Partnerships, Associations, & the Working Clusters
Working Partnerships
Our contribution
Clusters & local working groups The sector clusters
Regional clusters
City clusters

Partner listing to date:
  • Clean Air Initiative for Asian Cities
  • GTZ Sustainable Urban Transport Project
  • Institute for Transportation & Development Policy
  • I Walk to School
  • Journal of World Transport
  • Leber Planificación
  • Sierra Club (Ontario)
  • Sustran LAC
  • Victoria Transport Policy Institute
  • World CarFree Days

    Click here to open discussions about your collaboration
  • Deeply shared. Public spirited. Open. Good listeners. Energetic. Networked. Complementary. Flexible. Opportunistic. Committed.

    The Kyoto Cities Challenge has from the outset been organized as an open collaborative project stretching across borders, disciplines and politics. The partnership/associate component works at several interacting levels and emphasizes this taste for diversity and creative interaction:

    1. The 20/20 Action Plan: An aggressive Outline Program Proposal and Strategy for practical, high impact, short term, explicitly targeted array of remedial actions to be studied, adapted and deployed at the level of your city starting in 2005, supported by ...
    2. The International Advisory Council: Bringing together a distinguished panel of outstanding individuals whose work is shaping the sustainability agenda in cities around the world.
    3. The Working Partnerships, Associations & the Working Clusters: (This page.)
    4. The Bridge: The state-of-the-art multi-level Information and IP Communications Platform bringing together low cost high quality internet tools available to knit the Panel, the resources, the network more generally, and the interested cities together.
    5. The Operational Clusters: In parallel with the Council, the Partners and through the The Bridge, a number of informal working groups are springing up with common regional, sectoral or city foci to help lay the base for more and better city projects.

    Working Partnerships: NGOs and City Groups

    With the first defining components of the project starting to be in place we are now entering the next organizational phase: wherein we take contact with a relatively small number of groups and programs - NGOs, environmental and city groups -- whose work is closely associated with the objectives and working style of the Kyoto Cities program, and who are well placed to put these ideas to work in the field. Almost all of these groups have objectives, time horizons, institutional bases, resources and levels of support which are far broader than what is being targeted by Kyoto Cities. Think of all the things they are doing and the tools and means at their disposal as a large quiver - to which the 20/20 project can possibly offer one more arrow. That is the spirit of the cooperative enterprise we propose here.

    The driving idea behind these flexible alliances is to create an informal series of efficient working and information links with a selection of leading innovative NGOs, environmental and city groups around the world, whose programs relate closely to what we are trying to do with Kyoto Cities, and who find it useful to consider working with this approach, network and toolset as a practical extension of their own activities and tool kits.

    An important tenet of this independent group project is that all this underlying collaboration and mutual support is carried out in an informal, highly flexible, pragmatic, fully collegial manner. This aspect of "we do it because we want to" is fundamental to the spirit of the whole cooperative exercise in all its parts, as is the matter of volunteer participation. This is citizen democracy in action. There are no bosses nor hierarchy. If there is a single phrase that sums up the prevailing attitude of all this, it is good neighborly behavior. Even if the neighbors are at the other end of the planet, or next door. After all, here we are already well into the 21st century. It's ours to win.

    Our activities and competences here in the Kyoto Cities program are very different from those of our more established working partners, who in all case have much broader ranges of competences, challenges and interests, with in all cases continuing long term involvements with the issues. 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 years or less. And that's it!

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    Our contribution - and how we fit in

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

    As you will see if you click to Kyoto World Resources link you will see more than five 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 Kyoto World Cities Challenge, 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 (20 months?). 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?

    *        *        *

    The Kyoto World Cities Challenge is one program that cities can, if they wish, start to engage immediately. It is certanily not the only thing that they or the rest of the world should be doing to confront the challenges of environment and the costly dysfunctional transport arrangements that hinder almost all of them in their life quality and economic viability. It may not even be the best one. But to us it looks like one fine place to start. Today! (Or should we keep on waiting and hope for the best?)

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    Partners & Associates (7 April: Listing just getting underway)

  • Clean Air Initiative for Asian Cities (CAI-Asia), Manila, Philippines
    CAI-Asia promotes and demonstrates innovative ways to improve the air quality of Asian cities through partnerships and sharing experiences. CAI-Asia was established in 2001 by Asian Development Bank, World Bank, USAID/US-Asia Environmental Partnership, Asian cities, national governments agencies, and organizations responsible for air quality management. As part of CAI-Asia's Strategy (2005-2007), it will increasingly promote sustainable urban transport to complement end-of-pipe solutions to manage air pollution.
    * * * Goals: Regional coordination and cooperation in Asia on AQM firmly established; Asian countries and cities ability to manage air quality is improved; Air quality in major Asian cities is improved

  • GTZ Sustainable Urban Transport Project (SUTP) Bangkok, Thailand
    SUTP is a partnership between the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) which aims to help developing cities achieve their sustainable transport goals, through the dissemination of information about international experience and targeted work with particular cities. Their main products are the Sourcebook on Sustainable Urban Transport for Policy Makers and its training courses, as well as training courses and workshops on the topic of sustainable transport. Print and electronic resources are available from .
    * * * We hope the project can contribute as much as possible to develop commitment from different cities to develop a 20/20 initiative (or 10/10, or the one they prefer).

