tightly focused high profile themes, bringing in some of the most recognized innovators and authorities in the field to make presentations and eventually lead parallel panels or workshops.

The objective of a conference or similar event is, after all, not only to inform, but also to engage. And as part of this process, we also find it important to have presentations of different, even conflicting, ideas and approaches. If everyone agrees too easily on complex, often divisive topics and decisions such as those we face, it is a sign that there is something wrong and that we need to put more brainpower on the subjects. The path to sustainable development is no nice warm picnic. It is a contest of ideas.

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JOINT PROJECTS

We have a long experience with joint projects/program support — working  in close collaboration with some of the leading consultancy groups, NGOs, university programs, researchers, and local associations with high competence in these areas.

Again, in these cases our inputs are strategic and complementary to the central technical core of the project or program, which are the competence of our partners.

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Test Drive your NEW project

There comes a moment in a new project cycle where an experienced external critical eye may be useful. Often within an organization projects unfold and take life in a climate of solidarity, with the members of your team being committed to the success of your central idea. Naturally enough, we being human, such a situation can set up a climate of agreement, or at worse even a form of cognitive dissonance in which most of those directly involved feel so strongly committed to the success of the venture that they are not prepared to argue the eventual downsides and weak points. But there comes a time in a project or new initiative’s life in which a certain level of discomfort may be called for.  And that is perhaps where we may come in — to take a careful external view of your project in as many of the parts where we have competence, and then tell you frankly what we think.

Again, this is not always a comfortable experience, but it can be a lot cheaper, faster and less destructive  than going to market with a flawed plan and learning the hard way.

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TRAINING PROGRAMS/WORKSHOPS

We work with clients to organize in-house training programs and workshops in our areas of recognized competence, lasting several days or up to 2 weeks.  Careful initial discussions and a detailed work plan that we arrive at together are critical to the success of these projects.

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PRESENTATIONS/PARTICIPATION

Public presentations or keynote speeches introducing our work or perceptions of the realities of the on-going sustainable cities process  in support of your conferences or events. As to topics, a perusal of the Category Search engine on the top right will give you a good feel for the areas that are receiving our attention. Likewise a look at the 2013 Work Program should be useful.

We do not deliver pre-cooked presentations, since the goal each time is to find the right mesh between the orientation of the event and the audience, and our ability to draw on the best sources and arguments to ensure a lively and engaging presentation and discussion.  For such assignments, it is our practice to provide the sponsor within a week of the presentation a short report on our findings, observations and eventual conclusions and recommendations.

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MASTER CLASSES

We organise Master Classes for young professionals, future leaders and university students in the various areas in which we work. These last from two days to two weeks. Get in touch and we can talk about it.

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  MEDIA RELATIONS
Sometimes it can help to have a respected external voice to explain and comment projects, programs and strategies to and with the print and electronic media. Our project leaders are well equipped to talk to the media about your problem or project.

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FILMs/VIDEOs

Sad to admit, but the sustainability movement in all its variants, has not been a strong competitor when it comes to capting the attention and eventually the support of a wide public. It is our view that we are not putting the full talent of creative filmmakers and videographers on the challenges, with all too few exceptions. We can do better than that and we here in the Agenda re interested to collaborate with more ambitious and imaginative media projects.

If you spend some time in World Streets or our related Facebook sites you will doubtless notice that we give considerable attention not only to verbal communication but also to photographs and other graphics which can help to underscore, broaden and cement the reader’s feel for the issues under discussion.

We also have a track record of successful collaboration with filmmakers and videographers to bring in our experience and feel for how people get around in cities under a very broad range of constraints and circumstances. These partnerships have worked well and  if you have a project of your own in process we will be pleased to tell you more about them.

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Representation/Missions

As someone who may be knowledgeable in some cases at least about matters which are of interest to you, it may be that from time to time we can provide “an extra pair of hands” to help get your message out (always assuming of course that it is in broad line with our ethical commitments to the field) or to report back to you on some event or interview.

Examples might be to attend a conference or to carry out field work in support of your project or program. Such projects will of course have to be meticulously prepared, and a key element will be the debriefing procedure after the event.

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Europe: Sustainable transport & OPEN GOVERNANCE

Over the year ahead we intend to step forward  to get involved to support any creative Open Society initiative to do with Europe which will help us all to better understand the role that citizens, governments and the potential of the various institutions of the European Union have to offer in this respect. Overall the level of understanding and performance of the European Union programs in our domain in these last decades has been disappointing . Europe is above all a vastly rich common cultural space,   this culture, this huge potential is being subjugated by present arrangements to a narrow, closed, deal-making 20th century view of the issues and the potential. And everyone loses in the process.

