New Mobility Implementation Strategies (Notes)
Ready. Fire! Aim. syndrome
Pattern breaks
Problem holds the solution
Building blocks
The strategic pillars
How we fit in
Importance of early brain work
Why near-term measures?
What we chose to ignore
But with exceptions . . .
A 20/20 challenge project
Ms Mayor: The 10 advantages




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  • "Before you change the architecture of your city, you first have
    to do something about the architecture of your mind."

    Why the thinking in our sector needs to be front-loaded

    This is the hardest, the most subtle and the most vexing single part of the solution process - one which is at once "invisible" and which we urgently need to find a way to get across to our leaders, and indeed to the public as a whole. Yet when you think about it, it all seems so simple. What's the problem? Well, it's .what we call the "Ready. Fire! Aim." syndrome:

    Ready! Fire! Aim.
    Once the idea gets across in any given place that there may be a problem looming out there on the street, everybody is all at once in a great rush and wants to "get on with solving the problem". But as it happens in all too many cases that is exactly where those involved tend to rush to a first critical level of decisions which very quickly narrow the field both in terms of their understanding of what the basic issues and priorities are, and of the different ways in which they can be addressed. Thus those at the top of the decision pyramid seem all to ready to tick off the solutions, before they have fully come to understand what the problems and basic priorities are or should be.

    The truth is that the most important shaping decisions in public policy and indeed other complex system decisions tend to be taken implicitly, really quite invisibly to all concerned, and without any serious examination (open or closed) at the front end of the process. One principal reason for this is the apparent simplicity of both problems and solutions in the transport sector, where everyone considers themselves to be a world expert. Transportation? No problem. I know all about it. But it is not the only one.

    Thus the political leaders and their advisors all too often decide and start moving ahead to bring about their pre-narrowed solutions, well before they have a full understanding of what the whole problem set is all about. This is our classic "Ready! Fire! Aim." syndrome, and we are quite sure that you have seen it all too many times. The pity of it is that this is an invisible process, one that is heavily freighted with old ways of doing things and often, truth to tell, quite a heavy layer of established interests in continuing to pursue those old ways (lobbies of various colors, if you will).

    And in all this the very first steps are invariably among the most important - and sorting them out requires front-loaded thinking. Painful and time consuming though this may be. And as a base for this thinking what must be developed in a wide outreach effort, a full panoply of information and leads as to both what the underlying problems are, and what in turn are the full range of measures and solutions needed and available for dealing with them. And why in matters of transport and related policies is the initial thinking process all too often truncated? Well, we guess that it's because it's such hard work. And because it necessarily brings with it a new set of values, priorities and alliances.

    What's the answer to this? Once again, very simple.

    The critical first step is to open up the discussions of both problem and solutions from the very outset, and to bring in the full range of people and interests who wish to be involved in this process. To simplify, it essentially means that we have to move away from the old "Tammany Hall" process (i.e., closed decision making) and back to the even holder Town Hall model (open, participatory discussions from the outset).

    In parallel with this opening up of the process, it also needs to be borne in mind that if we are to make the New Mobility Agenda work in any city. But behind it all this sheer and vital technical competence is a critical first step: that of stepping back, looking hard and with fresh eyes, and through this process creating a new vision, a new understanding, a new mental architecture of what mobility in cities is all about.

    A telling example of this can be when a political-exert apparatus in some place decides on a very big and expensive process, such as say building a new metro, flyover or urban highway. Or even buying a bunch of new busses. These big ticket items almost always come out of an essentially closed process such as that which it being described here. Now this is not to say that any given remedial project may not have its place in your city, but at the very least it should be thoroughly vetted in the full glare of public light, and at one point needs to be subjected to the Better, Faster, Cheaper test, whereby the decision team needs to run a specific analysis of the ultimate performance and impact targets, costs, the timing of the benefits - and then seeing what can be done BFC with one or more alternative approaches. For the mega projects this always turns out to be a very creative exercise.

