IV. Women shaping the future of transport in cities: Next steps on World Streets

After the first article in this series appeared in these pages on July 27th, more than fifty people from a dozen countries responded with suggestions and nominations for profiles of outstanding women who through their work, character and originaity are, quite literally, shaping and re-shaping the transportation agenda. Based on that strong response, their quality and the evident interest in the topic, we have decided to see if we can work with those making these nominations to provide a series of leadership profiles to improve the international visibility concerning the contributions that women are making in the field at all the key levels involved.

A short note is attached below with information for our eventual collaborators on this.

If the authors agree, I vote we go slow with the first couple of profiles to make sure that we have a format and style which is going to do the job that needs to be done. If we can work up a strong template, that is going to make everything that follows considerably easier. If you might be interested in lending a hand in this early review and commenting stage, it would be great to hear from you

You will note that in addition to the articles that will appear in World Streets we have also made arrangements for a special number on this topic to appear in the pages of the Journal of World Transport Policy and Practice in spring 2012. We are also discussing with the Cities for Mobility team in Stuttgart with whom we have worked regularly in organizing their annual world Congresses the possibility of focusing the 2012 conference on the various key issues surrounding the increased role of women at all stages of the policy and action process.

Finally we have also set up a Facebook group page intended to facilitate contacts and exchanges among those who are interested which you can find at http://www.facebook.com/groups/125064544255045/.

We are very pleased concerning this decision about the Leadership Profiles and look forward to seeing how this works with all those of you who cared enough to make a nomination. But at the same time we intend to continue our campaign aimed at bringing much larger numbers of women into the planning and decision process, as opposed to their present egregious under-representation and often isolation as a result of working in small numbers in heavily male-dominated fora. To some this may appear to be quixotic or even unnecessary. We do not think so.

So looking forward to getting the working draft of the first of these profiles and to getting this new program into gear.

Eric Britton, Editor

# # #

Leadership Profiles: These hold the key at the next stage.
• To appear in World Streets – open for free use and republication under Creative Commons
• 300 – 800 words of nicely laid out readable text making the key points, with picture of nominee, and perhaps another picture or graphic to help ram home the point of her originality, force of character and accomplishments.
• Plus key references and URLs.
• Aiming, why not?, for weekly publication on W/S, always on the same day.

Authors: World Streets will work with the project as editors, the idea being that individual profiles to be prepared by contributing authors. Quite possibly those nominating the candidate, but possibly other.
• Guidelines for contributors: http://wp.me/PsKUY-B3
• Links to Wikipedia profile. (What, no WP profile? But WP is the first-stop shop for anyone looking for more on any outstanding personality. Don’t you think that we should either annotate her existing profile, or if one is not there use our article as the base for one. )
• What about the review routine, once we have a strong draft? Wouldn’t it be an idea to have each reviewed and commented, and perhaps improved, by at least one knowledgeable person.
• Invite Comments from colleagues and others to be posted on W/S with the original profile.

Short essay by nominee? We see this as the other half of the profile. We warmly invite each nominee to share with our readers a few lines (or more) summing up her thoughts as to why there are not more women shaping policy in the field in terms of actual investments and programs. Are there specific reasons for this lag in her country or field? What might be done about it? Is there any form of operational or de facto network in which women leaders and their supporters can get together on these issues. As you can imagine with profiles coming in from places as diverse as North American and the leading edge cities of Western Europe, to India, South Africa, and Egypt, these short essays are going to combine to help us all deepen our understanding of problems, barriers and ways around them.

Publication: Journal of World Transport Policy and Practice. We have decided with John Whitelegg to produce a special edition on this topic, publication: Spring of 2012. Working title is ” Sustainable Transport in Cities: Who says that women are not leading the charge?” More information on work plan, contents, etc. to appear on World Streets in the coming weeks. In the meantime, we continue to receive and process nominations as they come in, of which selected profiles will be featured in the WTPP report.

Networking: Facebook Group, Just set up at http://www.facebook.com/groups/125064544255045/. Goal is for the group to define itself. Please react, suggest, bring in other members who share our concerns and interests. And if you have questions or wish to talk any of this over get in touch

Conferences: Still to be finalized but the idea is to organize several conferences and events, of which the first under discussion is the 2012 Congress of the Cities for Mobility program in Stuttgart, from 1 – 3 July.

Videos/films: Several under discussion

World Streets on gender equality: http://worldstreets.wordpress.com/category/governance/gender/

Now what about your ideas and suggestions?.

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