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  • [12 December 2011. This page is a working draft and will be improved in the weeks ahead. Still, some of the main lines of our challenge are here.]

World Streets has chosen the topic of safe streets as one of our primary focuses of activity over 2012.

Goal: The goal of this collaborative program is to focus 100% on our topic and make a contribution to the discussion and seek ideas and approaches from many different angles and points of view. The objective is to inform and hopefully to influence government policy, companies and individual decisions and actions that can contribute to make our streets safer, or not.

Big House: We intend to encourage diversity both in terms of points of view and approaches, and not spend all of our time either in attacking someone else’ preferred approach which we may not a priori particularly like, or in preaching to some friendly choir. As they say over at World Streets, you never know where the next good idea is going to come from, so that best way to make sure they pop up is to spread the net wide

Caveat. This project, as you will shortly see, turns out to be a great deal more challenging than it may look at first glance. It really does require a NPOV (neutral point of view), and that is not always so easy. Many of us come to topics like this with a lot of intellectual luggage and our own ideas as to what works best. In this program however we wish to start by taking a giant step back from all of the minute particulars of more or less favored approaches, measures, technologies and projects, and look instead to make sure that we get the basic principles right. And those are, to give an advance clue, the rigorous principles, priorities and ethics of sustainable development and social justice.

Now, sustainable development and social justice is an easy enough phrase to roil off your tongue, but if you look at what is happening on the streets of our communities all over the world it turns out to be a tough one to really get your arms around from the vantage of informed public policy. But that is exactly what we are going to try to do over the course of 2012 with this program. Safe Streets/NPOV.

Supporting Media: This website is supported by a series of other media as followings:

Strategic: We are on the lookout for measures and policies which not only promise improvements in terms of specific safety issues, but also in the belief that the best ideas we are going to cull will be approaches which also address other critical issues, such as the need for near term action, proximity, civism, neighborliness, as well as a potential for resource savings, pollution reduction, and quality of life. These are ambitious objectives. As they should be.

Who is interested thus far? It is still early days but the following map reports the origins of the people who have checked into the project site since it opened on 7 Dec. 2011.  It also tells us where we are going to have to work harder to make a contribution in the places where help is most needed.

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