Government, Civil Society and The Commons

Penang land model government SRS

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
— Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Democracy in the 21st century.

To what extent can a “temporarily elected government” dispose at their will of large swaths of the natural, historical, environmental, cultural, social, economic, etc. , patrimony — “The Commons”,as it is well known —  in order to put some pennies (or billions) into the government coffers, or those of their contractual partners, to do with what they want during their short time in office.

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A transportation vision for Penang’s future

Komtar faceliftThe year is set at 2040, where major projects involving new transportation networks and the rejuvenation of the central business district of George Town are finally complete.

Roger Teoh. The Malaysian Insider.  6 December 2015 8:31 AM

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World City Cycling Forum on Facebook Tops 400 Members for First Time

France Paris cycle velib snow Credit - Reuters - John Schults

World Streets, Paris. 27 January 2016

Set up as a dedicated independent group platform in April 2007, the World City Cycling Forum of World Streets has grown slowly over these nearly nine years, and just this week for the first time passed the 400 member threshold, with today exactly 411 signed in members from all continents and countries rich and poor, several thousand postings and hundreds of striking photographs.  Bravo to us all!

* See https://www.facebook.com/groups/worldcitybike/

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Additional Halcrow “background information reports” needed to support 2016 Sustainable Penang Master Plan rethink

brain2For the working purpose of this collaborate rethinking of transport policy and planning in Penang, we have now placed on line the first six main volumes that constitute the bedrock of the 2012/13 Halcrow Consultants series – which you will now find at https://goo.gl/veBcIh.

But the reports also refer in various places to six additional documents that appear to be important and that we will need to be able to access and study in order to interpret and decide about the usefulness of specific elements of the series. These are titled as follows:

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Roadmap: Navigating this site

This website has three main functions:

magnifying glass(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:

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International Organizations, Agencies and Others

Note; 1 August 2015. The following is a working draft in progress. We post it at this time to invite our readers’ views, correction and eventual additions.

International networking to support Sustainable Penang project

flags at UNUp until the present time virtually all of the networking and exchanges under this project have taken place within Penang and Malaysia more generally. However as of mid-2015, the leader of this mission has concluded that the role and participation of international organizations and various specialized agencies is going to be critical to bringing about a better informed and more coherent transport and land use policy in Penang.

These State and other concerned local organizations have a great deal of catching up to do, and all of this will become much easier if they take advantage of international partners and sources to ensure that their policies take advantage of past experience and leading practices in other places. The problem is not so much one of money, as it is of knowledge, vision, strategy and leadership.

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