Let’s say you’re taking charge of your health and want to walk every day in your neighborhood. Or, you’d like to teach your kids the self-reliance skill of biking to school. Well, if sidewalks aren’t there, or you don’t feel comfortable using them, achieving those goals won’t be possible. That’s why the attitude of the public agencies who plan streets and sidewalks really matters. The health of a community is literally in their hands. By baking in the opportunity for exercise on sidewalks, lanes, and trails, they also build a healthy population.
Only recently has transportation been directly linked to health. Research now proves Continue reading
Share-it Square in Portland, OR
In Portland, Oregon, they bike naked in the streets, hold laundromat happy hours, and neighbors adopt their intersections. The place is weird – which is a boon for the people who live there.
I learned a lot about the City of Roses, along with planners, politicians and policy makers, at the International Making Cities Livable conference. In his keynote, Portland mayor Charlie Hales ticked off some of the many ways his town makes its people the priority.
- Spending $1 billion on the Willamette River so it’s clean enough for swimming
- Giving every high school kid a free transit pass
- Removing a riverfront highway to make way for a park
Hales says Portland’s land use and transportation policies “render freedom less dangerous.” With less time worrying about being hit by a car, Portlanders appear to be spending more time coming up with new ideas.
One such resident is 26-year-old Morgan Gary. Continue reading