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    Pattern breaks

    Here we all are, already well launched into the 21st century and if you look out on the streets of your city you are likely to understand that it is high time to change our thinking about transportation. The bleak reality of 2006 is that most people in most places are not doing well with today's most heavily advertised mobility package: the private car roaming at will and untrammeled on the taxpayer-funded public road, co-packaged with long outmoded ideas of how to serve those not "fortunate" enough to base their lives on their cars (also known as "public transport").

    Back in the suddenly very old 20th century, the thrust of mainline transport policy was to find ways to fix the system that had wandered into place over the years, but only when and where that system found itself under pressure. The more sophisticated variant on that which emerged over time was the intrepid "Forecast and build" policy, which led to a self-gorging chain of investments which led close to 100% of the time to temporary relief followed by new and higher levels of requirement for city real estate to satisfy the insatiable demand of the private car.

    But today, we understand that the priority is not so much to fix it here or there -- or to build it here and there. We need instead a radical and far-reaching overhaul, starting with our own thinking and vision of the challenge. Which brings us smack to the New Mobility Agenda, and with it the need for breaking the old patterns of behavior.

    The core of the pattern break approach to sustainability resides in understanding that people, you and me that is, are largely inertial creatures and that as such we tend to be victims to the world, not as we want or need it but as we happen to have found it at our doorstep this morning. And invariably there are always a lot of good reasons for either doing nothing or at least nothing today. One of these being that we do not perhaps know enough, so what we need to do is a lot more studies, scenarios analysis, commissions, conferences or "another big square book, eh?". And so we wait. And wait.

    But there is no need to wait.

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    The key: The problem holds the solution:

    The second half of this program are the implementation strategies: our recommendations for ways in which the specific measures and individual policies introduced in the Briefs can be put to work on the streets of your city.

    As it happens there are times in life when seemingly impossible, complex, even devastating problems can be serenely picked apart with fresh eyes, care and deep insight, and through this process of calm analysis (and with a little luck) we may come to see that there are some relatively simple solutions near at hand which can turn the whole dismaying mega-situation around. This turns out to be precisely the case when it comes to making major and effective changes in our transport arrangements in our cities - immutable to change though they may at first seem to be.

    In fact, it is our view that the leads and ideas set out here represent a part of the other side of Al Gore's Inconvenient Truth coin: the recent high profile film in which he vividly documents the inexorable climate changes being set off by out-of-control use and technology patterns, with no help from ineffective governance in the face of these challenges. Gore's presentation tells us dramatically about the realities and problems of climate modification, which is important. And he reassures us, most usefully, that the best economic analyses point up that responsible environmental protection is possible and that the necessary remedial actions can in fact be brought on line without wrecking the economy or driving us all back into the Stone Age. That is all well and good but, and perhaps unsurprisingly given his very wide focus and concentration on climate matters, there is nothing else here that can help us make the break in terms of our topic and interests. But he does set the stage, and it is now time for us to take it from there. In our selected patch: sustainable transport in cities.

    Which brings us to what we like to think of this as the Convenient Truth of the New Mobility Agenda. The solution that leaps out to the calm eye is the precisely result of the enormous systemic inefficiencies of our present-day transportation arrangements in virtually every city in the world. This egregious and certainly unsustainable situation is at once our problem -- and, once we are aware of it, the first vital step toward the solution.

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    Building the alternative mobility system

    As with everything that is important and complex, if what we wish to do is to turn the system around in a major way, we have first to stand back, clear the decks and start from the beginning. Here you have the basic foundation and key building blocks of the new approach as we see it:

    1. The raw materials of the new system: There are many variants on the path the sustainable development and social justice whether in the context of how we get around in our cities or other aspects of our day to day lives -- people, conditions and places being so very different -- but whatever the specifics in each they have to be cobbled together within the following three ground themes which together provide the necessary foundation for creating the new mobility system:
      • Technology - without which, in the Realpolitik of the unfair world in which we live, there can be no sustainable development or social justice.
      • Wisdom - which is what we need to guide the use all that terrific technology. (We need to make sure that this time we use it, and it does not use us.)
      • Compassion - or love of fellow man. Sound too abstract? Too soft? Out of the loop? Asking that we keep in mind things like love and wisdom at the top of the agenda, and far above such things like how many yards of concrete to pour and where?

