Penang Focus Group 6. Civil Society

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Program for Focus Group 6. Civil Society

* The latest version of this program note is available  as a shared Dropbox library at

Time and place: Meeting at Caring Society Complex on 25 Sept. 14:00 – 15:30

Co-Chairs.   Dato’ Dr. Anwar Fazal , Think City, Penang.    Eric Britton, EcoPlan international, Paris

Invited participants:  NGOs. Community organisations, non-profits, social enterprises, voluntary associations, neighborhood groups, Penang Forum, charities, BUGS (Bus User’s Groups), STEP (Sustainable Transport Environment Penang), PTAs, women’s groups, senior citizens’ groups, disabled people’s organizations,  transport user groups,  etc.

The Empty Chair?   What happens when the civil society actively harmonizes with both citizens and government to introduce new ideas in the transport sector. With few exceptions, in most cities around the world civil society is the empty chair in the planning and decision process of all that involves transportation, mobility and the better use of public space. Penang represents an exception to this with a long tradition of civil society in many forms and variants. But is this wealth of interest and energy making the needed difference in influencing government policy to ensure that attention is being given to serving the public interest. That and how to do better will be the topic of this fascinating session.

Focus Group objectives (general): Meet with specialized discussion partners to see if we can together (a) put our fingers on some of the outstanding problems and patterns presently holding Penang back from being among the leading cities when it comes to sustainable transport.  And (b)  to draw attention to recent initiatives that are getting positive results.  Against this backdrop (c) each focus group is being asked to identify one or more low-budget New Mobility Initiatives in their specialty area: measures that can be planned and implemented before December 2014.  We aim to identify at least 20 such projects, and (d) in each case associate the project with an implementation plan and responsible implementation partner. The results of these initiatives will (e) be monitored for progress over 2014 and (f)  presented to the planned 2015 Penang Conference on Implementing Sustainable Transport in Smaller Asian Cities

Supporting documentation:  at  +

Hotline: Kartina Mohamed. E.  T. +604 222 6800 F. +604 222 6801

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