Wednesday, January 6, 2010

It's time you too rolled up your sleeves and got involved.

World Streets, it says right at the top of the page, is a collaborative, sharing effort. 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. So it's time for you to dig in and lend a hand. (And this is not only about money - keep reading.)

* * * But first, before plowing ahead, if you have not yet got to this, click here - to read the letters of support coming in from one hundred world experts of sustainable transportation from all continents. Surely they should know.

Contents:
1. Subscription
2. Advertizing on World Streets
3. Personal gifts, donations
4. How to make your contribution
5. Partners and Sponsors
6. Become an Ambassador
7. Other forms of support (content, technical)
8 Ten reasons why you should pitch in

1. Subscription (No problem, no fees)

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

If your interest and circumstances permit, we invite you to make a gift in the amount you find appropriate. We cannot continue publication in 2010 without your support.
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2. Advertizing on World Streets (No problem, no ads.)

We do not believe that advertising fits the spirit of this endeavor.
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3. Personal contributions, gifts (Here's where you come in.)

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 www.program.newmobility.org 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 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.
But there is possibly an even more important reason for you to make your voice heard in this way. World Streets and the New Mobility Agenda are voices of the sustainable cities movement that have an international role and high visibility, including in your country and city. As you are aware, while thousands of representatives of many cities and many of the leading NGOs were present Copenhagen for COP15, they were kept on the sidelines. But if there is any lesson of OCP15 it is that they must have a far stronger voice and more active role in shaping these policies and decisions -- and we see it as one of our most important tasks in the year ahead is to work to achieve this.

Some of you have asked how much to give. The possible range, a range that is useful for us, is in fact enormous. If you are a student or struggling to make ends meet in a poor city or country, even one dollar would be loaded with significance. Please don't be embarrassed or shy. It is a wonderful way to join in. Your contribution, large or small, carries a very big message.

To be more concrete, let me make a suggestion, three in fact:
* World Streets Subscribers contribute $50.00 or more for 2010.
* Supporters (to give it a name) – in the area of $500.00
* And Partners/Sponsors, say on the order of $5,000.00.
Looking at it from the working end, our daily production and support costs run on the order of $500.00. Which quickly adds up to a couple of thousand dollars a week, four times that for the month, and for the year . . . well you already have that figured. Those are modules that some of you at least may wish to give a thought to, if your resources permit.

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4. How to make your contribution:

All contributions to World Streets are tax-deductable. Please get in touch with us for full details.

Direct bank transfers:

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

Paypal or credit card:

Payment by Paypal is simple and fast: (1) Go to www.paypal.com . (2) Enter your account (or set one up). (3) Click "send money". (4) Address: association@ecoplan.org. (5) Amount. (6) Click "Personal". (7) Click "Gift".

To make payment by credit card, please click the Support icon immediately below and follow the directions.




Finally, if you prefer to send a check direct our mailing address is:
Association EcoPlan International
8/10, rue Joseph Bara
F75006 Paris, France
You can make your check payable to Association EcoPlan International. Again get in touch with us for details concerning tax-exemption.

And don't forget this. Your contribution is quite literally what is making this work. Thank you.

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4. Partnerships and sponsoring

Institutional partnerships

• Cities are our natural partners.
They are the ones closest to the issues and who make the decisions that count. Via the daily journal we supply them with a carefully selected, easy to digest, steady flow of 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.

Our goal is to cover a substantial portion of operating costs through these dynamic partnerships, targeting to get the support of one hundred world cities of all sizes at affordable rates. Subscribing cities are invited to bring in one city from the developing countries as part of their subscription.

• Public agencies and associations: At the state, national or regional level, these institutions can provide valuable services to the community by helping make Streets available in their service area and to their members. There is important potential for co-organizing seminars, workshops and events in support of sustainable transport projects and groups taking the lead in their area.

• Transport operators are natural partners too, and chief among them the larger and more dynamic public transport providers, other service providers and the more active associated management groups.

• Universities World Streets may offer a good fit and tool for advanced university programs among those leading the way in the sector. Various forms of collaboration and mutual support are possible. Get in touch so that we can discuss.

• Private sector: This is more delicate, but 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.

* Foundation support
As we develop longer-term partnerships for support, one-off gifts and donations will go a long way to help us fund our early operational and start-up costs in this crucial first phase. 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. If you know someone we should contact for discussions, please let us know.

Donors
An important form of support is starting to come in 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. Add your voice.

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5. Become a World Streets Ambassador/Partner

World Streets, and right behind it the programs and resources of the New Mobility Agenda, functions pretty well as a peer network of international expert colleagues who share information and experience, including in many cases writing or sharing with us all articles and reports that constitute the hard core of the daily publication.

