First time here

First time here

As you will quickly see this is a very large, complex, and at times almost kaleidoscopic collection of ideas, materials, references, links and working tools. We’re often told that on first appearances it looks sufficiently daunting to send more than one first-time visitor scurrying away for calmer ground. We think that would be a pity if you are interested in our topic since there is a lot of useful material here, and hence have prepared this little introduction in an attempt to make it easier to get to know and start to use all that has been brought together here.

Top menu:
If this is your first visit, we suggest you start by working your way across the small top menu, taking it from left to right across the dozen or so links that you will find there. And even if you do no more than scan that page, it should start to give you a feel for the contents and structure of all that has been gathered here for your good use.

Left menu:
This menu requires JavaScript If you do not already have it installed, you can do this by clicking to http://java.com/en/download/index.jsp. It is free, safe and takes less than five minutes to install. The actual organization and content of the menu will, hopefully, be self-explanatory.

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Language help: (The small world syndrome)
From its outset in 1988, the Agenda as been created to provide a free turntable for the exchange of information and ideas for people working on these issues in many countries around the world. And since this is a world of many languages, it is important that we be able to access materials in languages other than our own of those we master. To this end we have for many years steadily tried to incorporate the best and most convenient free translation technologies into the site and are working procedures. At present this works at two levels.

On most of pages of the site that have been posted relatively recently, you will find in the internal menu to the top left a small translation tool, which if you click it will provide you with a rough machine translation of the content of that page into the indicated language. (These links work with Yahoo Babelfish – go to http://babelfish.yahoo.com/ for details.)

Click here for additional information on the use of machine translations.

Translating into English:

(The following routine is for Mozilla Firefox. If you can work it out as easily for IE please let us know and we will post it to the group.)
Go to “1-click translations”, then place your cursor on “English” and drag the link to your browser’s toolbar.
Then whenever you need to translate a foreign language webpage you’re viewing (Google Translate presently accommodates more than thirty languages), all you have to do is click the English link on your browser tool bar and there right in front of your eyes will be a workable if rough translation of the text.
You can translate any part of a page by selecting that part before you click.
For one-time translation shots, all you have to do is place the page’s URL in the indicated slots at
It’s that simple and will take you less than five minutes. So benvenuto, bienvenido, bienvenue, dobrodo┼íli, Willkommen, etc.

And from Language X to Language Y:

But what if your working language is not English? Well, it becomes a bit more complicated but not a whole lot . Here is how it works if you use Firefox. (And yes, there has to be a better way to do this. than the following but here is how I created a work-around for myself. If you know better please do let us all know so that I and others can make use of it in their individual and group work.) Off we go:

Call up your browser and pop http://translate.google.com/translate_tools?hl=en into the URL navigation slot.
You will note that the last letters of the URL in the search box are: “hl=en&sl=en” (“en” for English of course)
Now change the two “en” pairs to call up the translate page but now in your working language: For example if you work in French it should read: To adjust for your main working language, all you have to do is substitute for the “en”: es for Spanish, du for Dutch, de for German, pt for Portuguese, ru for Russian, etc., etc. (But of course you will already know this for your main working language).
Once there all you have to do is slide the links for the languages you wish to have access to in your browser toolbar.
And there it is each time you needed. Once you do it, you will never look backwards.

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Print Hints
Since printing websites is often a messy and frustrating business, we thought it would be useful if we place “print page” tools in the event you wish to have the full contents of that page in front of you for more leisurely reading. And certainly on your Blackberry or iPhone screen. This can be useful for, as is often the case here, the pages may be too long to be comfortably read on most monitors. All it takes now is a single click and you have it on your desk. (And of course both you and I will be very careful about printing only what we need. Frugality is indeed part of the New Mobility Agenda.)

You will also find that the print page tool works in the translations as well. Back to top Knoogle: The New Mobility Combined Search Engine
Knoogle 1.2 is the first iteration of a power search engine specifically tailored to help policy makers, local government, researchers, NGOs, activists, consultants, concerned citizens and the media to search the web efficiently and at the same time to keep up with the work and activities of the leading international groups, programs and sources leading the field of sustainable transport and sustainable cities. (You have to be somewhere on that list.)