  • ITDP - Institute for Transportation & Development Policy
    Established in 1985 to promote environmentally sustainable and equitable transportation policies and projects worldwide. ITDP was organized by leading advocates for sustainable transport in the US who realized that the US was exporting its model of automobile dependence to developing countries. ITDP chose to focus on counteracting this development by helping make transportation systems more environmentally sustainable and equitable. (Very important source of information and international collaboration.)
    * * * ITDP is collaborating directly with municipalities in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Central and Eastern Europe to improve mobility and curb greenhouse gas emissions.

  • I Walk - International Walk to School Movement. International
    The Movement promotes and supports sustained walking to and from school. The various annual I Walk events (Days, Weeks) give children, parents, school teachers, and community leaders an opportunity to be part of a global event as they celebrate and learn the many benefits of walking. In 2004, approximately 3 million walkers from 29 countries walked to school together for various reasons - all hoping to create communities that are safe places to walk. For many this is their first small step toward sustainable transport, a softer city, and a safer and fuller trip to school each day.
    * * * The I Walk partners are collaborating with Kyoto Cities by informing their international networks and inviting them to consider working linkages.

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  • Journal of World Transport Policy and Practice. International
    Quarterly provides a high quality medium for original and creative work in world transport since 1995. Commitment to sustainable transport which embraces urgent need to cut global emissions of CO2, to reduce the amount of new infrastructure of all kinds-- and to highlight the importance of future generations, the poor, those who live in degraded environments, and those deprived of human rights by planning systems that put a higher importance on economic objectives than on the environment and social justice.
    * * In 2006 WTPP will prepare a special Kyoto Cities issue, reporting plans, progress and lessons learned.

  • Leber Planificación e Ingeniería S.A., Bilbao Spain.
    Leber, a private technical consulting firm offering transportation planning and traffic engineering services in the Basque Country of Spain since 1988, has been among the most active and successful proponents and contributors to advance the move towards a more sustainable transportation system in the region by combining accessibility and urban environment improvements
    * * * Leber is taking the lead to create a first series of public conversations introducing the 20/20 concept in the three main cities of the Basque Country (Bilbao, Donostia-San Sebastián and Vitoria-Gasteiz), with a view to encouraging initial studies of how best to turn these concepts into tangible on-street in-lung realities.

  • Sierra Club of Canada - Ontario Chapter. Toronto, Canada
    Grass-roots volunteer-driven organization, with most of our key work accomplished by member-volunteers. Mission is to protect and restore the health of the natural environment, including human communities in Ontario by empowering the membership and citizenry through education, advocacy, action and outdoor adventures.
    * * * Sierra Ontario is working with Kyoto Cities to implement a 20/20 or similar project in the Ontario area.

  • Sustran LAC (SUStainable TRansport Action Network- Latin America and the Caribbean)
    Sharing best practices and lessons learned about transportation issues and related topics that can contribute to a more sustainable transport in the continent. Based on an effort of various Latin American civil society organizations and individuals who are looking forward to solving the ever-growing problem of unsustainable transport and its adverse effects (traffic congestion, pollution, and environmental and health problems, traffic accidents and related economic deficits.
    * * * Cooperating with Kyoto Cities to initiate dialogues with cities through groups in Latin America to the end of laying the base for 20/20 and related short term high impact remedial projects.

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  • Victoria Transport Policy Institute. Victoria, Canada
    Independent research organization dedicated to developing innovative and practical solutions to transportation problems. Provide a variety of resources free via website to help improve transportation planning and policy analysis.
    * * * Their TDM Encyclopedia is integrated into this site, offering a comprehensive source of information about innovative management solutions to transportation problems, plus general information on TDM planning and evaluation techniques.

  • World CarFree Days Collaborative. International
    NGO created in 1994 under The Commons as a shared central repository of international information, experience and counsel for people and groups who feel that the idea of organizing a civic day without cars might be not only a pleasant event in itself, but also an instructive one at a time when many places are looking for ways out of the cities/cars impasse.
    * * * Starting in April 2005, proposing to its 500 members world wide that events this year might well include a Kyoto Cities component.

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