Paris. Thursday, 25 November 2010
Subject: Heavy traffic on the way to sustainable cities and sustainable lives . . .
Dear friends and colleagues,
With the harvest now safely in the granary, the livestock firmly locked in the barn, the muskets loaded and plenty of wood chopped to see us through a long and surely hard winter, it is time to cook up a big meal and invite everyone within shouting distance to come to celebrate that we all have somehow made it through one more year and have at least a fair shot at the one to come.
So on this special day for Americans, wearing my hat as founding editor of World Streets I decided this morning to pick up pen and write a short note to you (and approximately one thousan d f riends and colleagues in cities and countries literally all over the world) to see if they, you that is, might have some ideas as to how this thing we call World Streets can now organize to deal with the challenges and the opportunities of the year ahead. For, as you will see in our and other pages, there are surely plenty of both.
It's quite simple really. It is my firm belief that World Streets and its affiliated international programs, networks and media (quite a lot of them actually) are making a useful contribution as an independent center of original thought and counsel on the world scene, opening up some new paths that offer real possibilities of far-reaching policy reforms and innovations in the field of transport and urban policy, without undermining the economy nor cutting back on quality of life for all. You will find plenty of proof of that if you click to www.WorldStreets.org, which is laid out not only so that your eye is immediately taken to the latest articles -- but also over in the right hand column you'll see a set of browsing tools which will permit you to pick out and scan the close to one thousand posted articles according to topic, date, and key words. Very handy and very useable. And all this within a very strict set of strategic guidelines (no one ever said that the transition to a sustainable world was going to be easy) set out briefly on the next page.
But a New Year looms and we now have to figure out a way to pay for all this, and that is – you know this of course – a real challenge. Hence this note to you and this personal request. So . . . would you be willing to take some of your valuable time in the weeks ahead to work with me to identify and make contact with groups, programs and individuals who share our concerns and feel that this is a battle worth fighting? My preferred solution for financing this to that would be somehow to conjure up and connect to a large number of large, medium and small contributions from individuals and affiliated groups who share our sense of mission.
That's a pretty thought but it is a huge organizational challenge which stretches way beyond my competence. So it seems to me that the bottom line will be us to find ways to take direct contact with foundations, public agencies, cities, universities, NGOs, other related programs and even individual citizens capable of bringing in the resources needed to make all this work and flourish. And that is precisely where we need a hand.
Over the next two weeks to get this important job done, I intend to stop the clock a bit on World Streets and all these programs, while we pause to concentrate our attention on the challenges of laying a firm foundation for 2011. But if you share our interests and concerns that does not mean that you should not follow the action on W/S, -- to the contrary we will be posting daily information and clues that are intended to help you and others who care make up your minds concerning the worthiness of this adventure, and why and how you might be able to lend a hand. It should be a very busy and actually quite exciting two weeks ahead.
So if this rings any kind of bell for you, let me invite you to get in touch by phone, email, Skype or, why not, a hot lunch in a cold Luxemburg Gardens, bundled up to face the weather and the future. This time I'm buying.
Finally, let me seize this opportunity to give thanks to the many of you who have chipped in to keep World Streets going. A joint effort, small miracles and extreme generosity have combined to finance World Streets until today. I am hoping that you can help me find and convince new sources of financing that can keep this very important initiative running. We owe it to ourselves, to our children and to future generations.
Thank you for all and thanking you in advance on this day of thanks giving,
Managing Director and Editor
Attachment (1). "World Streets 101: A Primer" - WS mailing - 25nov- attachment-v3
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