There is so much potential in Europe, while at the same time the narrow, parceled, almost blind bureaucratic millstone of the European institutions has failed with all too few exceptions to exploit.  Too many of the programs and investments that have been made via European institutions in our sector have been, in transport, environment and social terms, reactionary and counterproductive. Hence if we can make a contribution with any institutions or groups that have as their objective to break this mediocre bureaucratic throttling of creative citizen initiatives and move us toward a different, more lively, more innovative and even, when necessary for the common good,  more disobedient Europe, this will be a major contribution. We hope to be involved.

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MEDIATION AND NEGOTIATION.

Moving from traditional to sustainable practices in the transport sector can often be a divisive experience for a community.  There are times when a trusted independent outside voice and more complete dialogue can help lower the temperature to reach a better level of social consensus, harmony and finally, better performing systems.

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International ReferEnces

We have served and continue to work with a wide range of international organizations, NGOs, government, public agencies, cities, operators, industrial suppliers, financial institutions, universities, schools, developers, conference organizers, consultants, media groups, civil society.  In cities of all sizes and on all continents. Specific references in each case available upon request.

International Organizations:
European Commission, OECD, United Nations, ILO, UNIDO, UNEP, East African Community

National Government/Agencies:
Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Cost Rica, Dubai, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, India, Italy, Kenya, Libya, Malawi, Mexico, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tanzania, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Vietnam

Cities:
Adelaide, Ahmanson Ranch, Beijing, Beirut, Bilbao, Bogotá, Bridgeport, Buenos Aires, Faro, Guadalajara, Helsinki, Jiaozuo, Kaohsiung, Lisbon, Madrid, Monaco, Paris, Perth, Rome, Saigon, Sao Paulo, Taipei, Tallinn, Toronto, Westport,  Zürich.

Private sector clients:

These can be very rewarding associations, not only because these clients are prepared to pay properly  and promptly for professional services, but also because it is our experience that they have very focused ideas of what they want to accomplish, which is not always the case with our public sector clients who are, having no fierce accounting  bottom line to direct their thoughts and acts, as opposed to our public sector clients who often are  more experimental and  not so tightly focused.  In truth it is good to be able to work in both thee environments.

Among the prestigious firms with whom we have worked in the past, we are proud to be able to include: Bandag, Bridgestone, British Leyland, DAF, Fiat, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, IBM, MAN, Michelin, Peugeot, Renault, RVI, Scania, Shell, Toyota, Volvo.

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Program Leader: Eric Britton

Trained as a development economist, Francis Eric Knight Britton is founding editor of World Streets and managing director of EcoPlan International, an independent eb-smart-7advisory network providing strategic counsel for government and business on policy and decision issues involving complex systems, social-technical change and sustainable development. His work focuses on the subject of equity, economy and efficiency in city transport, and helping governments to ask the right questions and find practical solutions to urban transport issues.

Eric leads and/or organizes projects in the areas briefly introduced below, which most of the time require interdisciplinary skills and in-depth collaboration with the client, to have access to the necessary full range of technical and strategic competences needed to get the job done. As required, leadership will be assumed by colleagues who may have a better mix of competences for the job at hand, at which point Britton becomes a team member.  Over 2012 and 2013 he is “test-driving” key elements of his new book, The Third Transportation Revolution: A Tale of Cities, Indolence, Complexity and. . . Simplicity, via a series of conferences and workshops with public agencies, suppliers and critical audiences in cities around the world.

- – – >More on Britton  at http://wp.me/PsKUY-2p7

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tO discuss your projects/requirements

CONSULTING / ADVISORY / CITY DIALOGUES / OUTREACH / CONFERENCES / PRESENTATIONS / TRAINING / MASTER CLASSES / FIELD TRIPS / CITY TOURS / MEDIA / REPRESENTATION / MEDIATION / NEGOTIATION

If you have a problem or a project that you think we may be able to help you with, give a call or better yet set up a Skype conference so that we can quickly review to see if there is a good fit and the competence to do the job that is needed.  The goal at this point will be to come up with a concise draft work statement, schedule and budget to see if there is a base for continuing the discussions.

To get in touch:

Email: eric.britton@ecoplan.org. Skype: newmobility
9, rue Gabillot   69003 Lyon France  |  T. +339 8326 9459|
9440 Readcrest Dr. Los Angeles, CA  90210  |   Tel. +1 213  985 3501

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