The Peace Intention Handbook - The StillFlow Way to Peace

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Buy It Now. Add to cart. Be the first to write a review. About this product Product Information The challenges we face cant be solved at the level of thinking that created them Albert Einstein The idea of living in a peaceful world may seem like an impossible dream, the problems faced by humanity too complex or too inevitable to solve. As individuals we can feel insignificant in the face of such giant issues.

StillFlow offers a way to transform that thinking, to take ourselves from insignificant spectators of conflict to vital creators of a peaceful world.

The StillFlow way to Peace suggests how we might transform the world around us by evolving in our own thinking and see that peace mirrored in the world around us. It offers the chance for us to begin to see ourselves and each other in a new light. One of openness, compassion and acceptance. To remove the imaginary barriers we have created between ourselves and other people that have lead inevitably, to conflict, both personal and collective.

By living the StillFlow way, we can choose to live in a world where a stranger is welcomed as a friend and the word enemy is obsolete. Additional Product Features Author s. Freya Lawton's life has lived up to the word extraordinary. Each SCoT balances concerns about urban renewal, mixed-use real estate development, and preservation of the environment through land-use, transport, and construction decisions.

Additional indicators such as energy efficiency; biodiversity and ecosystem conservation; reduction of greenhouse gas emissions; and balance of spatial distribution of shops, services, and residences are integrated through local sustainable development under a SCoT. Successful construction and management of an urban transport project relies on the ownership local authorities assume over their urban transport systems. When confronted with limited proprietorship, local agencies hold themselves less accountable for the efficient and effective implementation of the project, leading to lackluster performance.

This can dampen the progress that is made on developing and implementing more than just the project at hand. It can also set a precedent for suboptimal local involvement in future projects. This need is intensified when trying to institute sustainability as part of the outcomes desired. Nearly all countries require a mobility plan in order to receive federal funds.

For example, in Brazil, localities are expected to meet the planning requirement strictly with local funds, leading to few local plans being executed. Successful planning requires a mix of local and national financial support. The planning process should receive partial funding from national allocations so plans are achieved and executed but also include local contributions to help foster a sense of local ownership. In France, for instance, local PDU plans for transportation development are partially funded by national allocations and local revenues.

To ensure that funding is easily accessible and managed by the local authority, the national government could devolve project funding directly to an entity in the metropolitan area, whether that is in the form of a city agency, a metropolitan organization, or a state government. The state of California allocates 75 percent of its capital transportation funds to its metropolitan planning organizations MPOs.

The authority to control funding provides MPOs with resources to connect regional planning with investment decisions and encourages interdepartmental coordination. Giving local planners authority over their budgets requires clear guidelines on the use of the funds and clear expectations on outcomes, which in turn helps to build capacity by forcing them to make decisions and act. Local capacity is highly dependent on the knowledge and motivation of staff on the ground. Setting standards, exchanging experiences, and knowledge sharing are often-overlooked means of building local capacity.

These practices not only encourage cooperation regionally but also can deepen transnational relationships. The role of the organization is significant enough that other regions seek to replicate its model. This sort of program-based city-to-city peer sharing can traverse national boundaries and highlight common challenges faced by cities to encourage cooperation and build local knowledge. CIVITAS also facilitates study tours for transport officials from around the world to experience how the European pilots operate in reality. Likewise, local capacity can be boosted from the top through the development of design and engineering standards.

Such standards communicate a framework of the physical system so that all involved stakeholders, officials, and staff can develop a common understanding.

Such standards can be quickly institutionalized. The New York City Department of Transportation developed a street design manual, vetted by the Office of Management and Budget and New York City lawyers, that is now standard for surface transportation capital projects that are nontransit. Not only did the street design manual enable its in-house road crews and engineering consultants to understand street design and engineering that suited the context of New York City, it also allowed the city to streamline its approval process for such street improvements.

The manual paved the way for a number of sustainable transportation improvements, such as physically protected bicycle lanes and safer pedestrian waiting areas at intersections. Like professional exchanges across nations, nongovernmental, nonpartisan institutions for the research and development of transportation strategies and project designs can bypass politics surrounding local transportation projects. For example, the nonprofit sector stepped in to assist the Mexico City government in creating a travel survey when the initial design of the survey proved inadequate.

In addition, national governments and nongovernmental institutions can strengthen domestic local capacity for planning, operational effectiveness, and financial management through technical assistance programs. A nonprofit organization sponsored by the National Development and Reform Commission, 41 the program assists local Chinese agencies, experts, and entrepreneurs with development and regional implementation, while the successes and failures of its activities inform the further evolution of national mobility policy.

