Thanks Chris, I think you are doing exactly the right thing and I really appreciate your work.
But what about this? Might I ask you to run down ONE Canadian foundation and make contact to determine if they might share our very simple causal chain, which I resume as follows.
Truth 1. You can’t have a sustainable planet without sustainable cities
Truth 2. Nor sustainable cities without sustainable mobility
Truth 3. The key to sustainable mobility is to ensure that every step, every project, every investment you take will end up by reducing VMT.
Truth 4. And it has to be done quickly and on scale. (Otherwise it fails the responsibility test.)
Truth 5. When you reduce VMT notably and rapidly through the best available means and proven strategies, here are the main benefits
a. GHG and related emissions reductions
b. Greater independence of imported fossil fuels
c. Fair mobility for all those in and around our cities who at present are NOT well served by the own-car pattern (bearing in mind that this is a majority of all citizens, and further that for various reason, a growing majority).
Now this is of course not Nobel Prize stuff, but it is (a) 100% on target and (b) entirely doable. Moreover everything that reduces VMT does not in fact limit mobility or impact negatively on the economy. In fact it increases mobility (offering up a whole range of new services that at present exist here and there but which are marginalized by mainstream thinking), reduces the costs of mobility to both individuals and the community as a whole, and creates new jobs and relationships.
This is a brilliant practical path but we need to hear and learn more about it. World Streets is trying to land a hand in this.
So here’s that question.
Would you be willing to help us seek out and contact a Canadian foundation or partner so that we can continue to do our job. In the world, and in Canada?
From: Chris Bradshaw [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Wednesday, 23 February, 2011 17:05
To: Eric Britton
Subject: Re: [New post] We have no money gentlemen, so we shall have to think.
This is a bold appeal. I can see from the amount you estimate it now costs you — $8k a month — that my meagre possible offerings are not going to make a dent.
You seem to also be inviting partners and bolder ideas that will take the world by storm.
You published my quickie submission to the House of Lords sub-committee, so you can see my current emphasis, which is not about limited VMT as much as cities’ car populations. And emphasis on streets seems to invite not just less driving, but fewer cars (and trucks).
I am just finishing reading Peter Senge’s (et.al.) 2008 book, The Necessary Revolution (Doubleday). He talks about the process of revolution via profiles of leadership in sustainable development, mostly by companies, but also NGOs (including mention of Paul Hawken’s Blessed Unrest). As a person who is a specialist in public consultation (and invented "informal participation"), I relate to it.
I am trying to invent a process that will create a wedge for share car-ownership built around the many benefits it would bring, from greatly increased driver accountability to cradle-to-cradle thinking about vehicle design to "slow ways" to the championing of ‘riderdom’ (vs. driverdom).
I just finished reading Clay McShane and Joel Tarr’s The Horse in the City, which shows the many impacts as well as contributions of horses in urban life. It also shows how quickly they were phased out, first in transit, then in personal transit, and finally in goods movement (home deliveries were the last to go, although there is still a stable in our heritage Byward Market here).
I see something that will catch on with millions who will pledge monthly donations to further. It needs to be ‘sticky’ as hell, a meme that won’t go away.
One is cars2far/fast/fat and drive2franticly/frequently/fervently. Do we aim to coexist with them, or do we have to get rid of them all, just to invent other movement systems. I favour the former, since the intelligent-highways and PRT people have ruined the latter.
The street metaphor is good, as a place where all is shared, where we go to NOT be alone, but in communion with others and to get places. If we share the roads, we need to share the means of using the roads, or the public realm breaks down, as it is clear it has.
I am 66 and hoping to get onto our municipal transit commission (for the first time, four citizen seats are being created — interviews to be arranged soon — though the people will not be paid any honourarium). I feel that much is still possible, although seniors are supposed to be over-the-hill and are marginalized. So I work with seniors groups on transportation.
Let’s keep these stirriings-of-the-pot going.
Chris Bradshaw, Ottawa