Transportation Innovation and Reform: Finding the Way to Social Sustainability

As wise and balanced a summary as you will find of the fine art of dialogue and engagement when it comes to the hard job of developing and integrating new transport arrangements into a space as varied and in many ways contradictory and conflicted as a  21st century city, in any part of the world.  Bravo! With kind thanks to Christopher Zegras of MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning, one of the conveners of this event, for sharing this with our readers. (You may also wish to check out the short note of conclusion of the editor.)

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Op-Ed: Universal Access to Bus Rapid Transit: Design, operation, and working with the community

From Tom Rickert, Executive Director,  Access Exchange International. USA
The ability of Bus Rapid Transit systems to serve persons with disabilities in less wealthy countries seemed obvious at first glance. The earliest graphics of BRT trunk lines in Curitiba, Brazil, depicted wheelchair users crossing boarding bridges into articulated buses. Problem solved! Thus, years later, many may be surprised to find cities where wheelchair users are unable to access one or another BRT system. Continue reading

Autolib’ to the starting line

This weekend saw the first public testing of the much bruited Autolib’ carshare project currently getting underway here in Paris. And as you wait for our in-depth coverage, on-the-spot  interviews and film  we thought you might find it handy to refresh your understanding of the basic objectives and challenges, with this reprint of our 10 December 2010 article in which we try to take a balanced view of this ambitious transportation project.  You will be hearing a lot more about Autolib’ in the coming months. If it works, it will be a major transformative project and will make a lot of people start to think in quite different terms about how they are going to get around in the city in the future. (For a quick print update try here and here.  And for a short video, here) Continue reading

Mobility, Democracy and Politics: Interview with Monsieur le Maire

What’s happening on the new mobility scene in France in 2011? Here you have, in French but with good subtitles, an interview by one of the outstanding political innovators in the field of sustainable transport policy and practice in France. Roland Ries is serving his second term as mayor of Strasburg, and at the same time heads up the national transport political group GART. He also, by the way, as a member of the French Senate drafted the law defining carsharing in France, thus opening up a part of the way to more and better carsharing nation-wide. Spend three minutes with this short video to get a feel for what the leading edge in France is thinking and doing about transport in cities. You will quickly see that this is a world-level message. Play it for your mayor and talk to her about it.

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We have no money gentlemen, so we shall have to think.

This is a personal call to those of you who have over the years participated in the rather numerous programs and working groups we have since 1988 carefully crafted and maintained in support of worldwide peer collaboration and exchange in our tough but important field: under the New Mobility Agenda, World Streets or one of its sister publications (see below), or who have of late plugged in to our pages on Facebook or Twitter. I feel pretty quite comfortable in doing this since you know what we are trying to do, and who better for me to turn to at a time of need. (And oh yes, for those who may not recall, that citation above was  by Nobel Prize winner Professor Ernest Rutherford, on taking over the quite broke Cavendish Laboratory in 1919, in the wake of the First World War.) Continue reading

Autolib’ – Paris bets big on new carshare technology

A sustainable transport system is a system of choices – quite the opposite in many ways of the old all-car no-choice model that all too often spends most of its time in taking up scarce space but not moving. With this very much in view, the City of Paris has just stepped up to the plate and is now in the process of bringing into service what they propose will be a new link in the chain of sustainable transport options: a carsharing system not quite like any other. No less than three thousand cars to come on line in shared service in just nine months – and electric cars at that – working out of 1000 to 1200 stations spotted over not only the central city but a number of surrounding communities as well. The biggest and most daring carshare bet of all time. Continue reading

Transport, environment and public policy in hard times

We have no money gentlemen, so we shall have to think.
– Ernest Rutherford, on taking over the Caversham Laboratory in 1919

On 2 December the managing editor of World Streets, Eric Britton, was invited by the organizers of the National Autumn Conference of ACT TravelWise to present the keynote address, following an opening presentation by Norman Baker, MP and Parliamentary Undersecretary of State for Transport of the just-elected UK coalition government. The theme of the conference was “The Right to Travel – Getting more for less” — and Britton was asked to bring in some international perspectives and possibly some less familiar ideas for the largely British audience after the Minister’s presentation. Continue reading

Building knowledge and support: New Mobility Focus Groups

Group problem-solving and collaborative tool development have been among the key objectives of the New Mobility Agenda since its creation in 1988. Our thesis was and is that there are a growing number of able people and clever innovative projects around the world that are leading the way — and that it can be useful if we here at World Streets can help to open up peer dialogues and better link and support them. The tools we have developed and continue to make pretty good use of are, by today’s standards, very simple, but they do work.

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“The Weekly Carnage” (A template for your city)

True democracy is only possible with the daily participation of vigilant and active citizens. Periodic elections and public administrations are of course critical building blocks for a democratic society; but without an active citizenry the full benefits of democracy evade us.  As active citizens we are obliged to act as “a thorn in the side of possibly hesitant administrators, politicians and businessmen in denial; and through our joint efforts, energy and personal choices, placing them and ourselves firmly on the path to a more sustainable and more just society.”

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World Streets is closing down the editorial department . . . . . . for the next week as we reach out for funding support.

As founder and editor of World Streets, I have three jobs. The first is to organize the production side of the journal and to find and work with collaborators around the world to produce challenging thinkpieces and articles which hew to the rigorous strategic lines we have set out to guide all our work (See  Strategy ). The second is to contribute as editorialist and author. And the third — this is the one I really do not like and am demonstrably not very good at– is that of securing the funding needed to keep this boat afloat. So for reasons of force majeur, I have decided to close down the editorial side of this enterprise for the coming week-plus, and concentrate on fund-raising. And here is maybe where you can help.

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New Mobility Partnerships – What’s going on this summer?

Two or three times a year your editor sits down and does his best to compile a readable synopsis of some of the more important things going on in World Streets, then to be communicated in one magical shot to the close to four thousand friends and colleagues around the world who have been involved in some way in these dialogues and projects over the last several decades. Here you have today’s best seasonal effort, to which as always, comments, criticism and suggestions are warmly welcome.

Judged from a planetary or Kyoto perspective, or from an individual or public health perspective, or an economic perspective, or … or … our present arrangements for transport in cities are seriously damaged. As things stand today in city after city around the world, they threaten health in the city and on the planet. They are dangerous. They are costly. They are disruptive. They are thoroughly dysfunctional. And they are howlingly unfair. It does not have to be like that. We can do something about it, and we should. But we need to join forces to get the job done.

New Mobility Partnerships in Brief

Unconstrained by bureaucracy, economic interests or schedules, New Mobility Partnerships was launched in 1988 as a wide open international platform for critical discussion and diverse forms of cross-border collaboration on the challenging, necessarily conflicted topic of “sustainable transportation and social justice”. There are no easy answers – but there are answers . . . if, that is, you are willing to take off the blinkers and get to work.

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World Streets in Brief
Insights and contributions from leading thinkers & practitioners around the world

World Streets is an independent, internet-based collaborative knowledge system specifically aimed at informing policy and practice in the field of sustainable transport, and, as part of that, sustainable cities and sustainable lives. Edited by Eric Britton, founder and Managing Director of the New Mobility Agenda.

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This Month on World Streets
Most of our busy readers do not have the time to check into World Streets on a daily basis. For that reason we offer our subscribers and sponsors, in addition to the daily edition, monthly summaries which bring together in one place all postings in a manner in which the reader can review each in a few lines and make a decision as to whether or not to call up the full article with a single click. Time-efficient communication in an overload world.

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New project: World Streets on Facebook
We are not Facebook experts, but nonetheless, and with reservations, we have concluded that this is a legitimate communications tool that can be put to work to increase the worldwide reach of the sustainable transport agenda. So with the help of our colleague Anzir Boodoo, we have set up a first stage site/interface which you can now access via We invite you to have a look, use as your interest and skill level permit, and, better yet, lend a hand and help us to do better.

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Latest reader map
And here you can see where our last eighty visitors came from. Generally representative of overall pattern, but from day to day with considerable variations. Our goal for 2010: bring in all those great white swaths.