      These are the necessary ingredients of the major cultural change that we now need to make if we are to reverse the trends and basic underlying patterns to which we have fallen victim. Moreover this explicit underlying structure can be combined and brought into a very upbeat message with a lot of positive implications. It also leads to a very interesting chain of positive ideas and positions which span many sectors, mobility included

    2. Fair economics: The present car-centric system succeeds spectacularly in being at the same time unfair, un environmental and uneconomic. Sad as it may seem, it turns out to be hard these days to develop an effective constituency in favor of either social justice or real environmental improvements in our sector. But ah hah, economics! The last is without any doubt the weak spot where we need to concentrate our energies and ammunition from the outset. Drivers (and air passengers while we are at it) need to cover the full costs of their mobility choice. The literature is rich on this and the new models of how to do it -- including with the public support that is needed to make it work -- are now beginning to take hold. And this is critical to our new mobility model.

    3. Car-like mobility: This may surprise, but quite frankly we do not see democratic pluralistic societies agreeing to accept large downgrading of their mobility arrangements. Which gives us our target: as good or better conditions of transit than they are getting out of their cars under present arrangements. (Think about it!)

    4. Concentrate on near term improvements that can begin to generate positive impacts within days or at most months of being brought on line - and not potential improvements that require years or decades to come on line, which we leave up to others brighter and better informed about all that than we are.

    5. Aggressive demand management: An aggressive (and well sold) repartitioning and refocusing of the existing transportation infrastructure, shifting it over ineluctably and as quickly as the local situation can bear the pain to higher throughput, more spatially and environmentally efficient shared uses. This of course brings us to increased levels of the control of private car use in certain parts of the city, at least, and in certain times of the day. There are many ways of going about this, and there is a broad background now of successful innovation in this important area that cities around the world can now draw on and adapt for their own purposes.

    6. Aggressive supply expansion: The opening up of the system on the supply side to bring in the wide range of new kinds of services needed to fill the gap once we get most of the cars out. Again, these new services are characterized by new sources of supply, much higher levels of entrepreneurship and creative adaptation across the whole range of suppliers, and lots of technology (mainly in the form of communications and logistics.
      Note: the two main historical suppliers of shared transport on the city street, buses and taxis, are themselves of course in continuing and of late in many places rapid evolution in terms of their technology content and efficiency. Indeed we can anticipate that the merge between "old" and "new" carriers will in many places be a merge, with all kinds of overlaps and interlinks.

    7. Packages of measure: Transportation policy needs to be -- and here I chose my word carefully - orchestrated. Demand restriction/supply increase. Policies for moving vehicles, and others for those at rest. And the list of course goes on and on. Indeed, if you look at the very large number of measures which together constitute the transportation policy environment for your city, you will note doubtless that they are large in number and by and large not of a piece. Most have been developed at different times in response to different problems and challenges, and once on the books either ignored or somehow automatically integrated into the whole. But with few exceptions, what you have there is not music, by any means, but pure cacophony. Which of course easy why the system works as poorly as it does.
      Our analogy for this is the Sustainable Mobility Symphony Orchestra, and while you don't have to like the phrase, we do hope that you will understand the need for structure, underlying coherence and integrated complexity that this seeks to address.

    8. New streams of income… become available (to ingenious city innovators) as (1) they make drivers pay fairly for street and parking infrastructure, then redirecting this welcome new income to make the rest of the system work better. And (2) refashion their financial relationships with the purveyors of the whole range of new collective services (whose better performance, i.e., more sustainable mobility bang per taxpayer buck, can be expected to higher quality services that can be fairly charged for and then fairly partitioned (with payback to the public sector as only fear… and necessary.)

