Sunday, February 5, 2012

Progress report and work plan for 2012 - For comment and finalization

Dear Reader,

We have our work cut out for us in 2012. Look at the numbers.  Despite the great efforts of the best and the brightest in leading cities and programs  worldwide, we are still losing the sustainability wars.  And we are losing them badly, whether in terms of climate, environment, resources, social justice, quality of life and, perhaps worse than the rest, in terms of those key underpinnings of efficiency and economy.  Efficiency,  economy and . . . equity are the indispensable pillars of a sustainability policy no matter what the sector.  But more on that in a bit. 
This summary is part of our in-process 2012 work plan which will be published in the coming week as part of a campaign to strengthen each of our main target programs for the year ahead. It is presently a draft and your comments and suggestions for improvement are warmly requested.

Verdict:  We need to be a lot smarter, more open to new ideas, scrutinize our shortcomings more closely, and find the energy and daring to come up with altogether different approaches.  We have to step back and improve our understanding not only at the level of infrastructure, systems and modes, but also in terms of the politics and strategies of transport.  At the level of the city, the country and in the international arena, where, to be frank, our performance to now has been no less than miserable.

So it is going to be ... it must be, a big year for all of those of us who want to make a difference on the streets and in the lives of our cities. And for that we are fortunate to have the support of several thousand colleagues, contributors and readers in some seventy countries worldwide (see map).

To get a feel for the foundation that has been pieced together  since the New Mobility Agenda first set out to do its bit in 1988, to your left is a point by point program summary (the links work).  And if that seems like a lot, please believe that this is only the tip of the iceberg. There is a great deal more where that comes from, and to get a grip on that your best port of entry is World Streets itself at, and New Mobility Agenda at

But now let's take a look at our work plan for 2012. And if you are reading this piece there is a good chance that you may end up being part of it.

Eric Britton, Managing director and founding editor

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2012 Focus Program profiles (Dossier contents)

  1. World Streets : Looking ahead

  2. Nuova Mobilità : Serving sustainable transport in Italy

  3. Streets of India : building a consensus for new mobility

  4. Safe Streets Challenge 2012 : Collaborative program

  5. Equity–Based Transport Systems (most important initiative we have ever taken.)

  6. World Share/transport Forum : taiwan, China, India??

  7. Network Media. (Do we know what we are doing?)

  8. Supporting PROJECTS, Events, Tools

  9. Readers choice in 2011 (It surprised us)

  10. What do our readers have to tell you about World Streets?

  11. Your Part

World Streets Summary Profile

World Streets is the main communications platform for all that goes on under the New Mobility Agenda.  Our challenge for 2012 is straight-forward:  First to continue to stimulate and publish outstanding articles and reports that inform, challenge, stretch the brain and inspire by example.  But also to improve the manner in which we are integrating and making use of the new media as part of this greater process.

But World Streets is also a program. One in which we work with collaborators in a specific country or city, putting our energy, contacts, toolset and basic organizational structure to support the sustainable mobility agenda in that place.  In 2012 you can count on continuing steady flows of materials and articles to our on-going joint programs: (a) in Italy – Nuova Mobilità at -- and (b) in India via The Streets of India at

But the main thrust of our work over the year will be on the two themes of (a) Safe Streets and (b) Equity-Based Transportation Systems. More on these important cross-cutting themes just below.

Our start-up projects in China, Guadalajara, Iran, and Portugal on the other hand continue to be a bit slow to get off the ground, but we are keeping them warm and adding to them as useful, awaiting the day when the critical mass is in place and it is finally time to really get to work. Likewise for our joint project on Gender, Equity & Transport  which deserves active participation and support. (It may also be useful to note that we have created a sort of "anteroom" for each of these programs in Facebook. If you go to the main World Streets Facebook site at youi will see links to each of these.)

The content of the journal is provided by members of the editorial board and our network of international collaborators, with inputs from the editor when it seems useful. All contributions, including his, are made on an unpaid volunteer basis. You may also note that World Streets is provided to anyone who needs it without charge. Nor do we accept advertising, on the grounds that it is intrusive and takes up both valuable screen and mental space. Beyond this, it is not consistent with our entire off-the-economy orientation. As the poet put it: free frees.

                                Readers accessing World Streets this morning.

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Copies of the full draft report for all World Streets 2012 Focus Programs can be had at

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