Open Streets or Ciclovías temporarily repurpose streets into car-free spaces for people, complemented by programmed activities. These programs include encouraging physical activity, civic engagement, local economic development, community development, and the reclaiming of streets as public spaces for all.
The Open Streets Trends & Opportunities Brief highlights the results of papers curated for Active Living Research’s Physical Activity in Public Spaces Supplement in Preventive Medicine. Papers by Hipp et al. (2016) and Sarmiento et al. (2016) explicitly surveyed Open Streets and Ciclovía programs in the United States and Latin American cities, respectively. These surveys were complemented by in-depth interviews with willing program organizers of 32 unique programs across the United States and in five Latin American cities to understand measures of success and the factors discouraging or enabling program sustainability. The lessons learned offer insights for future Open Streets program planning
8 80 Cities produced the report Livable Streets for All: 30k Speed Limits in Urban Neighbourhoods, written in response to the increase in public awareness of the need for cities to slow down. The report demonstrates the clear link between traffic speeds and fatality risk on city streets, and shares examples of cities around the world taking action.
More than 100,000 people are killed in traffic incidents around the world every month. Each day, nearly 750 people walking are killed by cars – that’s equivalent to four commercial planes full of passengers crashing on a daily basis (270,000 people annually). This problem is unacceptable, critically urgent, and entirely avoidable. For 8 80 Cities the solution is clear – slower speeds save lives.
The Doable Neighbourhood Project (DNP) was a results-oriented initiative to create healthier communities in Ontario. Our approach was to build on community assets and empower local leaders to implement short-term, high impact pilot projects that enhance the neighbourhood’s walkability, bikeability, and access to parks and public spaces. Although temporary, pilot projects were used to demonstrate that grassroots efforts can lead to long-term cultural shifts towards healthier cities.
8 80 Cities collected dozens of innovative ideas to create a more walkable and bikeable neighbourhood in downtown Brampton. We connected with hundreds of residents and key stakeholders to spark conversation and action. With local partners including the Brampton Downtown Development Corporation, we made short-term, high-impact improvements to the public realm including a new wayfinding program and a temporary parklet on Main Street.
The Make a Place for People Project was based on the idea that community participation is key to the creation of vibrant and healthy public spaces. The overall goal of the project was to inject new life into under performing public spaces, encourage physical activity, and promote mental health while contributing to creating more sustainable and people-friendly communities.
8 80 Cities worked with ING Direct (today’s Tangerine) and Gehl Architects to gather public’s ideas for revitalizing O’Keefe Laneway, an underutilized space in the heart of downtown Toronto. The report presented recommendations on how to breathe new life into a long-underutilized and neglected space in the city.
8 80 Cities worked with the City of Thunder Bay to reimagine what Patterson Park could look like in the future. The park has been identified as “underperforming” – a dated fountain, poor seating, and a metal fence surrounds the park discouraging entry. But through our engagement process, we collected ideas for how people in the community would like to use the park.
Breakwater Park was selected for 8 80 Cities’ Make a Place for People project, funded in part by the Ontario Government. 8 80 Cities collected data based on observation and unconventional community engagement processes. Our results were compiled in a report with key recommendations like improving water access, programming, and continually investing in the waterfront. This report helped inform the overall re-design, capital improvements and overall revitalization of the park.
8 80 Cities initiated the TFAT project to engage citizens in local active transportation issues and provide them with the tools and resources to promote walking and biking in their community.
Over four days in January 2009, 8 80 Cities, then Walk & Bike for Life, held a series of workshops with community leaders, stakeholders groups, and residents throughout Sudbury to plan short and long-term solutions for bikeability, walkability and quality of life in Sudbury. This report summarizes key recommendations from the community including infrastructure improvements, programming initiatives, expansion of car-free events, and policy changes
Kingston was chosen as one of the 10 pilot communities for the Trails for Active Transportation project, with the main goal to engage citizens in a conversation about integrating and connecting recreational trail amenities with on-street pedestrian and cycling networks.
The Community Action Plan project was one of 8 80 Cities’ (then Walk & Bike for Life) first projects in Ontario. The objective of this project was to engage citizens in local active transportation issues and to provide them with the tools and resources to promote walking and biking in their community.
8 80 Cities facilitated a series of community workshops to gather ideas from citizens on how to improve walkability, bikeability and quality of life in Mississauga South.
The CAP project was created by Gil Penalosa. The objective was to engage citizens in local active transportation issues and provide them the tools and resources to promote walking and biking in their community. 8 8 0Cities facilitated various workshops and conversations to understand the needs of each community and to work on recommendations.
8 80 Cities along with PPS and ITDP lead a community engagement process in Guadalajara, Mexico to understand the uses of Parque Metropolitano and the community suggestions to update its master plan.
Ajax, Welland, Collingwood, Grimsby, Humber, Parkdale, St. Catherines, Caledon, Caledonia, Hamilton-Durand, Hamilton-McQuesten, Halton Hills, Iroquois Ridge, Mississauga Centre, Peterborough.
If you are interested in reading any of these community reports, please email us at [email protected].