    9. Leadership: None of this, absolutely none of it, will take place without strong, wise, firm leadership, and strong support from those of us who care. And the lead has to come above all from local government. National, regional and international groupings can help make this happen, but the precondition are the small group of people who are right next to the problems, and the opportunities - and are ready to pay the price in terms of their commitment, passion, energy (and thick skin) to stand the heat and make this work.*


    The eight strategic pillars of the new policy

    Here with a tip of the hat to America's favorite living Vice President are eight strategic steps that will suffice to take us in the two or three years ahead a considerable way toward a sustainable transportation system in a sustainable city: Anywhere in the world. Let's have a quick look at them:

    1. Infrastructure strategies: Redraw the existing (overbuilt and exceedingly inefficiently used) street and parking infrastructure so that it is realigned to favor 'space efficient' and 'location efficient' (i.e., land uses) transportation. (Note: if whatever the mode, technology or use pattern it is makes better use of the streets it almost certainly has corresponding positive environmental, economic and other key impacts).

    2. Supply strategies: Expand the supply and range of transport services that make use of this new reserved infrastructure. This means not only more and better organized conventional public transport (fixed route scheduled services) and cycling access (and support), but also an expanding panoply of what in many cities are less familiar and log neglected other service options, the bottom line of which is a myriad of shared uses of small, driver-operated systems.

    3. Barrier strategies: Review the existing laws and ordinances in your city which in many ways prevent the needed innovations at all levels - and do something about them.

    4. Time strategies: All measures and packages should be selected and brought into play on the grounds that they will have significant visible, checkable impacted within a maximum of three years, ideally with a supporting 6/12/18 month performance screen and package. (The Kyoto World Cities targets are, for example, 20% improvements in selected indicators in 20 months or less. Now this is possible for every city on this planet. I only hope that Al Gore is listening.)

    5. Targeting strategies: Once the projects or package of projects has been prepared, provide a system of public information which tell citizens how their new system is doing. Against stated performance targets step-by-step progress toward which needs to be independently verified and made known.

    6. Participation strategies: Since most of us do not really like change much, and especially when it involves changes in some of our daily habits, it is going to be necessary to find ways to reach deep into the community to get support for these new measures. And the best way to do that is to involved as many people and interests in the program from the beginning. The so-called Big House approach.

    7. Leadership strategies: In a pluralistic democracy leadership does not reside in a single person or institution. It must be much more far reaching. But there must be early champions to create these kinds of changes, and one of the most important early accomplishments of any given city program will be to find them and bring them on board.

    8. Success strategies: The entire program MUST be framed both to guarantee success - and more than that, early and visible successes. Happily, enough experience has now been accumulated with these approaches in enough different places, that a carefully planned package can be handled in a way that guarantees these successes. (And if you can't feel confident about this, then you probably should not even try.)

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    Our contribution - and how we fit in

    The fox knows many things; the hedgehog knows one big thing.

    Our activities and competences here at the New Mobility Agenda are very different from those of our more established working partners, who in all cases have much broader ranges of competences, challenges and interests, with in all cases continuing, long term involvements with the issues. Many of them have structured programs that attempt to look out for decades into the future and then against that backdrop to fashion their interventions and contributions. What we bring to the table is by contrast a very specific short term program with a single focus: very sharp CO2 and traffic reductions within a target period of two to three years or less. And that's it!

    As you will see if you click to Partner Resources link you will see more than one hundred groups and programs thus far identified as working in this or at least related areas world wide: each in their own way, in their chosen own target area, with their own time focus, with their own tools and goals. And, if they are lucky, with resources to do the job. In which case it's a fair question to ask: why should we as an informal world citizen consortium with no assigned institutional mandate dare to think about adding with our own efforts to all that? Might it not be preferable for us just to get out of the way let all these other people simply get on with the business at hand? Hmm.