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Frugal Transport
Our sector has been notably profligate in terms of its use of public money, while at the same time also offering a generally poor deal in terms of quality of service per dollar spent by the citizens who use the system. This past profligacy is further compounded by the fact that for reasons of the complicated international economy, many countries are going to have to be far more careful about how they spend hard-earned taxpayer dollars in the years immediately ahead. We are not going to need another round of high cost, low impact investments to make it work. We simply take over 50% (your figure here) of the transport related budgets and use it to address projects and reforms that are going to make those big differences in the next several years. This is where the action is going to be in the years immediately ahead and where Frugal Transport kicks in. (This section just getting underway.)

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Slow Down
As most of our regular readers are well aware, World Streets is no friend of speed in cities. To the contrary, it is our firm position that a considerable number of the basic objectives associated with sustainable mobility and sustainable cities can be achieved if we do no more than to reduce top speeds in and around our cities in a strategic and carefully thought-out way. The great technological virtuosity of traffic engineers and technical planners permit us to do this, while at the same time retaining a well working transportation system, a healthier city, and a viable local economy. This is a major target of World Streets and many of our associates worldwide

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Share/Transport: The Third Way of Getting Around In Cities
Share/transport – the largely uncharted middle ground between the familiar mobility poles of “private transport” (albeit on public roads) and “public transport” (scheduled, fixed-route, large vehicle services) at the two extremes. Comprising a very large gamut of services of which among the best known are shared taxis, carsharing, ride sharing, and small private bus systems, it offers a form of mobility service that works when everything else fails or is simply not there. However it is one that until now has been poorly understood by policymakers and is badly in need of informed perspectives and policies. A first international conference is being planned for Kaohsiung Taiwan from 16 to 19 September 2010, with full information available in early June.

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Women as the Metric for Sustainable Lives: Leadership Role
World Streets, and the New Mobility Agenda directly behind it, have long held the position that our sector suffers badly from the lack of female perspective and female leadership. Rectifying this should be one of the major targets of policymakers and citizens at all levels of society and in all countries. We have pursued this recommendation vigorously since the founding of this program in 1988, and firmly believe that a reasonable target for female participation in leadership groups at all levels is in the area of 40%. In our publications and conferences, we go into detail as to how this can be done and why the strong leadership role is critical.

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The Hundred Faces behind World Streets
We firmly believe that the move to sustainable transport and sustainable lives is a very personal matter. For that reason every article that appears in World Streets is accompanied by a short bio note and photo identifying the author. We want you to know who they are and what they look like. To this end we have assembled for your viewing pleasure small photos of 160 of our authors and collaborators. Have a look.

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National Partnership Programs/Language Editions
True, English is a widely spoken and read language. But true too that most of the activity carried out at the working level in countries whose language is other than English is in the language of the place. So if our goal is to have a worldwide impact, we must find ways to reach the people who count, in ways which efficiently and fully engage them. To that end we have initiated a series of collaborative projects which are already reaching out to key actors in several language areas, starting with a highly successful Italian edition and a different approach to reach the key actors in Swedish. Others presently under discussion. Would YOU like to talk about it?

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Now . . . what about you?
Because this is an important set of issues and you can make a difference. So consider this an open invitation to lend a hand in making World Streets a more useful and successful tool and source. We need your help both (a) to improve the technical product, but above all to identify and (b) to take direct contact with eventual collaborators, subscribers, sponsors, and organizations at the national or international level whom you may know and who can help support this unique public interest enterprise and help it make an even more effective contribution. You will be surprised at how much you can do to make it happen, if you choose to.

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Eric Britton is Managing Director of the New Mobility Partnerships and founding editor of World Streets. Contrary to what you may surmise, he is not alone. You can reach him at , Tel. +331 7500 3788 in France or +1 (213) 984 1277 in the US. Or via Skype at newmobility.

When English is not enough. Well then let’s do it in Italian,. (Or Swedish, Finnish, Portuguese, Chinese, French or . . .)

1. Start here: Italy, Italian and New Mobility. In June 2009, after four months of successful publication and an enthusiastic public reception in many parts of the world, the World Streets team found ourselves talking with an Italian colleague, the environmental activist Enrico Bonfatti who had been scanning the readership maps of World Streets and in the process noted that there were only one or two regular readers of the publication in Italy. Why? Good question.

Might it be that there was no interest in the concept of better explanation?

2. Time and language:
We concluded that Italy was in many ways a typical case, and that while there is plenty of interest in many parts of the country in these matters, almost everyone is suffering from major information overload on the one hand — and furthermore that very very few of us, even those of us who know another language well, are all that comfortable if we have to read daily dispatches on these complex if interesting matters in anything other than our own main language.

Now that may come as a surprise to anyone who thinks that English is taking over as the universal language. But if you actually take the time to speak with and get to know the people who are working with these matters at the level of cities, agencies, public interest groups, or even universities in different parts of the world, you will see that when it comes to day-to-day communication all of us really do work best in our main language. (The reactions to this claim turn out to be quite interesting and are by no means unanimous. However we have found upon careful examination and discussion with those directly involved that the thesis stands up to inspection and is realistic and relevant. So we have not hesitated to make it a pillar of our work.)

3. 1 July 2010: Nuova Mobilità goes on line in Italy.
After careful consideration and diligent preparations over a two-month period, starting on 1 July and with Enrico Bonfatti stepping forward as managing editor of the new publication, we set out on an adventure to bring these concepts into the daily life of colleagues across Italy, with the publication written in careful Italian and adapted for the Italian institutional context and felt priorities.

Over the remainder of 2009 we saw readership expanding regularly and could see from the stats that the journal was being visited by individuals and groups in more and more cities up and down the peninsula. As of this date we are seeing something on the order of anywhere from 100 to 200 Italian readers checking in each day, and thus far have noted visits from more than 60 Italian cities and, somewhat surprisingly, roughly 2 dozen from other parts of the world.

What is especially striking about this map for those of you happen to be familiar with Italy, is that in addition to the expected heavy readership in the northern half of the country, we are also seeing real interest from the South. This is an excellent sign for the future.

And if you wish to practice your Italian, nothing could be more simple: all you have to do is click to And if your usually excellent Italian should fill you, no problem, you will see the machine translation tool on the top left of the site. Benvenuti nel futuro della mobilità sostenibile in Italia.

4. What about other language/country editions?

One lesson we have abundantly learned over the last year of hard work in creating and publishing daily this Italian Journal is that it is not a job to be undertaken lightly. Despite the fact that roughly 2/3 of all the articles that appear are adapted from the latest postings of World Streets, there is more to it than simply having the skills to produce a good translation. The articles need to be selected and adapted for Italian readers, in the Italian cities, institutional and policy context; –but in addition to that there is the entire challenge of creating specific Italian content, which is also a time-consuming mission and which continues to be a process that even after all these months still needs to be fully engaged.

As result, we have discovered that organizing and maintaining anything along the lines of Nuova Mobilità is pretty close to a full-time job for one talented, hard-working person. This of course has economic implications, with which our readers will be entirely familiar.

5. Bridging the language gap:
What to do in the event that there is still this challenge of finding a way to bridge the language gap, but in a first instance perhaps not taking on the full load and financial implications of creating a new dedicated publication? This is a problem which we are facing with several colleagues and concerned organizations in Sweden, Finland, Portugal, France and Taiwan — and here is the way in which we are collaborating to get the job done.

The key lies in the creation of a special monthly edition of World Streets which provides in the target language a careful synopsis and one click access to the full contents of all content and commentaries published in the daily journal over the preceding month. These monthly reports are specially created by the World Streets team, working closely with the collaborating national sponsors in order to ensure that the final product is not only accurately and quickly developed, but that it is presented in a form which is agreeable to read and easy to move beyond through one-click links to the full sources in each case.

* * * Here is an example of a typical World Streets Monthly Edition, in this case is prepared to summarize for our subscribers/sponsors all items appearing over the month of April 2010 – For a copy of the other language editions, get in touch and we will be pleased to share them with you.

6. The last kilometer challenge

The “last kilometer” or “last mile” is, of course, a term from the telecommunications and cable television industries involving the final leg of delivering connectivity from a communications provider (in this case World Streets) to an end-user (in this case you and your busy colleagues). Here it is specifically aimed at supporting and expanding the network of those agencies, local authorities, universities, operators, associations, consultants and concerned citizens working on these issues within their country or region.

