The project envisions the Air-Break Alliance Charter as the grounds and foundation for the development of a public-private-people sharing and collaboration platform, geared towards the achievement of the city’s air-quality improvement objectives.
As one can easily imagine, of course, the range of interest groups potentially concerned with- or affected/influenced by air-quality and green-mobility policies is extremely broad and diverse. Indeed, Air-Break wishes to involve in this process a multitude of target groups, spanning from individual citizens to organised and/or informal community groups; from environmental associations to users and advocates of different means of transportation (e.g., public transport users, private-car drivers, cyclists, etc…); from the different public transportation agencies to the providers of sustainable-mobility services; from the major generators of commuting flows on the territory (i.e., the economic actors, the university, public bodies and agencies) with their mobility managers to the students, workers and users of these urban functions and services; and ultimately from the local administration to the regional government and its environmental agencies.
In this context, the first and foremost challenge for the Air-Break Partnership is that of aligning the agendas of such a diverse multitude of actors towards a set of principles, values and objectives shared and mutually agreed upon by all participants.
Doing so will not only entail a highly complex incremental process of muddling through (Lindblom, 1959) the naturally different positions and stakes of the participants, but it will require a dedicate effort to keep the discussion “on track”.
As much as Air-Break fits into the much broader realm of air-quality and sustainable-mobility policies; it is likely that, within the same, broader policy realm, (at least a share of) the participants to the Alliance are already involved in other, parallel processes at local/regional level. Hence, it is reasonable to expect that participants might already have developed other (collaborative or conflicting) relationships with other actors; as well as they might carry stakes beyond the breath and scope of Air-Break that are not necessarily aligned with the project.
A strong leadership and a determined steering by the Air-Break Partnership will then be crucial to the success of the participatory process, to clearly set the “rules of the game”, and especially to make sure to leave out of the arena all other pre-existing issues and relationships.
Bringing together such a large and diverse wide group of stakeholders, Air-Break provides the opportunity for the activation of a new trading zone where the interactions among a wide constellation of very different actors united by a common goal may generate innovative ideas, projects, and strategies.
In other words, the trading zone activated around the Air-Break Alliance Charter has the full potential to become the catalyst and activator for additional synergies, activities, initiatives, and processes geared towards the replication and upscaling of the project’s approach and components.
Stay tuned to see the progress and achievements of the Air-Break Alliance and the release of the Charter over the next months!