    Certainly no one thing is unique about the present program, other perhaps than the fact that like the Greek poet Archilochus's hedgehog we know only one thing: the need for dramatic, effective, short-term, no-excuses action in our chosen target area of transport and sustainability in cities. Against this backdrop here are the defining factors that in our view combine to make Kyoto Cities a potential winner, certainly different from the rest, and quite possibly a good partner for you and your colleagues.

    1. Single focus: a) Traffic in cities, (b) CO2, (c) very sharp targeted decreases (20%?), (d) in a very short period of time (2-4 years max.). That's it!

    2. But is it only CO2 and Kyoto? Not by a long shot. We chose CO2 reductions as an initial target since they are a strong surrogate for the overall challenge of transport dysfunctionality. Cut CO2 and you cut traffic, pollution, accidents, costs, time abuse and the list goes on. Most of the world's cities lie in countries that have no legal Kyoto thresholds. But their needs in this respect are even greater.

    3. Geographic coverage: Program coverage is world wide (but can only work if it takes on one city at a time). This is above all a city project, a city decision, a city action. It does not depend on international treaties, other levels of government to foot the bill; it works within the city, its existing asset base, quality of leadership and degree of public support. In that city!

    4. Open targeting: You take up the challenge, do your homework and then set the targets that are going to do the job in your city. And then you either succeed or you fail. And all that firmly in the public eye. (No place to hide.)

    5. Big House/Open Doors: Invites enormous diversity of disciplines, backgrounds, geographies and competences, reaching way beyond the 'normal' transport or even environment groups, enriches the perspectives. Both for the Kyoto program overall and at the level of each city.

    6. Strong female leadership and participation. In large part motivated by dissatisfaction with traditional male dominance and the values that appear to go with it.

    7. Car-like mobility: This may surprise, but quite frankly we do not see democratic pluralistic societies agreeing to accept large downgrading of their mobility arrangements. Which gives us our target: as good or better conditions of transit than they are getting our of their cars under present arrangements.

    8. International peer support network: The personal engagements, combined with the very high quality and great variety of backgrounds of the distinguished individuals who have agreed to support the International Advisory Council. Members have both an international support role, and also are helping to create "clusters" to support discussions and initiatives in their own city.

    9. Working partnerships: Organized from outset as an open international partnership project, working links are being set up (a) with international and national groups with broader sustainability agendas, and (b) at level of individual cities informal working groups are being created to lay the base for their local 20/20 programs.

    10. Comfort Zones (and lack thereof): Many programs and almost all committees seek to achieve "Comfort Zones" in which all interests present of lurking in the background come to a general agreement as to priorities, what needs to be done, how to do it, etc. Kyoto Cities seeks quite the reverse: a large number of competing ideas and points of view, plenty of room for internal contradictions and conflicts, and a good and continuing dose of cognitive dissonance as a means for accommodating all this necessary variety.

    11. Supporting context of intensive technology-based IP networking: The state of the art, practical, user friendly The Bridge holds the underlying key to brining the pieces of the puzzle together and thereby making the whole thing work.

    12. Culture change: This project is above all about governance, democracy and citizenry in the 21st century. In its own way it proposes and tests a new model. Once a 20/20 project has been carried out and the results assessed, your city will never look again in quite the same way at their transport, environment or other problems of governance and quality of life. Bringing up the interesting question: what next?

    Why we concentrate on near term measures

    Yes Keynes did indeed remind us that in the long run we are are . . .well, dead! But this is not the reason why within the New Mobility Agenda and this program in particular we are not giving what some may regard as "due attention" to long run considerations and strategies in our clearly benighted sector.

