Sustainable Penang New Mobility Grant Awards

During the course of the series of Focus Groups, master classes, conferences,  presentations, and media events  organized in support of the program over the penang wheelchair user on streetperiod 22 September to 6 October more than 100 project ideas of a wide range of types and sizes were advanced for discussion, consideration and counsel. (See Table of Ideas here at http://wp.me/3GVVk for details.) One of the most favorably received of these was the proposal to look into the creation of a program of Sustainable Penang/New Mobility Grant Awards. The discussion document presented to the meetings is reproduced here. As this project advances you will find more in these pages.

The following need to be thrashed out by those directly concerned, but this rough outline is perhaps a point of departure and discussion for an important initiative.

To stimulate New Mobility initiatives, creativity and obtain the broadest possible base of support at all levels throughout all of Penang, we propose that attention be given to creating a high profile two year award program, organized and supported by the three key levels of state government and the Penang business community. The program could be funded by grants of two million Ringgit from each of the municipalities and the State, guaranteeing a base of six million Ringgit for the program, with additional funds to be solicited o a grant matching basis from the private sector.

The basic frame for deciding if a given project is appropriate for the Sustainable Penang Awards is as set out here in the “The New Mobility Strategy”. The program could be managed by the Penang Transport Council, with the support of a small but highly distinguished local and  international jury of people who have made outstanding contributions in the field.

The following kinds of groups would be eligible for the award: NGOs, civil society, schools, universities, transport operators of all types, active transport groups, hotels, restaurants, museums and public buildings, women’s groups, media projects, business groups, workers groups,  and anybody with a good idea and convincing project that corresponds with the thrust of this program. It would be important that at least a third of the awards go to projects outside of the major cities and built up areas.

Nominations will be made on a public blog by local citizens and groups, including  the media, according to stream-lined procedures to keep paper work to a minimum. The project organizers in each case will be asked to respond to a brief series of questions, and each project will be independently visited and verified to ensure the accuracy of the conditions of the award.

We propose that most of this funding take the form of micro awards of, say, 25,000 Ringgit, and one larger award in each biannual ceremony. The financial  award will of course be a stimulus for new ideas and innovations, but the high honor and the media support can be very helpful to reinforce the winners in their hard work and accomplishment.

Formal award ceremonies lead by the chief officers of the three local government sponsors would take place groups  in distinguished settings two times each year (the eve of the  annual World Car Free Day might be appropriate for one such occasion), and it could be appropriate to have an outstanding person who has shown the way in other parts of the world to assist in presenting the awards.

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