Collaborative Initiatives/Campaigns
  • Invisible College
  • How it works
  • New Mobility Bridge
  • Rewarding Initiative


    Latest Campaigns:
  • China Idea Factory
  • Stockholm Watching Brief
  • New Mobility Briefs
  • Acceleated Learning Sessions
  • Wafrika waamke - African Transport Survival Forum
  • Kyoto Cities Challenge
  • Gender-Equity-Mobility
  • Prize Nominations
  • Land Value Taxes
  • xCar France



    Current/Previous Initiatives/Campaigns
  • The Toronto 20/20 Initiative
  • University campus transport
  • EuroCarshare
  • WTN 2004 Prize Nomination for Livingston/London Road Pricing Initiative
  • WTN 2004 Prize Nomination for the Stockholm Partnerships for Sustainable Cities
  • Awarding Carsharing Innovation
  • Bogota Sustainable Mobility Prize
  • SPSC Walk to School Travelling Trophy
  • SPSC World CarShare Travelling Trophy


    Nice Tries (oops):
    Principal Voices (without us)
    WBCSD on Sustainable Mobility


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  • In democratic countries knowledge of how to combine
    is the mother of all other forms of knowledge;
    on its progress depends that of all the others.

    - A. de Tocqueville, 1835

    Collaboration is the soul of The Commons: collaborative problem solving, aggressive outreach, open networking, together with the structured information exchanges and peer action programs in the areas of policy and practice which are of main concern to us.

    The point of departure here is that we have over the years created a series of lively focused e-fora and carefully designed shared discussion spaces that provide platforms for exchange and collaboration that link together more than a thousand leading thinkers, citizen groups, activists, representatives of concerned government agencies, and practitioners in more than fifty countries world wide, almost evenly divided between the advanced economies and those who have traditionally parroted the older practices of the sector, at great cost both in terms of finance and environmental and social impacts. Ours is not a unique forum, but it is one that works quite well and one that is closely linked with some of the best of the others (see Partner listings on the menu to your left).

    We thus have three assets that we can put to work in support of worthy causes in areas of our collective competence:

    1. A significant number of bright and committed people and groups from many places and with a very wide variety of experience and pints of view;

    2. A shared interest in the sustainability and social justice agendas; and

    3. An effective networking and communications medium. Which from time to time we put our heads together and put it to work for a good cause.

    The "Invisible College"

    We sometimes refer to this ever evolving collection of people and resources as our "invisible college", individuals and groups with long term, fully disinterested commitment to a more sustainable world and knowing more about transport policy and practice than just about anyone on this beleaguered planet. Thus over time, we have managed to knit together three quite interesting sets of assets that we can work with when and if a quorum of those involved chose to do so at any given time: (a) a strong group of bright and committed people and groups coming from a wide variety of backgrounds and countries, (b) a strongly shared common interest not only in improving physical movements but also in the sustainability and social justice agendas, and (c) an increasingly effective networking and communications medium which from time to time we use to put our heads together and put our collected weight to work for a good cause.

    This section of the site introduces some of the collaborative actions that we have led over these last few years using this international network and the evolving technologies that allow us to put our heads, hearts and resources together to advance the sustainably agenda. You will need a bit of imagination to put these into focus since for the most part what you have here are pages taken from work in process at the time. There never seems to be enough time to prepare post mortems that pull all the bits and pieces together. Instead there are more challenges out there which need our attention. And so it goes.