The following diagram and notes are intended to give a picture of how this can be made to work.

Once the current monthly report has been prepared with our language partner, they are then dispatched to all of those in the host country who are concerned with these matters. This listing turns out to be quite extensive in all cases thus far encountered, and includes not only the key national ministries and agencies charged with matters of transport, environment, cities, economics, social justice and more, but also all those working on these challenges at the level of the specific city or local administration, researchers, transportation operators, university programs, consultants, public interest groups, concerned citizens, and the national media.

Our goal in each case is to create an outreach in which the map in each cooperating country will gradually grow and eventually come to resemble the same level of coverage which we are achieving in Italy.

7. Want to discuss a collaborative outreach project?

We will be pleased to provide further information on both approaches and invite interested readers to get in touch by phone, e-mail, snail mail, Skype or, best of all, this is the power so we can talk about all this in person. Here is a quick summary of our main contact information:

Eric Britton, Editor
World Streets/The New Mobility Partnerships
8, rue Jospeh Bara, 75006 Paris France
Tel. Europe – +331 7550 3788
USA +1 (213) 984 1277
Skype: newmobility

Car Sharing in Sweden in 2010

Carsharing is one of those areas of sustainable transport where people really know what they are dong. There is plenty of theory behind it but to get the job done one needs to be on top of the details and active on the ground — whether at the level of the operators or start-us, or for those rare public officials who understand their importance and get invovled, at the level of the city and more broadly. Given this, it is a miracle that we are able to get our any of busy colleagues to take the time away from their pressing responsibilities to share with us all their understanding and vision of carsharing in their country. This latest country survey provides excellent coverage of the situation in Sweden, thanks to Per Schillander of the SRA.


This is a basic description of Car Sharing in Sweden in 2010, as it appears in the SRA approach*.

Developments in Sweden lagged a few years after the pioneering countries. Today the situation is similar for car share organizations (CSO) in many countries, with an increasingly self-sustaining and stable commercial car share industry and a number of smaller CSOs, run by local associations.

In Sweden there are currently two major commercial car share contractors, City Car Club and SunFleet Carsharing. Over the past year we have seen and Ekobilpool appear as small competitors in Stockholm. While the two big handle about 150 and 300 vehicles respectively, the new ones only a handful of cars. Moreover, there are some small pilot projects for electric vehicles in a car share organization.

The local association car share groups are more, about 40, but deals in total with about 150 cars. Most have no ambition to grow and is unlikely to play any significant role in the continued development. The exceptions are in the current situation of Gothenburg car coop with 35 cars and Stockholm car share and Lund car share with a dozen cars each. These three have, together with a couple of other (big) car share organizations in the Nordic countries, a common reservation system and see themselves as major stakeholders in a future, bigger and more niched market. The same reservation system is also used by SunFleet Carsharing, which opens for an operational partnership. Possibly several small CSOs will change direction and move towards a more proactive role on a local market.

Besides these two types of open/public car share organizations are, at businesses and public administrations, a widespread and growing numbers of closed fleets. The workplace has a number of vehicles for official business and these, in varying degrees, are run like a car share operation.

A wide range of local governments have, supported by SRA, introduced internal car share organizations and thus increased the efficiency of their vehicle handling. A dozen public administrations (municipalities, provincial governments etc.) have taken a step further and procured the car share service by an external provider – any of the above mentioned. The latter is also an opportunity to open the fleet for businesses and the public – a development that benefits all parties and that the SRA supports.

The possibility of opening the CSO for multiple customers is often the main arguments for the tendering of the service. It is worth noting that these procurements of fleets stand for the largest growth in the industry. The picture below illustrate a desirable evolution in how a company or organization looks upon and deals with their cars and car travel. On the lowest level, they don’t really care. As climbing up the following stairs they develop a greater amount of responsibility, accurate monitoring and higher qualities. The “final stair” I reached when the company procures an open CSO, sharing the vehicles with others in the city.

In addition to its own public procurement several players act for more car sharing. Skåne Sustainable Mobility, Sustainable Travel in the Umeå region, and the county associations in Dalarna, Örebro, Östergötland and Västra Götaland are some active regional partners. Efforts are also made in several places linking car sharing with public transport. Practical collaborations are still only running in Gothenburg and Stockholm.

The website, run by SNA, had the last year a significantly better appearance and function. Its main function is to show where the country’s shared cars are stationed. Despite the relatively anonymous existence it is already a rather well-attended site and raises the interest for cooperation in our major cities. The page is also useful for capturing the general issues of and interest in car sharing. On the page is also available the published statistics for car share organizations in Sweden 2009.

Car share organizations with more than 10-20 cars, free resources by installing an administrative support system. The development of telematics for car sharing has been a major issue throughout the 1990s. Administrative support is no longer a critical success factor, but more of an obvious prerequisite for the rational operation of shared fleets. Telematics has also gone from being a purely administrative system, with reservation, logbook and recordings reported back, to now be strategic telematic platforms, with a wide range of applications. Driving behavior, alcohol interlocks, speed record, seat belt use, access, service, track & trace and damage reporting are just some of the functions that can be activated with the new platforms. In this area the operation needs to some extent coincides with the rental car business and many professional services.

The rental car industry has for years remained at a safe distance from the “nonprofit colored” and a bit “suspicious” car share industry. Some attempts on their part went less well, but now several major players in the rental car industry have launched its own car share concept. Probably, they see opportunities to streamline their core business while broadening service offerings. With such appearances business might grow significantly. SunFleet Carsharing, owned by Hertz, are after many tough years now showing profit, which should interest the rental car industry.

The development of the car share telematic platforms will likely be coordinated with other developments in other parts of the car manufacturing industry. Most of the features offered by the mentioned telematic platforms will probably be standard features and which can be activated if wanted (and for a fee).

The trend towards greater accountability (e.g., CSR) and a higher degree of quality assurance (including transport) is likely to increase the interest of outsourcing car fleets. This is a development that SRA strongly applaud and support.

One of the main characteristics of CSOs is to free space. (Each shared car replaces an average of five private cars.) As the CSOs grow the need to support their growth and to manage their impact in the physical planning will increase. Part of the issue is to adjust the municipal parking standards down – a job that pays some attention. For some years, there is also a discussion about how to allocate parking spaces for shared cars. An interesting solution is the redistribution of street space into property space and to reserve it for car share vehicles. Car share organizations are inherently flexible and another challenge is to manage a changing need of parking spaces.

Cooperation between car share organizations and public transport is often portrayed, and rightly so, as a critical success factor for both parties. Since 2008, the regional public transport company Västtrafik and the two dominant CSOs in Gothenburg have a cooperation agreement. The agreement says that if you have a seasonal subscription card of Västtrafik you may join the CSO for three months without the monthly fee. The first two months these CSOs got a couple of hundred new customers.

The local and regional public transport companies in Stockholm and Skåne have so far shown a rather cautious interest in the issue, but we will certainly see more of this type of “free” collaboration in the future. Recently, similar collaborations started in Umeå. More integrated transport (public transport, car sharing, taxi, etc. on the same card) has been tested in many places and will perhaps also established in Sweden. In some places in Germany public transport provides a complete service, including car sharing.


* Address the ability to allocate parking in streets to shared cars. The last completed national parking study, although SRA reminders, did not propose this change in focus. The ability to act through local “space planning acts” should be examined.

* Address the differences in the rules for VAT deduction. For leased cars and taxis, customer may deduct all VAT, for hired cars and shared cars, however, only half the amount of VAT. To get the car rental industry into the car share business and to attract more car sharing procured in the public sector, the rules must be assimilated.

* Continue to propagate for car sharing as a key factor for flexible travel in cities. Inform municipalities, counties and companies about the benefits of organizing their transportation needs with car sharing and public transportation. Explain the system benefits of open car share organizations that serve a variety of partners in the city.