But we also need help, your help, in reaching out to and starting dialogues with cities, programs, agencies, groups, NGOS, companies and foundations that could partner with us on projects and events. There are many ways this could play out, but the first step is for you to have sufficient interest that you are willing to talk about it. If so, all you have to do is click here to send an email to eric.britton@newmobility.org or Skype to newmobility.org. A phone call to +331 7550 3788 will also do nicely.

Partners for new language/country editions
We want you to read about the leading edge of sustainable transport news and developments in your best and easiest language. And we are already working on it.
* Check out the very successful Italian version, Nuova Mobilità at http://nuovamobilita.blogspot.com/
* We are presently testing a German version, Neue Mobilität at http://neuemobilitat.blogspot.com/
* Discussions are also underway for cooperative projects in Chinese, French, Spanish and Portuguese.

Project partners (for joint projects, editions)

At this point perhaps it will be a most efficient of your time if we leave this a simple list without going into any more details explanations here, leaving that for the next stage of communication in case you wish to get in touch to discuss how you might help out. You know how to get in touch. I hope we shall be hearing from you.

Fundraising
We certainly need a hand here since we have proved most clearly that this is not an area of competence. So if you share our values and concerns, consider helping us . .
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* Through the web
* Direct representations
* Viral fundraising

Eyes on the Street:
But there is more to this than money. What about pitching in and join our World Eyes on the Street Observatory?. No obligation, no time required (and no pay), but we do want you to at least be looking and thinking about it. More on Eyes at http://newmobilityagenda.blogspot.com/2009/03/world-streets-correspondents.html.

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6. Other forms of support:

If you have spent some time with World Streets you will probably have noticed that it is a thoroughly collaborative operation, with friends and partners from many different places around the world contributing in many different ways. So far so good. But we also need other forms of help of a more specific kind, if we are to make World Streets into a truly effective instrument in support of the sustainable transport agenda worldwide

At this point let me just list the main areas in which help is going to be most useful, and invite you to work your way down this list, and if you see an area in which you have the skills and the desire to pitch in, please do get in touch so that we can discuss how this might work.

In summary our technical challenge is to create a far more seamless framework that will allow our readers to find and access not only the full content of all past World Streets postings, but also to move easily between the journal and the various New Mobility Partnerships sites, which presently are cantoned off in another part of the web. Likewise we need far great seamlessness and easier navigation between our various rich discussion groups, and our growing supply of media. This is quite a challenge but we have enough experience on the operations end that with the right technical partners we are sure we can make some major improvements.

Before you dig in however let me point out that while this is a great and exciting series of challenges, the only reward for doing them will be your satisfaction. It is a great and challenging job, but there is no pay and no obligations really, other than to pitch in where your skills and time permit. But we can promise that you will be in great company.

Now on to the areas in which your help is needed:

Content
* Reporters/Authors
* Reviewers
* Editors
* Translators
* Eyes on the Street Sentinels
* Speakers Bureau, organization of

Media:
* Illustrators
* Photographers
* Videographers
* Streetscape models
* Scenario writers
* Podcasting
* Editors
* Producers

Tech support (Web):
* Webmasters and blog experts
* Map maintenance
* Eyes on the Street program maintenance
* Blog liaison

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7. Ten reasons why you should pitch in and help us guarantee 2010:

1. Because if you are a parent or active citizen it is the right thing to do. (And it is simple and cheap.)

2. It demonstrates that you give credence to critical vital climate/transportation link and the need for acting no -- 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. It is, or at least it can be, extremely time efficient for you and your team. The publication component of this four-part package can be channeled to your staff and associates in a way that consumes no more than a few minutes of their time. However it is also put before them in a form in which they can easily consult and expand their search for projects, concepts and tools they would like to know more about.

4. It does not bore -- to the contrary, it challenges and energizes the minds of its readers. It will make your smartest people smarter yet.

5. 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, North/South, East/West (and South/North) focus, reporting from source, brings to your attention projects, ideas and clues that otherwise you are just about certain to miss.

6. By stepping forward you provide proof that you are part of the growing movement that is in the process of turning sustainable transportation from a marginal activity with a basically rhetorical feel-good spin, into the defining mainstream of 21st century transportation policy and practice at the leading edge.

7. By your initiative you are making World Streets available to others in your city or region and, in the process, creating an extended sense of common purpose which is largely still missing in most places.

8. 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 this one per cent.

9. 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.

10. And finally, if you do not step forward to do this, who will?

For the rest, thank you in advance for your contributions, counsel and support. Believe me, we will not be able to do this without you!

Eric Britton
Editor, World Streets

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



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