    Here in a few quick bullets is why we have decided to concentrate our efforts over the next several years within the Advisory/Briefs program one hundred percent on the very short term:

    1. There are plenty of groups and programs around the world busy focusing on long term considerations, which if course is absolutely critical if we are to be responsible. (Click here for a good sample.) Typical planning and action horizons string out to 2020, 2030, 2050 and beyond, enriched by projections, forecasts, predictions, scenarios, re-forecasts, backcasts, Delphi exercises and other tools of the long term planning industry. In many cases these programs have very significant financial and institutional support. And this is all well and good. But if we were asked to give our evaluation of these efforts on the basis of what we have seen thus far and in the face of the overall priorities as we understand them, we would judge them as "necessary but insufficient".

    2. Within the New Mobility Agenda by contrast we are struck with a sense of emergency and a need for immediate action in a way which is closer to that of deciding what needs to be done in the face of a natural disaster or war zone. Thus, we say that this is a situation of High Emergency!

    3. High emergency? Either it is or it isn't -- and if you click to the Challenge section here you will see our reasons for the position we take on this. And what do you do in a situation of high emergency? You look hard, you mobilize, you act, and you never stop looking hard as things continue to develop and evolve day after day on the battlefield.

    4. And behind this all, we need to bear in mind that every day we put off specific near term strategic action and start to generate the pattern changes that are called for in our cities (and on our planet for that matter), there are (a) people, groups and interests that continue to damaged and handicapped by the gross dysfunctionality of our transportation arrangements. And in parallel with these, there are (b) groups and interests who each day are doing very nicely indeed out of the present inertial arrangements and are in fact profiting from keeping things much as they are. ( I'll leave it to you to figure out who they are, and if you happen to know any of them personally tell them that they have a chance to make a difference for their cities, their families, and yes for themselves by getting behind programs for meaningful short term changes that can show visible results in two or three years. Nothing will ever look the same once we have set off on that path. Which brings us to our last point.)

    5. Changing a transportation system, even some parts of it, changing a city, making a difference in people's daily lives is not only a cerebral and technical but also a muscular activity. It is not something that you can achieve solely by sitting in front of a computer screen or meeting with people much like yourself. And since it requires a level of intensity of effort and involvement which is far difference from our former ways, it seems reasonable to expect that we will emerge from this first round of intense activity changes with rather different views of what it is that needs to be done and what indeed we can do about it. We will, like the walker or cyclist, be whipping ourselves into collective shape to do something about all this in time to make a difference.

    6. And finally, by taking action we will for sure alter once and for all our perceptions of the entire problematique. This is important and needs to be made clear. We are today looking at the issues and trade-offs from a position of (a) gross systemic dysfunctionality and (b) long held habit of inertia which lock us into (c) 'old mobility' thinking . To be unkind but accurate, we are today in this one respect at least losers and thus take a certain passivity and loser attitude to the challenges before us. But once you and your city begin to make real progress, once the people there start to see that they can change and make a difference, a whole new world of attitudes and priorities will certainly emerge. Thus, if we move on this now, when it comes time in 2010 to think again about the longer term and what we can and should do about it, things are going to look very different indeed.

    And that Sir, as our 'man in the street' says in the short video clip here, An Unexpected Interview in Groningen: "We are the inventors of a new world, my Friend. Statistically you can prove it". ;-)

    Conclusion:

    • 50% of all funding in the sector in and around cities between 2007 and 2012 should focus on high-impact immediate-term changes

    Your views on this recommendation?

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    And what we choose to not to include in our strategic frame

    The most outstanding single strategic characteristic of the New Mobility approach lies in the specifically targeted strategic time dimension: i.e., that pragmatically capped three year upper limit of our focus and concern in a first instance. And in parallel with that, the stress on high-impact/low-cost measures and strategies. (You have of course our very long list of such exemplary measures over on the left menu, but for now let's look quickly at what we specifically don't try to do to develop our policies around.)