* There is a significant gap between the market potential, awareness and appreciation and use of car sharing. Probably, there is significant potential to capture through more active marketing, such as the site

* SRA should continue to conduct national monitoring (statistics) and analysis of the car sharing market. SRA should also continue to act as a national and international party and interface for car sharing

* Continue to gather knowledge about car sharing. The following ingredients are present for a publication:
• domestic market potential (completed January 2009)
• status in the world – a list and fuller description
• status in Sweden – list and fuller description
• VAT – rules of deduction and tax rates for car sharing
• public transport – new models, strategies
• extended functions – speed and fuel record, alcohol interlocks, etc.
• procurement requirements – optimized solutions
• key figures for enterprises and organizations
• review of administrative systems (from 2008)
• parking – utilities, standards, policies

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April 1, 2010 marks the start of a new governmental authority – The Swedish Transport Administration. The new administration is charged with the task of developing an effective and sustainable transport system including all modes of transport. In close dialogue with regions and municipalities, the new Transport Administration is responsible for the collective, long-term infrastructural planning for all modes of transport. The Transport Administration is also responsible for building and maintaining the national highways, roads, and railways. In addition, the Transport Administration is responsible for efficient use of the infrastructure and for promoting safe and environmentally adapted transports.

About the author:
Per Schillander: Master of science, 30 years of experiences in different tasks in environment and transport areas. Employed by the Swedish road administration since 1998, as a small part national expert on car sharing. All year cyclist (southern Sweden). Big lover of music, sailing, wildlife etc. A never resting improver of house, garden, mind and society.

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Learning from each other: New York looks at London (So who are you looking at?)

We started World Series last year not because we felt that we were going to tell you everything you need to know about sustainable transportation, but rather to offer you a lively independent platform with worldwide coverage in which all of those of us were concerned with these issues can exchange ideas and commentaries freely. Here is a good example of a shared learning process that does not have to stop with the two cities directly involved in this report. Continue reading

Nuova Mobilità reports on carsharing in Italy

As you are seeing in the other country reports in this series, the state of carsharing in 2010 is very much a different story in different places. To get a feel for the status of carsharing in Italy today, check out the latest article from our sister publication Nuova Mobilità, along with a choice: either the original article as it appears in Italian, or a machine translation into workable if not quite perfect English. Take your pick.
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World Carshare Consortium 2010 Operations Plan: Coming to a bend in the road

Since 1998 we have actively supported the development of carsharing projects and programs in cities and countries around the world. Over that time the concept of sharing a car has grown from a largely unknown transport option, to the extent where today there are more than one thousand cities in the world where you can find a shared car this morning. The main instrument of our collaboration has been something we called the World Carshare Consortium. But as you will see here are a few changes in store for the way in which we run this part of our sustainable transportation initiative.

Short introduction:
The World Carshare Consortium which you can handily access at has been run on an open and free basis, much like World Streets, over all these years. However for reasons of hard economic realities we are now constrained to start to change that formula, which is the purpose of this posting. This may interest you, since it is relevant to how all of us can go about combining our knowledge, energies, and resources to advancing good sustainable transportation ideas. And good carsharing is certainly one of the best.

If you have any questions or require further background, a great starting point is the world carshare site itself, and in addition you can address them to the editor here at World Streets.

New Mobility Partnerships, Paris. 18 February 2010

Dear members and supporters of World Carshare,

After twelve years of long and faithful service to the concept of carsharing as a great and even noble way of getting around in our day-to-day lives, today is the day in which I am obliged to change the rules of the game for World Carshare. As most of you know, after more than a decade running this as a wide open shared enterprise, I do this with no little regret. But as the Chinese philosopher Lao Tze reminded us so long ago: after ten years of notoriety even the greatest poet in China should change his village and change his name. So in this Year of the Tiger and with his good counsel in mind, I will keep my name but today is the day we make a few changes in our village.

The new rules of the game: Rather than being free and open to all, from this day on our World Carshare will be run along, let us say, more “commercial” lines. No not commercial really, but nonetheless as I have indicated in an earlier note on the subject, for reasons of necessity we now have to get better at sharing the load. You understand of course that world carsharing simply cannot be a one-man job.

Now while my earlier calls for support have gone pretty much ignored by the great majority of the close to five hundred people currently signed in to this forum, happily several handfuls of you have stepped forward to help share the burden: something like two dozen individuals, a total of one carshare supplier, and as of yesterday a generous grant from one of our national partners who shares our belief that carsharing is something that is really worth supporting. These are good steps forward to help us make this work, but until all this work is fully and fairly supported, we now have to move to our new and somewhat more austere rules set. It works like this:

As of this morning, all standing subscriptions of our close to five hundred members are being canceled. In exact parallel with this, I am sending out letters of invitation to those people and groups who have recently been in touch either with individual (subscriptions) or collective support — or as volunteers indicated that they will continue to be ready to share with us their information and insights on the sector. In addition to this, we will continue to maintain free access to anyone coming in from the developing countries, unfunded local environmenal and similar public interest groups, and of course students and others of limited means and high interest.

Several of our number have indicated their willingness to work with us to identify and eventually secure more substantial support from public agencies in their country who share our interests. This would be extremely important to guarantee our future viability, and I hope that others of you will now get in touch so that we can discuss how we might work together to tailor and put this approach to work in your country. If we can get a handful of committed public sector partners behind this, we will be able to return to our former wide open working context, which to my mind is far the best way to get the job done.

The months ahead are going to be extremely active ones in our slice of the sustainable transportation puzzle. This work is going to be led by the communications within and collaboration from members of the consortium. I very much hope that you will be among us to take part in this process of building knowledge and consensus on a literally worldwide basis, and in an area in which both are much needed.

So there you have it World Carshare friends. 2010 is the Year of the Tiger and if we are going to make sustainable development work in our cities and daily lives, it will not be because we are docile little pussies. I hope to hear from you and that you will join us as part of the solution. I promise you, the world needs us.

Best from Paris — a city incidentally where when World Carshare just getting underway there were zero carshare operators and zero understanding of the part of the city as to what their role in this might be. And where today there are a handful of highly competitive firms offering more cars, more rides, to more people every day, and all that under the benevolent eye of city authorities who have got the message and have shown themselves ready to do their bit to bring these great services to more and more people everyday. And you can take my word for it, that was no accident.

Eric Britton


Some final words of background and a few reminders just in case it may have escaped your attention:

1. The World CarShare Consortium (1997 text):
“This free, cooperative, independent, international communications program supports carsharing projects and programs, worldwide. 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.”

2. Why we support carsharing (1998 text):
“Why does The Commons support a concept that may to some appear to be so off-beat and marginal as carsharing? Simple! We think it’s a great, sustainable, practical mobility idea whose time has come and whose potential impact is quite simply huge. Carsharing: the missing link in your city’s sustainable transport system.”

3. Comments and accolades from readers of World

4. Ditto from one hundred and one readers of World Streets

5. Entries over last year on World Streets concerning carsharingClick here.

6. Who came into World Carshare today:

Carsharing: The last nail in the coffin of old mobility.

I rest my case.

Eric Britton
Editor, World Streets

Op-Ed. Kaid Benfield on Vancouver’s Carfree Olympic Village

The first and most important new mobility option is: to get what it is you want or need, without climbing into carbon transport. And while we here at World Streets tend to spend most of our time looking at sustainable transport modes and good ways of combining them to create superior mobility packages, we also follow car-free (or car-freer) environments and programs around the world. The city of Vancouver has just taken a giant step in this direction as part of their Winter Olympics package, so let us give the word to Kaid Benfield, Director of the Smart Growth Program of the NRDC in Washington, DC for his views on this. Continue reading

World Streets Collaborative Program – 2010 Contribute, subscribe, support, get invovled

World Streets is an open collaborative program, and is entirely dependent on the support of readers, subscribers and others who share our deep concerns about sustainable transportation, sustainable development and social justice. Subscription is free for all who cannot afford it, and as a matter policy we do not accept advertising. We count on your counsel and support to be able to continue to do our part.

World Streets has one job: to inform and support sustainable transportation projects and groups around the world. After a first year of proving its worth, edition after edition, five days a week, bringing hundreds of carefully selected news items, expert views, questions, comments, inspirations, and leads to the desks of more than one hundred thousand visitors from more than seventy countries on all continents (that was our “business plan”), World Streets is now reaching out to get active sponsorship and support for 2010. We need your help to continue. Here is how it works:

1. Individual subscriptions
2. Institutional subscription/partnerships
3. Foundations
4. Personal gifts, donations
5. How to make your contribution
6. Seven reasons why this is a good idea

Individual subscriptions

World Streets is a public interest publication which, as a matter of policy, we make freely available to all who are looking to understand, support, and contribute to the sustainability agenda anywhere in the world. We firmly believe that there should be no barriers, and especially not commercial ones, to the free circulation of news, tools, counsel and peer exchanges when it comes to important issues of sustainable development and social justice.