The Senior Policy Advisory Council and the Dialogue Partners of the China Sustainable Energy Program, both of which collectively include several ministry-level officials and directors, provide strategic input and guidance for regional policy and developments directly from the national government. National policymakers often cite their need for local public participation, but their reasons for recognizing the need may be rooted in reducing risk, not expanding civic engagement. Because changes to the built environment in many cities are associated with disruption—or, worse, eradication—of daily routines or ways of life, engaging the public to inform them of the intention, purpose, and phases of projects is important.

Stories, such as the one from New Delhi in which there were riots on the street when a lane of traffic was taken for a bus rapid transit system, are common across the world. At a minimum, the government should post notices to inform the public about upcoming projects or solicit input on project priority lists.

Since , the U. Public engagement can also provide a forum through which the people can express their dissatisfaction with—and possibly even prevent—unsustainable urban transport projects.


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While this is not within the realm of national policy, being aware of public engagement strategies can help federal governments support local initiatives or resolve disputes. In , when the Tokyo government announced its plans to bring a highway through the compact, narrow streets of Shimokitazawa, a neighborhood that has so far escaped the post—World War II large-scale development common throughout the rest of the city, citizens protested in the streets. There was no other public forum in which to express their disapproval. In its most valuable form, public participation can provide detailed knowledge that only locals would be able to offer and can even inform how project phases are developed.

To ease the knot of traffic at Grand Army Plaza at the center of Brooklyn, the New York City Department of Transportation utilized multiple levels of public input collected in creative ways, from a multi-stakeholder community coalition to an international design competition. It then phased in street-design improvements over a few years to soften the impact of the changes. During the project process, the agency collected data on the changes along the way to document the benefits of the improvements in traffic circulation as well as pedestrian and cyclist safety.

With the advent of easy-to-use technology tools for planning, local governments have more opportunities today to engage the public meaningfully. Federal mandates can help encourage them to take advantage of these new options for public participation. Using Google Maps, Boston cyclists noted their routes on a shared map. The collective set of tracks defined popular routes and gave the city a solid impression of where bicycle infrastructure was needed.

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And technology helps even with more complex issues. The North Carolina DOT published an online calculator on its website so the public could understand the trade-offs involved with selecting certain transportation projects over others. According to national policymakers consulted for this study, the inclusion of more modes of urban transport in policies requires a cultural shift in public opinion. Public engagement is a cornerstone of that shift.

Polly Higgins – Voices for the Earth

For decades, road projects received the majority of funding over urban transport globally, which reinforced the message that roads are the priority investment. Municipal officials tend to favor one public transit mode over others. Rail-transit investments are widely supported by both local planning agencies and federal government financiers, citing their environmental, social, and compact development benefits.

This bias is further amplified by lobbying from local private contractors that benefit from more expensive rail projects, according to transport ministry officials from a cross section of countries. This preference for one mode is prevalent among the public in developed countries as well. In Switzerland, 75 percent of transit riders preferred trams to buses, given identical service levels. In Germany, 63 percent preferred regional rail over an equivalent bus system, particularly among the young and educated. While these studies are not conclusive, they suggest that preference for a given mode of transportation stems not from the concrete benefits it offers but from predetermined emotional and social notions, like nostalgia and perceived bus-ridership demographics.

Creative strategies, even if established from the top, can promote the sort of change in public opinion that is necessary to generate demand for sustainable transportation and increase transparency in spending federal dollars. The Cycling Embassy of Denmark instigated a cultural shift that will be crucial to the success of sustainable urban transport.

By promoting cycling as a national priority, it elevated the role of bicycles as a respected mode of urban transportation. What can be funded determines what gets built. It is therefore critical that national policies for sustainable urban transport be directly tied to parallel funding and financing structures. New transport systems require both up-front, onetime capital for construction and ongoing funds for operations and maintenance. All told, hundreds of trillions of dollars will be dedicated to building the urban environments required to accommodate increasing numbers of city dwellers, and a strong national role is needed to help provide, enable, and guide this massive investment.

National governments, however, are not the only actors providing financial support to cities in response to this great transition—regional, local, and private contributions from vested commercial interests play a vital role in supporting the development of sustainable urban transport. National financial-assistance programs must thus effectively manage many channels of potential funding and financing investments to ensure both fiscal soundness and the achievement of broad policy goals.

Beyond fulfilling the national vision, national governments can use funding and financing mechanisms to empower localities to take ownership of and, in turn, responsibility for their mobility projects. It is important to note the distinction between funding, which requires revenue generation of some kind, usually through a tax or fee, and financing, which is the creation of a financial vehicle that promises private investors a return on investment. Financing strategies are primarily used to fill a funding gap for large infrastructure projects.

Some financing strategies are better when applied to capital costs, while others are better for operational costs. It is common for transportation authorities to mix financing strategies depending on project goals and funding gaps. By strengthening the connection between specific funding mechanisms and project types, national governments can guarantee that those who stand to benefit from the infrastructure help fund the project in an amount that is relative to the benefits they will receive.

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