    Without turning our back on the need for long term visions and investments, we have decided to concentrate on our patch and leave the rest to their many able proponents and experts in each case, but with a strategic qualification as will be seen below:

    1. Alternative fuels for cars or even public transport vehicles
    2. Any major road or bridge construction or capacity increases
    3. Electric or hybrid vehicles (of any sort)
    4. Emission offsets or trading programs
    5. Hydrogen technologies
    6. ITS (Intelligent transportation systems ;-)
    7. Light Rail, tramways
    8. Major extensions of vehicle parc of transit operators
    9. Metros or urban rail, either new lines or major extensions
    10. Monorails (A classic example of what not to do in any case)
    11. New parking structures
    12. PRT (Personal Rapid Transit) or any other of its ambitious high tech variants.

    We also turn our back here purposefully for our very specific strategic purposes on things like electric or hybrid bus programs (too costly, too much time needed to make any scale impacts, questionable eco-efficiency, and too little environmental, etc bang per buck once they are there). Nor do we counsel in this context any major incentive programs to support or increase the number of "softer technology" motor cars. All of this simply takes too long to bring on line and start to generate visible impacts. It also dilutes and confuses, for in our view no good reason.

    As a perhaps less obvious example of something that starts to push beyond our upper time threshold, we can certainly add any larger technology-based road pricing project. First on the basis of the time required to plan and bring on line (check out the London and Stockholm examples if you need confirmation on that). And on the basis of cost. That said, we are looking closely into road pricing and its several main variants here in one of our early Briefs, not only because it is so topical with so many cities looking at it today, but also because we appreciate anything along these lines which can serve to break the pattern and open up our generally rather sclerotic sector to new thinking and new approaches. Moreover, the planned Road Pricing/Economic Instruments Brief will certainly be useful to the extent that is also looks into a number of BFC (Better, Faster, Cheaper) variants, which may be able to obtain many of the original objectives at lower cost and more quickly. Which of course is a central part of our strategy here.

    In conclusion, this is not to say that we are suggesting that the city should cease thinking about longer term future considerations, needs and remedial measures that stretch beyond the three year limit for a first phase New Mobility package. There must of course be a responsible longer term vision for your city and phased program for meeting it. It is just that we are utterly convinced - and we can point to examples which bear this out - that once your city has embarked on this new strategic approach, so many lessons are learned that the future - and what is needed to prepare for it - start to look markedly different.

    In the event we do not have to worry about these high cost projects disappearing from the local scene any time in the near future, since the money making potential is so very great in many cases, the various interests and lobbies so well entrenched, that they are not about to forget you and will for sure continue to knock at your door. But give it a couple of years of success with your new strategy, and you may well end up looking at them with rather different eyes.

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    But what happens in a city with one of those programs on line?

    While we do not ourselves feel that any of the above policies should dominate local transport policy given the high urgencies of the present situation in most places, there will be cases where elements of the New Mobility Agenda can be used to support and extend the impacts of one of these more traditional projects. Let's look quickly at two examples.

    Support your city has decided to bring in a certain number of electric buses or alternative fuel public vehicles. Now while we may have reserves about such moves in terms of their overall impact potential and effectives, there are two things about them that need to be taken into consideration. The first is that they signal a certain willingness of the city to look at new ideas and solutions. That is a good start, and the next step can be to build on it. In the case of these on-going, already funded alternative public vehicle projects, we can use a number of the measures and tools in our tool kit to extend their impact. Thus, even such programs can help break in the inertial lock and serve to set off new and more appropriate policies and approaches.

    Even in the case of a very big money project like a metro or on a more modest scale an LRT, the new mobility approach can do a lot to take the initial project and work with it in a number of ways to extend its positive impacts. Let's cite just one as an example, and leave it to you to fill in the blanks for other ways to do this. If you support each transit stop with a well thought out and carefully executed program of non-motorized access it is possible to extend the reach and catchment area in very significant ways. Several studies for example demonstrate that if you create a surrounding "micro-climate" for safe cycling and walking access, the service area can be extended by well more than ten times. This in tern suggests a strategy whereby the linear system with its well spaced nodes, can be transformed into a series of linked access circles -- which when they begin to overlap can lead to a parallel and much longer cycling network.

