[This posting announces a new component of World Streets Battles of Ideas, that was launched yesterday.]
If you wanted to know about the state of play of the sustainable transport revolution in a given country, where do you turn first? Let’s see if we can be of some help with a few suggestions at least to get you going.
Points of Light? World Streets shortlist of outstanding individuals, groups and organizations who are, each in their own way, contributing to showing the way in your country, when it comes to the very difficult up-hill transition from Old Mobility (back when we were fascinated by infrastructure, vehicles and, implicitly, privilege) to New Mobility (a world that favors instead people, access, equity, systemic efficiency and quality of life). Might be an NGO, university or other research program, outstanding city agency, consultant, company, operator, labor union, cooperative, foundation, institution, government agency, technology source, investigative media, active citizens, event, etc. Or a project, exemplary or a failure rich in lessons. Or eventually live linkages to outstanding and useful international and regional cooperative programs.
The actual number for your country may not be ten. We ant this listing to help our readers get off to a balanced start, not to exhaust them or drown them in detail. So the final first listing may be less or a bit more, but the point of the exercise is to inquire among our peers in each of the Battle of Ideas countries to have their counsel as what are these “points of light” in their country. The mix will vary widely according to country.
Not that the individual listings have to agree with each other. But the goal is that they each in their own way offer a creative, highly informed, probably rather independent view and vision of the path to sustainable transport and sustainable cities in their country, and who are already actively participating in some useful way in the movement to find the way. Taken together they will help you start to build your knowledge base about the on-going transition (or not) in that country.
Another wrinkle to be considered could be the eventual international or regional programs in which they are in some way involved. The EPOMM mobility management cooperative projects of the European Union at is one example (See http://epomm.eu/index.php). There are many others and it will be also of interest to see if within that particular country there are international learning partnerships along these lines. It is true that smart countries and groups network.
Let’s take careful note that at the end of the day the recommendations for each listing are proposed by our informed peers, but the final selection in each case is decided by the editor.
Bibliography of key sources:
In cases as useful it may be accompanied by a short focused bibliography (ten references max) of a few outstanding books, report or articles which can help us understand at what level the issues are being engaged and with what results and discussion in that place.
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Battles of Ideas Countries (Round 1)
At this point introductions are are being developed for the following countries/region, though it can be expected that others will be added as we and our readers pool our information, resources and intelligence in order to expand this initial listing:
If you have candidates from your country, it would be great to hear from you. Here is a sample listing for Taiwan that might be useful as a presentation format for your proposed listing.
Advanced Public Transport Research Center (APTRC)
Dept of Civil Engineering, National Taiwan University
#1 Roosevelt Road, Section 4
Taipei, 10617, Taiwan
Main program areas: Urban Public Transportation, Mobility Management, Intelligent Technology Application, and Sustainable Transportation Policy.
Director: Dr. S.K. Jason Chang (Xuekong Zhang)
PS. Please note that we are going to be very selective in the recommended listings for each country. The fact is that in many parts of the world there are organizations and groups that may carry or pretend to the label of being a transformation agent in this challenging field, but who, we can see upon study, have yet to make the break with the old ways of thinking and doing things. So to a very real extent these listings are colored by our perceptions and judgements. That is just the way it is.
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About the editor:
9, rue Gabillot, 69003 Lyon France
Bio: Educated as an international development economist, Eric Britton is an American political scientist, teacher and sustainability activist who has worked on missions and advisory assignments on all continents. Professor of Sustainable Development, Economy and Democracy at the Institut Supérieur de Gestion (Paris), he is also MD of EcoPlan Association, an independent advisory network providing strategic counsel for government and business on policy and decision issues involving complex systems, social-technical change, civil society and sustainable development. Founding editor of World Streets: The Politics of Transport in Cities | See Britton online at https://goo.gl/9CJXTh and @ericbritton