This website has three main functions:
(1) Platform: Provide an open platform for collaborative communication on the target program.
(2) Network: Identification, outreach and linking to extend the number and range of people and organizations interested to follow progress and contribute to the shared vision, strategy and transformation effort.
(3) Reference: Free resource to serve planners, policy makers, NGOs, academics, students, environment and transport user groups, neighborhood organizations, journalists and others wishing to follow the SP/NM project over 2013-2020.
Target readers: The entire site and reference system has been laid out to serve both local partners and readers in Penang and Malaysia, as well as international readers interested to inform themselves and follow the development of this original and in many ways exemplary three-year project in Penang. We feel strongly that the success of Penang’s new mobility efforts depends in good part in their willingness to learn and benefit from international experience, bearing mind that in virtually all of the problems they are well known and have been creatively resolved in other places.
To take them in order:
The main clue to this site is the top menu which you can see just above. It is divided into seven sections, each with its own purposes, which we shall now briefly introduce.
Clicking here will take you directly to the home page. But if you let your cursor linger, you will see that there are also a handful of short sections which introduce the whole program, starting with: (a) Mission Summary and (b) Roadmap to negotiating this site.
In addition we have slotted in some general background information –maps. news, images — on transport in Penang, intended to help our foreign readers get a first feel for the reality on the ground.
2. THE MISSION:
This important section takes the original mission component of this long-term effort from beginning to end, opening with the original terms of reference set out for the project (13 July 2013) then taking the reader to the final Phase I report that was submitted in November 2013. The reader is invited to place the cursor on the main heading, which will then open up a drop-down list of the principal sections and accomplishments of the September/October 2013 mission.
All of these should be pretty much self-explanatory, though we would also suggest that you let your cursor wander over the sections Supporting Documentation and Supporting Media which go into considerably more detail concerning those important aspects of the mission.
If you do not know Penang, you may find it useful to look at the Streets of Penang section which shows hundreds of images of traffic and public spaces in all parts of the state.
3. THE ACTORS:
In a democratic society when it comes to taking important decisions on matters of transportation and mobility, and especially at a time of necessary rapid change, there are not, for better or worse, just a small handful of organizations involved. And the situation in Penang turns out to be typical when we take a good look around and make an effort to identify all those who should be counted and actively engaged in the transformation process. The present inventory — which is still in process, with other organisations and groups surely to appear here — identifies more than forty “key actors” and as the implementation process is further engaged, more are sure to appear on the horizon.
These key groups and players are organized into the following categories:
- Local/State government
- National agencies and organizations
- Civil Society
- International Organizations
- The Media
- Think City
- EcoPlan International
4. THE INTERIM REPORT:
The goal of this first interim report was to bring together the first round of information, findings and recommendations of the mission upon completion of the first three weeks of work in Penang, and then later analytic work and exchanges needed in order to see how all of this might be packaged in a readable and useful Phase 1 document.
The report is has been available since November 2013, and was intended as an interim working document in the hope that additional resources will be applied in the subsequent months and over the period 2014 – 2020 in order to move Penang toward a smooth, efficient and fair New Mobility Agenda. It was clear from the beginning that it was not going to be a single document that would bridge the gap between the problems that Penang currently faces and the solutions that need to be sought out, widely discussed and wisely applied. But it does give us a concrete starting place.
As adviser to this project I have concluded that if we are to move ahead in any consequent way we need to put our in active leadership and collaboration on the part of civil society, as well as reaching beyond Penang and Malaysia to try to involve and learn from a wide range of international organizations and institutions that are knowledgeable of the problem areas covered here. Local and state government are key players for the future, but they are going to need this additional support to complement their own competences and resources.
The September/October 2013 mission was understood as the first phase of what had to be a continuing process of information exchange and dialogue on the move to a new mobility agenda in Penang. This process, since it is based on volunteer contributions by the EcoPlan team and other participants, does not at this point have a firm schedule and list of specific or events. But one way or another the process continues to make its way and continues to provide a forum for new ideas and challenges to old thinking and practices in Penang.
Phase 2 Implementation
This section will present a certain number of key documents being developed during the 2014 implementation stage. (Section just about to get underway)
A clickable listing of the main supporting media, including a section with names and pictures of the hundred-plus participants in the Sustainable Penang Facebook page.
Moving down the left you will find a selection of key links and organizations, local, national and international, along with information on some related Facebook projects.
Postings and Comments
Following that are sections which identify the two dozen latest postings to the site, most read recent postings and reader comments.
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Bio: Educated as an international development economist, Eric Britton is an American political scientist, teacher and sustainability activist who has worked on missions and advisory assignments on all continents. Professor of Sustainable Development, Economy and Democracy at the Institut Supérieur de Gestion (Paris), he is also MD of EcoPlan Association, an independent advisory network providing strategic counsel for government and business on policy and decision issues involving complex systems, social-technical change, civil society and sustainable development. Founding editor of World Streets: The Politics of Transport in Cities | See Britton online at https://goo.gl/9CJXTh and @ericbritton