* Click here to go to Knoogle and the New Mobility Knowledge Sharing program.
The main usefulness of a Knoogle search is that it focuses on scanning information coming from more than five hundred carefully selected programs and sources that we view as leading the way in their work and competence in our heavily challenged sector world-wide. As a result it provides not only less but also much better focused information than you will find from the usual Google search. (The name combines the two basic components that make it work, KNOwledge and goOGLE, into a single memorable (?) word (pronounced “kah-noogle”).

But no matter how useful it may be, if you do not have convenient access to it each time you sit down to go to work then it is going to be somehow laid aside. There is a remedy for this which works as follows. If you go into Firefox (or certainly way to do this in Internet Explorer as well but I do not happen to know it, but if you do get back to us and we will share this information with the rest), and call up you will see the search engine on your screen. Then all you have to do is place your cursor on the Firefox tab, click the left mouse button, and slide the Knoogle tab up to the Firefox bookmarks toolbar. Now that you have the right there as part of your everyday browsing routine, we invite you to use it and to let us know what you like about it and how we might go about improving it.

Searching the New Mobility discussion groups:

There is significant content in the thousands of messages that have been transmitted through the dozen or so discussion groups which have been set up to support a major program areas that constitute this site. It is unfortunate that this content is not lost and that it is in fact possible to efficiently search the individual fora. To do this all you have to do is call tab on the internal left menu, and once there you will see the Search slot. Just to the left there is a Help link which is also useful.

Before actually starting to make use of the group mail facility, we recommend that you have a close look at the Welcoming Note at  Back to top Communications Speed: if you are lucky enough to have it, broadband is of course the preferred way to access the extensive content of this site. That said, most of the content is also accessible through dial-up connections..

The New Mobility Bridge:
Interactivity is important for us. Gathering information from useful sources is one thing, but communication is quite another and there comes a time in which you will need to take contact with people or sources, and this is where the new and usually free to communications tools that transit over the net become important.

The New Mobility Agenda is based on some strongly shared ideas about society and technology, and confidence in the ability of those who care about these things to make use of our available tools to “get together” to refine and advance their ideas and in the process move them toward implementation. And given that those who share these interests are not found in a single place — to the contrary as it happens they are widely spread out over the surface of these sweltering planet — a major key for turning ideas into palpable realities is our ability to communicate with each other. For these we need a bridge, or bridges of some sort to help us span these otherwise debilitating differences.

Click here for more on the New Mobility Bridge and associated communications tools.
And here for an informal one minute video introduction, Workspace Ergonomics The content of most of the pages and stored materials at this site tend to be pretty extensive. This makes them difficult to comfortably access certainly on Blackberries or iPhones, or if you are sitting down for a long and creative session you may even find the small screen of a portable not as comfortable as you would like it to be effective. On the other hand given the fact that in many cases the materials are first references and not something you really wish to print out willy-nilly (we have to keep our eye on the trees as well as the forest), it is just good ergonomics (good for you) and good sustainability practice (and good for the environment) to be able to view at least a full-page and preferably two on your main working monitor.

If your budget can afford it and you wish to get full efficient access to a multi-page item, we certainly suggest you consider a 22-inch monitor. Not too long ago they were ruinous, but today you can get a pretty good one for something on the order of $300.

This may be a more important decision than you think especially if you have not had this experience in the past. As more or less normal human beings we have only a certain amount of patience, with technology and with ourselves, and if we are confronted with a long document which we have to ceaselessly scroll through small screens to read, you and I know we are not going to want to do this very often. Impatience sets in and the message, just in case it may have been important one, gets lost. That is not a victory for technology, nor in fact for sustainability since it just happens that we really must be able to communicate to each other efficiently and effectively if we are going to create an agenda for change.

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Updating the site
This web site consists of the more than a thousand pages, some of which very recent and others which have been prepared and put into place over more than the last decade. This obviously leads to a certain unevenness here and there both in terms of quality and in continuity of argument. We make an effort to ensure that the main pages which drive the site are kept fully up-to-date, but at the same time some judgment is required on the part of the reader to keep the various bits and pieces in perspective. We appreciate your willingness to pitch in with your flexibility and good judgment, and hope that what you do find here justifies this effort.

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Questions, ideas, sugggestions? See how to get in touch to talk all this over by clicking here. We pick up the phone, answer the mail, open the door and try to help our sustainable friends and colleagues wherever they are.