Subscribers have full access to the members-only World Streets Forum, Library and Archives – Click here for details. For those who use it and can afford it, we ask that you step up to do your part. (For payment procedures, click here. And

* Suggested contribution: EUR 29.00 (USD 39.00)

Students, people working in the developing countries, volunteer organizations, unfunded local or public interest groups and others of limited means are invited to come in and enjoy the benefits of the journal without payment. To receive your free subscription, we would ask you to email a short note to with your name, institutional affiliation if any, city, country and URL if any. And, please, a few words about your work and interests in this area.


Public agencies, ministries and funded NGOs and associations
At the state, national, regional or international level, these key institutions with broad responsibilities to guide policy, education, communications and investments in the fields of transportation, environment, cities, energy, or climate can provide valuable support for all concerned by making Streets available to their members, staff and associates. Subscribers have full paid-in access for their staffs and other associated agencies, groups and personnel within their country or region, to all deliverables and services of the subscription program as follows:

1. The Journal
Subscription provides full access to the world’s only sustainable transportation daily, and includes daily updates and references which are automatically channeled to the subscriber and their team in daily digest form, complete with easy one-click links to the full text and media content of all articles and commentaries.
– – > Summary overview at

2. World Streets/Monthly Report
Developed to serve the busy reader. Reserved for subscribers and presented in a form suitable for their in-house and other distribution. Each reference is directly clickable to the original article or commentary. Some subscribers prefer to work with World Streets team to prepare the monthly edition in their working language.
- – > Click for sample edition in English–
– – > And here for Italian monthly report–

3. World Streets Forum
Reserved for subscribers, active collaborators and correspondents. For subscribers, participation is extended to all nominated individuals, agencies and groups within the country or region served — giving each forum member full access to the journal, daily updates, monthly reports, peer discussion, shared library, shared library, and databases. The Forum is also an excellent place to ask questions or launch discussions of current topics to get different points of view based on experience in other places.
- – > More:

4. New Mobility Agenda: Working groups/peer programs
Subscribers have full access to the peer networks and focus groups set up under the New Mobility Agenda over the last two decades. These include the World Transport Journal, World Carshare Consortium, Global South Forum, City Bicycle Forum, World Car-Free Days, Value Capture/Taxation Forum, Share/Transport Forum, New Mobility Kids, etc. Each forum serves an international expert community working in the given area for collaborative exchanges of information and views. Participants receive regular updates on events, discussions, and issues in their active topic areas.
– – > More:

5. Supporting subscriber services/Outreach program
The principal challenge in this collaborative project is that of finding a way to efficiently channel the considerable content of World Streets in a form in which all concerned can quickly scan, select, access and make good use of it in a time-efficient manner. The target group for national sponsors often includes not only their own staff but other agencies and organizations in the country whom they choose to keep informed. We refer to this as the “last kilometer” component of the subscription.
- – > More:

* Suggested subscription: EUR 5.000/10,000 (USD 7,000/14,000)

– ->Click here for program details –


Cities, Local government.
Local government are the ones closest to the issues and who make the decisions that count. Via the daily journal and the monthly edition we supply them with a carefully selected, easy to digest, steady flow of exception information, insight, clues and feedback from world experts that would cost them many times more than the annual subscription to develop on their own. It also gives them a chance to make their voice heard on a worldwide forum. Depending on size of city and available resources . . .

* Suggested subscription: EUR 2,000 (USD 2,800)


Public transport operators, other service providers and management groups
World Streets provides an efficient way for their officers and staff or these groups to stay on top of the issues, challenges, and accomplishments at the leading edge and from an international perspective. Again depending on size and resources . . .

* Suggested subscription: EUR 3,000 (USD4,200)

Private sector suppliers to the sector (goods and services)
This is more delicate, but this form of open public support is appropriate for companies and organizations who are firmly committed to the sustainable transport agenda. Suppliers of goods and services in such areas as insurance, non-motorized transport, carsharing, liftsharing, strategic parking, logistics, buses, delivery services, locational systems, integrated multi-modal ticket/access systems, transport logistics, spatial planning, and specialized consultancy, management and research groups are appropriate. Depending on size of enterprise . . .

* Suggested contribution: EUR 500/5,000 (USD 700/7000)

Universities and research institutions
World Streets offers a good fit and tool for university teaching and research programs at all levels. Various forms of collaboration and mutual support are possible. Get in touch so that we can discuss.

Incidentally, we have been told that the most efficient way to get universities support for this is to handle it as a standard subscription to a scientific or technical journal. In addition and if your time permits it, we would be grateful if university subscribers would toward the end of the academic year drop us a couple of lines telling how they have used these materials and what kind of reaction they may have gotten from professors as well as students. Also this would be a good occasion for you to give us suggestions for future extensions and improvements.

* Suggested subscription: EUR 700 (USD 1,000)


3. Foundations
Until such time that we have developed the necessary firm base of support for our continuing operation, once-off gifts and donations will go a long way to help us fund our early operational and start-up costs in these crucial first phases. We are particularly hopeful for the support of foundations, groups with such budgets, and well-to-do individuals who share our sense of mission. If you are among them, please contact us for more information. And if you have a lead or know someone we should contact for discussions, please let us know.


4. Private donors, personal contributions, gifts
We hope to get support from individuals and families of means who share our concerns, and who are ready to reach into their pockets to give proof that the struggle for sustainable cities must engage us all.

World Streets is going to need significant financial support if it is to continue through 2010. Despite the many volunteers pitching in with ideas, articles and encouragement, our programs are still costly to run and require an annual budget on the order of EUR 100,000 to get the job done. (There is a lot going on here, the iceberg under the tip, which is needed to get the journal out each day and which of course you never see, including management and oversight of all that goes into maintaining the New Mobility Agenda focus programs and sites – see to get an idea on that.)

This level of funding normally can come only from foundations, public agencies, or well-to-do individuals. But there is plenty of scope for smaller, more strategic donations as well, and here is maybe where you will have some ideas. Your counsel and initiative will be helpful in several ways.

• By making a contribution – large or small – you are sending us a strong signal that what we are doing has value.

• Your contributions will help us to fund the diversity of our existing programs at the quality level and frequency you are used to.

• An active contributor base helps us equally to turn to the foundations, agencies, and individuals that can make more sizable contributions to help us make-up a budget shortfall.


5. How to transfer funds:

Make immediate payment via Paypal or credit card:
Payment by Paypal is simple and fast:

(1) Click
(2) Enter your account (or set one up quickly (and safely) as indicated).
(3) Click “send money”.
(4) Address:
(5) Amount.
(6) Click “Personal”.
(7) Click “Gift”.
(8) Thank you for helping World Streets to continue in 2010.

PayPal also has provision for paying by credit card. It is fairly well explained on the site.

To make direct bank wire transfers:

Account Holder: Association EcoPlan International
Account no. 00010465401
Crédit Industriel et Commercial de Paris
Succursale BR (Montparnasse)
202 Blvd. Raspail / 75014 Paris, France
IBAN : FR76 3006 6106 2100 0104 6540 105

If you prefer to send a check direct our mailing address is:

Association EcoPlan International
8/10, rue Joseph Bara
F75006 Paris, France

Kindly make your check payable to “Association EcoPlan International”.


6. Seven reasons why you should pitch in and help us guarantee 2010:

1. Your vote for the future: Because if you are a parent or active citizen it is the right thing to do for your children, for your city, for your nation, and yes, for the planet. (And it is simple and cheap.)

2.Act now: Getting behind World Streets and the New Mobility Agenda demonstrates publicly that you give high importance to the critical climate/transportation link and the need for acting now — and not waiting about for some kind of long term deus ex machina that may or may not solve your and the planet’s problems.

