The Encyclical Dialogue: What happens next on World Streets?

Pop Francis listening critically

World Streets accepts this wise invitation of open discussion of these critical matters with grateful thanks to the Pope and the Vatican, and a genuine desire to participate usefully.

Pope Francis has invited us all, invited the world in all its varieties and contradictions, to read, ponder and comment on the carefully crafted forty thousand words of his Encyclical, Laudato Si’: On Care for our Common Home. In the opening lines of the long, varied and challenging document he addresses us in these words.

In this Encyclical, I would like to enter into dialogue with all people about our common home. . . I urgently appeal for a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet. We need a conversation which includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all.

Francis  is a sophisticated world citizen, has a talented staff of thinkers and writers, and we can be quite sure that he and his team have anticipated just about any challenge or criticism that a feisty world can come up with. After all he is a Jesuit, a disciplined Christian tribe long accustomed to doing their homework before opening their mouths. So now that we have published the full text of the Encyclical and invited comment here in the pages of World Streets, we will now turn floor over to critical and other appreciations, exactly as Francis has asked. (You will also find extensive commentary and debate in our parallel Facebook site, The Citizens Mobility Forum at

Now that the painstakingly framed  words of the encyclical are firmly in place, and as such already speaking for themselves and the ideas and proposals he sets out, exposing the eventual blind spots and lacunae of the proclamation, it is time now not to drop to our knees and holler amen, but to accept his generous invitation and start to read, ponder and reason together carefully so that we can find ways best to put this important initiative to work for the causes of the planet, well-being, efficiency, social justice, and fairness to our children and future generations. And here we are already in the first days after the publication of the encyclical being richly served.

To get the ball rolling you will find here a section containing some of the first reactions, critical comments, proposals  and discordant views that have come to our attention and which give us a first round of challenges in the arduous but necessary task of putting our heads together to see how we can best put this unexpected initiative to work.

You will also find further commentary and articles on the Citizens Mobility Forum at htps://

More to follow. Climb aboard; this is going to be an interesting and we think most useful ride.

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About the editor:

Eric Britton
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 and @ericbritton

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