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    How it works

    The basic idea behind these informal collaborative investigations is to see if we can find a way to harness the experience, knowledge, communications capabilities and working links that are increasingly available to us in the sustainable transportation community, in order to build a bit of useful knowledge together. For one example of how this is being done in another forum of The Commons, we would refer you to the special report on carsharing that is being constructed by the members of the World CarShare Consortium. Here briefly is how we see this process as working:

    1. The first step is to uncover an issue or problem area that is of concern eventual broad use to planners, policy makers, researchers and citizen groups working in the field of sustainable transportation, broadly defined. These often are proposed to us by colleagues in vairous parts of the world.
    2. This issue is then introduced and formulated in open question form, and discussed and fine tuned by a small informal working group before being posted for comments, feedback, etc.
    3. Once we have a good clear statement of our question, it can then be posted both on the New Mobility Café and the several best specialized international Discussion Lists, most of whom we already know well and have worked with for some years.
    4. The responses can then either be posted publicly and directly to the Café, posted back to that Discussion List (which then needs to be monitored for these non-directed responses), or sent directly to the person here or elsewhere who has volunteered for the job of project manager (whose enviable job it is to chase all this stuff down and then to meld it into the final report).
    5. After several weeks, a first short report is posted here in the New Mobility Library and/or to the Day at the Office blog, and at the same time all those who have contributed the first wave of materials and suggestions are also contacted to let them know that a first set of results is already available.
    6. Likewise, an effort will be made to provide links in the Café Links/Media section to the projects, programs and sources that risk to be of most use to the group as a whole.
    7. These results can then be further commented and added to - all of which via either of the above means of communications.
    8. Subsequently a "final report" can be posted to the New Mobility Library and/or to the Day at the Office blog, for all to consult and use freely.
    9. If appropriate, these files can be added to and updated periodically.

    That briefly is how we see it as working. Now, if you want to see the results of a first joint investigation (which is still in process), read on.

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    The Electronic Environment

    A specific characteristic of our international networking in support of new/sustainable mobility is that it is mediated in the main by new, start of the art but affordable and widely available communications technology. These technologies are the glue that holds this part of our program together and which give it its exceptional reach and force.

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    The Initiatives: Past, Present, Future

  • Support of Bogota Sustainable Mobility
    The first collective action took place in 2000 when several hundred of us got together to support the Mayor of Bogota, Enrique Peñalosa in his project for a Car Free Day, which he was intending to use as a mechanism to develop increased public interest in and support for an entirely different approach to sustainable mobility in that city of seven million inhabitants living under very trying circumstances at two thousand six hundred meters, as they put it, "closer to the stars". To do this we created and publicized an instrument that we called the Bogotá Car Free Day International Guestbook which you can examine here for content and the names of those who joined this international peer support group. This cooperative group support initiative captured extensive media attention both in Colombia and world wide and served as one more small thing to support this great and still on-going transformation effort. One result was that we were awarded in tandem with Mayor Peñalosa the prestigious 2000 Stockholm Challenge Award for Environment.

  • Land Value Capture Initiative
    When our public servants invest our hard earned taxpayer dollars in investments that improve our communities and increase the value of real estate in the impacted areas, some or all of this increment should be recouped in order to fund much needed public services. This is easy to say but hard to do. So tune in here and lend a hand in this important task.

  • United Nations Car Free Days Programme
    The Commons was approached by the UN in 2001 to lead this cooperative program in preparation for the World Summit on Sustainable Development. This program has made some useful first steps but now needs to be re-examined, overhauled and redirected in order to achieve its ambitious objectives. Negotiations & hard thinking in process.

  • World Technology Environment 2004 Prize Nomination
    After extensive discussion and some reservations, more than fifty distinguished members of the New Mobility Network got behind the nomination of Ken Livingston, the Mayor of London, for his strong personal commitment to the Congestion Charging project that is bringing this important policy into the tool kit for every major city in the world.

  • International Peer Review of WBCSD 'Sustainable Mobility' report
    The World Business Council for Sustainable Development has just issued an ambitious and much heralded report by a consortium of auto and energy producers in which it set out to identify 'pathways to sustainable mobility'. We have invited critical discussion and comment in the form of an International Peer Review. Their report and the group's critical review is available from here

  • The Journal of World Transport Policy & Practice
    The first practically-oriented journal dealing consistently and with full independence with the major issues of sustainable mobility. Click here to visit the electronic version of the Journal through 2002. (And here to get the latest copy of the Journal direct from John Whitelegg at the new site for Eco-logica in Britain.)


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    Last updated on 12 December 2006