3. Worldwide focus: It gives you an efficient way to track some of the things going on at the leading edge not only in your own country or regional grouping. Its genuine worldwide focus — North/South, East/West (and South/North) — reporting from source, brings to your attention projects, ideas and clues which otherwise you are just about certain to miss.

4. Re-defining the mainstream: By stepping forward you provide proof that you are part of the growing movement that is in the process of transforming sustainable transportation from a marginal activity, into the defining mainstream of 21st century transportation policy and practice at the leading edge.

5. Share with others: By doing your bit, you are helping make these ideas and materials available to cities, researchers, activists, and others all over the world, including many others who otherwise cannot even afford it on their own.

6. Make your voice heard: As a colleague and supporter, you and your team are in a position to work with the editorial staff from time to time to let the world know about your leading projects and accomplishments.

7. Step forward: And finally, if you do not step forward to do this, if we do not step forward to do this . . . who will?

For the rest, thank you in advance for your contributions, your counsel and your support. And if you wish to talk about any of this, here is how you can get in touch. Believe me, we will not be able to do this without you!

Eric Britton
Editor, World Streets
Tel. +331 7550 3788 • Skype newmobility or

PS. Have a look at who visited World Streets today. They have to be coming here for a reason.


Putting World Streets to work in other languages. Example: Nuova Mobilità, Sustainable Transport in Italy

From the outset in late 2008, we were aware that the reach of World Streets into the field was going to be constrained by the problem of language. For if in countries in which English is not a main working language there are always a certain number of people who are comfortable dealing with text in English, this is not the case for the greater number of those who work at the local level with the issues. So we knew we were going to need another approach to reach these people. Our first test case to show how it is possible to work competently in another language was Italy, leading to a global/local partnership and the creation of a new journal covering sustainable transport in Italian: Nuova Mobilità.

Summary: Working with machine translations:

How to use, limitations, work-arounds: To make the contents of World Streets more broadly accessible to friends and colleagues who work primarily in other language groups, we have linked the site to the increasingly well-performing Google machine translation engines that you will now find here. In each case all you have to do is click the language in which you wish to see the rough translation, and it will quickly appear on your monitor.

If you read the translation in parallel with the English-language original in front of you, you will in almost all cases be able to arrive at a pretty fair understanding of the thrust and main content of that particular article or announcement. The result is not literature; it is a rough and ready working tool for someone who needs to know. It works better in some languages than others. In any event it is not a substitute for a professional translation, but by contrast it can be in your hands in seconds, and can be extremely helpful for those who are ready to make an effort to use it with judgment. Some people will use it when they need it, others will complain and set it aside. That is for you to choose. (We use it and use it every day. And always with caution.)

Start here: What’s wrong with English for World Streets?
Actually working in English gives us a great start — various statistics indicate that it is the first language of going on to four hundred million people, and if you include second language speakers the number moves up to something on the order of half a billion. That is five hundred million people who can, one would hope, pick up and read daily articles in World Streets with ease. That is a big number.

On the other hand it leaves out on the order of six billion people organize their daily lives around other languages, and since it is our chosen mission to create and reinforce networks of people at various levels of government and participation in public life around the world in matters of sustainable transport, we would be remiss in our function if we neglected this important fact. With this in mind, we have from the beginning of publication continuously brainstormed with anyone who cared to join us on the matter of how to get the contents of World Streets, and with it the leading edge of worldwide developments and thinking in the field of sustainable transportation, into the hands of the people who are working in countries in cities around the world where working language is other than English.

As a result of these exchanges we decided not to continue to chat and plan, but rather to start with full scale real time public demonstration showing how it is possible to create an Italian-language edition carefully adapted to the needs and interests of Italian readers working with or following developments in this area. It took more than three months to plan, but by 1 July 2009 the first issue of Nuova Mobilità was ready to go on line on.

What happened? “Executive summary in two quick images”:
Thinking that your time might be short today, let’s start at the end, showing you what happened in one country, Italy, when we developed a collaborative version of World Streets with skilled and committed local partners. Two pictures will serve for a thousand words.

The first of these is a map from our files showing the last eighty people to come into World Streets in late June, a few days before we started publication of the first number of Nuova Mobilità. You will note that despite the impressive worldwide coverage (extending to more than seventy countries on all continents), there were on that day zero entries coming in from Italian cities. Zero!

Before: World Streets reader map of 26 June 2009:

And now, half a year after start-up if we next look at the map showing the last eighty entries into Nuova Mobilità in the last 24 hours, an entirely different picture emerges.

After: Nuova Mobilità reader map of 13 February 2009:

Listing of Italian cities checking in
This listing of cities will be of more interest to our Italian readers than most of us surely, but what may interest them about it is that these 74 cities are listed in the order of the frequency with which readers have some into N/M.

Rome, Milan, Turin, Palermo, Cocquio Trevisago, Molfetta, Bologna, Verona, Padova, Azzano Decimo, Crotone, Ferrara, Potenza, Bergamo, Brescia, Torino, Pesaro, Genoa, Naples, Cagliari, Trieste, Novara, Catania, Piacenza, Treviso, Caserta, San Vero Milis, Manduria, Parma, Modena, San Martino Siccomario, Corato, Teramo, Favaro Veneto, Monserrato, Grùmolo, San Cesario Di Lecce, Giugliano In Campania, Montichiari, Solaro, Bresso, Ciserano, Lecce, Bari, Florence, Quartucciu, Castelnuovo, Rosarno, Brivio, Pisa, Santeramo In Colle, Pontinia, Cormano, Pescara, Catanzaro, Sannicandro Di Bari, San Donato Milanese, Trebaseleghe, San Severino Marche, Abano Terme, Nocera Inferiore, Medole, Varese, Galliera Veneta, Quartu Sant’elena, Leghorn, Limbiate, Capodrise, Turriaco, Cesena, Origgio, Incisa, Monza, Stezzano.

What is the expression: build it and they will come? Apparently this holds for more than building more roads. We need to do more of this kind of building.

Implications for other countries and other language editions
The lessons of this successful joint are perfectly clear. What we have seen works in a country like Italy can also be at least tested and most probably would, with the right kind of collaboration, work in other parts of the world as well. In fact we think this is extremely important and intend to make this one of the strong collaborative development pushes of World Streets over 2010.

We are at this time in early discussion with colleagues in a handful of countries with a view to examining this template and seeing how it might be put to work to provide high-quality coverage in other countries and language groups. Here are our priority targets:

* Chinese
* French
* Spanish
* Portuguese
* Arabic
* German
* Turkish

We have yet to define a working agreement and operations plan with any of these eventual future partners, but as soon as we do please be sure that our readers will be the first to be informed. If you wish to have a more detailed idea as to the process and the reasoning behind these collaborative projects, we invite you to read on to see how all this was handled in the case of Italy and” Nuova Mobilità – Il Diario Italiano del Trasporto Sostenibile”.

Building Nuova Mobilità.
The reasons for giving this collaborative Italian project early priority were three-fold:

(a) Potential: Its potential to fill a gap as a trusted neutral Italian language source with one-click links to information and perspective on the full range of leading new mobility developments worldwide.

(b) Partners: Our good fortune in finding an Italian team willing to work with us on a volunteer basis for the half year or so it is going to take to get it off the ground.

(c) Prof of concept: And finally the way in which we hoped that, in time and with work, the Italian project would develop into a first-cut technical and organizational template ready to aid other language/country versions to follow in 2010 and beyond.

1. “New Mobility” for Italian readers

Italy provides an interesting and in many ways quite typical example of how the diverse strands that we call sustainable transport or new mobility are (or are not) being woven together to create better transport and better cities within a country or language area. Now as you can see in the pages of N/M, the new mobility concept is in fact gradually taking hold in Italy, but it is still very much in a minority position, and when implemented for the most part occurs on a project by project basis — and only here and there with a broader unifying strategy. On this last score there is still plenty of room for progress. (But to be perfectly frank, there are few places in the world which have thus far really started to put all the pieces together.)