    The point here is that the opportunities for such imaginative extensions of at least some of these more conventional transport projects is considerable, and that indeed every city that is thinking about any of these big money projects should at very least have a well though out and carefully articulated new mobility strategy to extend their impacts and get far better use of those hear earned taxpayer dollars.

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    The 20/20 Challenge: A first outline

    The 20/20 challenge (a program of carefully planned and implemented 20% reductions in target indicators in a period of 20 months) has as its goal to provide a targeted short range strategy for putting a package of measures and policies such as are identified in the Briefs to work in your city via a focused priority program with high public visibility. As such it represents a full step beyond the individual Briefs, but in most cities the time to start thinking along these lines is now. There is no reason to wait. Here is how a 'generic' 20/20 project looks in outline:

    1. The 20/20 challenge has a single objective: Target and achieve for your city a 20% reduction of CO2 from traffic via a carefully studied and phased 20 month implementation period. (You may of course chose another time scale or target, some indication of traffic or congestion for example, as you work on it you will see what makes most sense for your city at this time. Or it may be some package of indicators, including such things as ridership on public transit, bicycle traffic, reduced accident rate, etc. These are choices to be made by the political/planning teams in each case based on their own ambition levels, etc. But we will here use the 20/20 approach as our general model, leaving it to you to develop your own variant.)

    2. You can expect to be told that these are far too ambitious targets, that they are "naive", "utopian", "unachievable", with a long list of reasons as to why. They are not. Believe in them and you can make them happen. You will be cautioned to "be reasonable". Do not be intimidated. With proper preparation and public support these targets can be met and exceeded.

    3. Once you have launched the necessary preparatory steps, investigations and negotiations, you may find that a modified set of targets may be more appropriate for your city. Who knows better than you? Not to mind: look hard, recalibrate and keep going!

    4. It is likely that in your city a number of the measures that are needed are already in some way operational or under study. What the 20/20 program offers in this context are two things: (a) Better support and higher visibility for the good things that are already out there and working, and (b) an overarching set of criteria which help to turn all these measures from a list of lots of good things to do into a unified, time defined, high profile program that the public can see, understand and judge their city government on.

    5. The goal is to mobilize the entire city around a broad-based multi-part remedial program which can then go on to generate visible results against specific announced targets out there for all to see and judge their performance. (No possible ambiguity; no place to hide; no term so long that ultimate responsibility can be ducked.)

    6. This target and level of ambition has been publicly accepted as feasible by a large and growing body of international experts and authorities (many of whom are identified here in the International Advisory Council.

    7. With the appropriate level of political and public support, the planning, negotiation, preparation phase to lay a solid base for success can be carried out within an intense 3/6 month period..

    8. What is required to get the job done is to create and implement a quite complex but entirely do-able integrated package of proven measures attacking the problems on many fronts.

    9. And it will cost you less than another yard of urban freeway..

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    Mrs. Mayor: The ten advantages of a 20/20 program for your city

    1. It is ambitious (as it needs to be to make a difference.)

    2. It is focused (20/20 and that's all)

    3. It is simple (hence easy to communicate and sell)

    4. It builds on and engages a broad local base.

    5. It is effective. (It can handle the challenge.)

    6. It is cheap. (Can be made to work within your existing resources.)

    7. It is positive (Targets "car-like mobility" for all, a very different way of thinking about transport in cities).

    8. It can be guaranteed (through careful planning and consultation)

    9. It provides a consistent, high profile, broad overarching policy umbrella and incentive package for doing and better supporting all the good things you certainly should be doing anyway.

    10. It is great politics. (Visible successes during electoral term. Great national and international visibility for your cityI)

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