Italy had a strong claim for immediate treatment on the grounds that we had the good fortune to have already collaborated there successfully with Italian colleagues led by Enrico Bonfatti who showed up fully bilingual, understanding the underlying concepts and ready to get to work on them. Over the two months-plus we have worked with them day by day to lay a base for our collaborative project, we communicated by phone, email, Skype and videoconference on almost a daily basis, and often multiple times each day. (And this was certainly a low-carbon approach since at no time did any of us actually get on a plane or train to get the job done. Today’s technologies were and are fully up to the job. And we suggest that this lesson can also usefully inform future collaborative projects.

The first World Streets’ spin-off, Nuova Mobilità, which you can now visit, work with and profit from is online at

2. Nuova Mobilità has two functions within Italy:

Window on sustainable transport in the world:
First, to provide a window on the world of new mobility for those Italian readers who are more comfortable working in their own language. To do this, the editorial team selects daily articles from World Streets and other sources which they feel will be of particular interest to the Italian reader. They then both translate and adapt them for the Italian context, with adjustments and contextual information to make them more informative for the Italian reader in search of new ideas, leads and approaches.

Window on sustainable transport in Italy:
But Nuova Mobilità also has an important “internal” function within Italy as well, namely that of providing a central information and exchange point for outstanding projects and programs, and problems and barriers inhibiting change, that are going on in various cities and parts of the peninsula. There are a number of programs and web sites already active in the sector in various places, but most of these focus on a specific problem or approach — for example cycling, public transport, carsharing, school transport, climate issues, environmental concerns more generally, for specific cities, etc.– Nuova Mobilità can serve as a valuable clearing house function, with its global/local orientation.

Editorial independence:
Like World Streets, Nuova Mobilità retains complete independence in terms of editorial content and the views expressed. Moreover, the program is informed by a consistent set of guiding principles which you will find spelled out in the Mission Statement.

3. Nuova Mobilità: Template for future country/language editions:

One of the main potential contributions of Nuova Mobilità is that it is put before you not as a plan or a promise, but as an operational working entity already in place and there to serve as a pioneer and concrete example for other country/language editions. Of course it can be improved in many ways, including technically, and that is part of the task of both the Italian team and the collaborators at World Streets. But Nuova Mobilità exists, it is there, it works, and it is already in place to perform valuable functions.

It is our view that despite the enormous reach of the internet and the availability of ever-better (and free) machine translation services, native language coverage is needed by many people in many places. The reality is that it is not all that easy reading every day in a second or third language. Most of us do best working in our mother tongue. The task of full and rapid comprehension of a fair body of materials that come in day after day, already difficult enough for most topics, becomes even more challenging in a new area such as this which continuously brings in many new, less familiar concepts, and along with them a new and fast-evolving vocabulary, thus adding yet another level of complexity to the challenge of understanding what is really going on.

Thus it is our firm intention to find other language/country partners to work with them to build on the Italian example which can be exported in its entirety to serve as a sort of first-stage template for future language/country editions.

To this end, we are already in preliminary discussion with eventual Chinese, Portuguese, Spanish, French and German language partners the possibility of building on this example with new dedicated websites and supporting programs in the months ahead. But the list of countries and languages of course need not end there. Nor should it.

# # #

Working with machine translations: How to use, limitations, work-arounds
To make the contents of World Streets more broadly accessible to friends and colleagues who work primarily in other language groups, we have linked the site to the increasingly well-performing Google machine translation engines that you will now find here. In each case all you have to do is click the language in which you wish to see the rough translation, and it will quickly appear on your monitor.

If you read the translation in parallel with the English-language original in front of you, you will in almost all cases be able to arrive at a pretty fair understanding of the thrust and main content of that particular article or announcement. It is of course not a substitute for a professional translation, but it can be extremely helpful for those who are ready to make an effort to use it with judgment.

# # #

For more information on Nuova Mobilità:

Contact: Enrico Bonfatti, Editor.
Nuova Mobilità is at
Skype: nuova.mobilita
Click here to read Nuova Mobilità in English (machine translation)

A 2010 update on carsharing in Greece : World Streets Annual New Mobility Country Reviews

Carsharing, like Rome, is not built in a day. At least not formal carsharing as we are seeing it develop in many countries now at, in places, rapid and highly satisfying rate. The following short report comes from colleagues who are involved in an attempted laying the groundwork for the first formal carsharing project in Greece. This is one of the EU “momo Car-Sharing” projects to encourage carshare development throughout Europe. We invite you to have a look and to share your thoughts and comments with the authors or with our readers more generally.
Continue reading

World Streets goes to the movies. What’s playing in February 2010?

A new series inaugurated on 1 February, presenting a selection of outstanding videos, to be renewed over the year on a monthly basis. The idea is to invite our readers to check in from time to time to view some very different kinds of presentations and topics, with the objective of stimulating even greater variety in their thinking and problem-solving approaches. And to propose clips and ideas of their own.

You can find the small gadget that makes this work a bit down on the left column to the site. We have tried hard to make it transparent and easy to use. Each month you will find there a set of five selected short videos or extracts from films of TV programs, each running from less than a minute to a bit more than five for the longest. You can use view them either in the small box which appears on the home page, or alternatively click the rightmost control on the bottom control panel which will bring up the video full screen.

The selection for February includes:

1. “Homage to Hans Monderman”, a video lasting barely 80 seconds, made by our old friend and colleague Robert Stussi on the occasion of a visit to the city of Groningen in the Netherlands during the course of a two-day workshop organized by and in honor of our late and much admired colleague Hans Monderman. The person whom you see surging into the foreground was someone who simply showed up to say his piece when he saw the film being made. It turned out that he is an architect and local resident, as you can tell from his remarks, a fervent admirer of what the city is doing.

2. “Contested Streets” is a documentary produced by the New York City advocacy group Transportation Alternatives, exploring the rich diversity of New York City street life before the introduction of automobiles and shows how New York can follow the example of other modern cities that have reclaimed their streets as vibrant public spaces. Central to the story is a comparison of New York to what is experienced in London, Paris and Copenhagen. Interviews and footage shot in these cities showcase how limiting automobile use in recent years has improved air quality, minimized noise pollution and enriched commercial, recreational and community interaction. London’s congestion pricing scheme, Paris’ BRT (bus rapid transit) and Copenhagen’s bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure are all examined in depth. The 57 minute film was premiered in New York City on 27 June 2006 and is presently available for purchase at cost from Transportation Alternatives.

3. Happy Birthday Vélib. A film by the excellent NYC Streetfilms program, this recent classic provides a good background statement showing how the world biggest public bicycle project works. It just may make you want to come to Paris to try it out for yourself. Streetfilms produces videos that show how cities around the world are reclaiming their streets for pedestrians, cyclists and transit riders.

4. “Well, sir, there’s nothing on earth like a genuine, bona fide, electrified six-car Monorail!” A number of us are thinking deeply about the place of monorails in the sustainable transport mix, as you can see in the pages of World Streets and several of our related discussion groups. Here you have in less than two minute a sales pitch that is worth bearing in mind. Reality is not so far behind.

5. “Thirty seconds on sharing” has the advantage of being the shortest clip at 30 seconds, with a few brief worlds the editor of World Streets as he tried to avoid falling off his bike while still telling you a bit about why sharing is a concept that is going to do more for sustainable transport in the years immediately ahead than any other (For more on that check out the new project at

Coming attractions:
Check in to see and hear some of the most effective people and projects that are leading the sustainability movement.

In the meantime you can find more media on the work of the New Mobility Agenda cooperative media program at as well as a potpourri of related films and clips at (This presently ragtag collection to be spruced up and expanded in the month ahead.)

Next Steps After Copenhagen: Opportunities and Challenges in the Transport Sector

For those of you who may have missed this recent brainstorming session organized at the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington DC and attended by a number of other important players on the worldwide sustainable transport scene, here is the next best thing we can offer you, complete with more comprehensive references and URLs to the main presentations. I am sure that many or our readers would have liked to be there to observe and contribute in person. You now have a chance to send your comments to all those who were there are the time.

A wrap-up of key messages from EMBARQ’s Transforming Transportation 2010.


Last Friday, January 15, 180 transport and climate change experts from local and national governments, multi-lateral development agencies, academic institutions, nonprofits and private companies gathered in Washington, D.C. to discuss “Next Steps After Copenhagen: Opportunities and Challenges in the Transport Sector” as part of the annual Transforming Transportation conference.

The full-day event, held at the Inter-American Development Bank headquarters, came one month after the international community met in Copenhagen to negotiate the next phase of the Kyoto Protocol and a new international climate agreement on reducing global greenhouse gas emissions. The event was jointly organized by the Asian Development Bank, EMBARQ – The World Resources Institute Center for Sustainable Transport, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the Partnership on Sustainable Low Carbon Transport.

The day’s events, hosted at IDB’s Enrique Iglesias Auditorium, provided a forum for the transport, climate and development communities to discuss the following topics:

* How the transport community can best engage in solving the challenges caused by climate change;

* Connections between climate change and other drivers of transport interventions in developing countries;

* Outcomes of the Climate Conference in Copenhagen and significance for national and local policy making in the transport sector.

Organizers drafted key messages that will help inform the following initiatives, including:

* The United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) discussion and policy guidelines on sustainability in the transport sector;

* The Regional Environmental Sustainable Transportation Strategy of the Inter-American Development Bank;

* The 2010-2011 work plan for the Partnership on Sustainable, Low Carbon Transport.

The key messages from the event Next Steps After Copenhagen are:

#1: Climate change mitigation efforts need to address emissions from the transport sector in developing countries in order to limit global temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels by 2050, a target suggested by the IPCC and referred to by the Copenhagen Accord.

#2: Decision making in the transport sector should consider multiple policy objectives in support of sustainable development, including adaptation to climate change, greenhouse gas emissions mitigation, economic and social development, congestion relief, road safety, air quality and health.

#3: Countries can take important steps towards sustainable, low carbon transportation now, before the international community reaches a new international climate agreement or revised Kyoto Protocol. Leading developing countries and cities have initiated efforts to make their transport sectors less carbon intensive or, in some cases, completely carbon neutral.

#4: The allocation of transport-related funds requires a paradigm shift. The guiding principle in future transport funding should be the Avoid-Shift-Improve approach. A better understanding of the mitigation potential in the transport sector will speed up the formulation of more comprehensive investment strategies. Externalities, such as air pollution and carbon emissions, must be addressed through comprehensive pricing policies. And financing from different sources – i.e. nonprofits, multi-lateral development agencies, governments, and the private sector – need to complement each other, rather than work towards different goals. As a large and fast-growing source of carbon emissions, the transport sector should have access to financing under international climate change agreements, in order to spur mitigation activities.

#5: There should be more financial support directed towards enabling and preparatory activities, rather than simply investing in transport systems and infrastructure alone. Sector-wide programs can significantly complement individual projects, and they should include a bundle of measures, instead of isolated interventions, to make transport projects more sustainable.

#6: Adaptation needs to be mainstreamed in the transportation sector. Knowledge, tools and methodologies to address climate change adaptation must be developed, tested, scaled up and mainstreamed quickly into the transportation sector. There is also a need to identify synergies and trade-offs between adaptation and mitigation activities, which should work in conjunction with each other as part of an overall transportation strategy.
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To view more details about the event, including the full agenda, Powerpoint presentations, speaker bios and photos, go to

Citiscope: Reporting on Worldwide City Innovation

In the wake of the troubles and lessons of COP15 we are seeing projects, programs and groups sprouting up around the world setting out to take the high ground in ideas and communications on the up-side of the change and innovations necessary if we are to face the challenges of the planet and our cities. We invite you to have an advance look at the Citiscope project that will be formally announced this March at the World Urban Forum in Rio de Janeiro.

High Visibility Journalism Focuses on City Innovation & Breakthroughs

If cities are “where it’s at” for major policy innovations and breakthroughs of this fast-urbanizing 21st century, how is the broad public to know where — and how — it’s happening? How can good story telling be mobilized to draw and excite expanded ranks of city officials? How can civil society be drawn into the debate — professional and business societies, student and poor peoples’ groups, environmental organizations, even change-oriented civil servants in less-than-responsive city bureaucracies?

We envision a global idea exchange – to inspire action, creative experiments by officials and city innovators in cities everywhere.

Today’s media coverage of cities is falling short. Overwhelmingly, it focuses on conflicts, disasters or alarming incidences of corruption. There’s insufficient coverage of active experimentation in cities to gird themselves for climate change, to upgrade slums, create sustainable water systems, cope with food shortages, create accessible transit, to plan and build “green” and humanely.

Citiscope is being launched in close collaboration with the World Urban Campaign and UN-Habitat. The Campaign, which will be formally announced this March at the World Urban Forum in Rio de Janeiro (15,000-17,000 participants are expected), was formed to increase attention to world cities’ dramatic needs and their potentials for sustainability and human advancement. Multiple corporate, professional, NGO and other organizations, with a cumulative constituency of some 30 million members, have now joined the campaign – a natural audience and source for Citiscope.

Citiscope stories will be based on efforts by leaders, by the private sector, by partnerships and by citizens in real, discrete, geographic places. The coverage will both tell the achievement stories and point honestly to the problems and limitations of the new approaches. That means applying historic standards for quality journalism — getting the facts straight, providing as much balance in perspective as can honestly be achieved, and building credibility and reader attention in the process.

Two major news stories a week are envisioned. They’ll be short enough (800-1,000 words) for easy reading, set up for moderated discussions, and enhanced by a variety of “new media” elements — pictures of story sites, charts and graphs, audio and video clips of interviews — to peak and keep reader interest and prompt other Internet, broadcast and newspaper pick-ups around the world. Qualified observes (academic, other) will also be enlisted to add brief commentaries to place the experiments in their global context.

Stories will be accompanied by a variety of creative links to the web sites of existing organizations, in addition to UN-Habitat, with an interest and stake in cities’ futures — for example City Mayors, Metropolis, Global Forum, Cities Alliance, ICLEI and Sister Cities, as well as sites of the Urban Age Institute, World Changing, the WorldWatch Institute, Ashoka and others. Each of these groups has strong features to recommend it, and provides a substantial research source. Each will also be invited to nominate city success stories for the attention of journalists, based on its own fields of interest and global contacts.

A major project goal: to develop a cadre of participating journalists — with a special emphasis on younger journalists — in cities across the developed and developing world. The writers will be encouraged to write to high journalistic standards, guided where appropriate by trained journalist-editors associated with the Citistates Group. The motivation for the writers? First, they will be paid adequate free-lance fees -– one assurance of quality, timeliness, responsiveness to queries. Possibly even more important, the journalists will have a new – truly global — outlet for their writing and reportorial talent. Plus, many journalists may be “turned on” to the possibilities of urban innovation stories that they’d not focused on before.

The site will also feature clear summaries on major trends in and impacting cities, authored by journalists and qualified observers worldwide.

Overall project and editorial supervision will be by the Citistates Group, a team of journalists, speakers and policy experts focused on building sustainable, equitable and economically successful 21st century cities and metropolitan regions. Principals of the Group are writers Neal Peirce and Curtis Johnson and the groups’ manager-strategist, Farley Peters. They have authored 25 series of “Citistates Reports” on city and metro futures, sponsored by newspapers and community foundations, on regions across the U.S. They are also produce weekly columns for their sister website

The Group covered, at the request of the Rockefeller Foundation, its month-long “Global Urban Summit” in Bellagio, Italy, in 2007, and then wrote the book that flowed from that event – Century of the City: No Time To Lose. The Group’s international experience include Peirce’s periodic coverage of international city developments for his syndicated newspaper column (syndicated by the Washington Post Writers Group), and his eight years engaged in Transatlantic issues as a trustee of the German Marshall Fund of the United States. Peirce was one of the 11 global awardees of the 2009 UN Habitat “Scroll of Honour Award,” “for a lifetime of journalism dedicated to reporting on cities for a better urban future.”

Contacts –
Neal Peirce:; 202-554-8191
Farley Peters:; 301-855-6482;
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About the author:
Neal Peirce is a lead writer on the dynamics of state and local government. Earlier in his career, he was political editor of Congressional Quarterly and then one of the founders of National Journal. Since 197, Peirce writes the United States’ first national column focused on state and local government themes, syndicated by the Washington Post Writers Group. Since 1995 he has been chairman of the Citistates Group, a network of journalists, speakers and consultants who believe that successful cities are today’s key to economic competitiveness and sustainable communities.