...reform—of transportation, food systems, and so many aspects of the way we live—is no longer about adding bike lanes or buying veggies from a local farmer; the time has come to re-focus on large-scale culture change. Advocates from different movements are reaching across aisles to form broader coalitions. While we all fight for different causes that stir our individual passions, many change agents are recognizing that it is the common ground we share—both physically and philosophically—that brings us together, reinforces the basic truths of our human rights, and engenders the sense of belonging and community that leads to true solidarity.
Even when we disagree with our neighbors, we still share at least one thing with them: place. Our public spaces—from our parks to our markets to our streets—are where we learn about each other, and take part in the interactions, exchanges, and rituals that together comprise local culture. Speaking at PWPB, Copenhagenize.com founder Mikael Colville-Andersen made this point more poetically when he said that “The Little Mermaid statue isn’t Copenhagen’s best monument. I think the greatest monument that we’ve ever erected is our bicycle infrastructure: a human-powered monument.”
Photo: Spacing Magazine via Flickr
Our public spaces reflect the community that we live in, and are thus the best places for us to begin modeling a new way of thinking and living. We can all play a more active role in the cultural change that is starting to occur by making sure that our actions match our values—specifically those actions that we take in public places. READ FULL ARTICLE >>
Not every one likes it – the “roundabout”, that is – but the
city, citizens and Gēnus Landscape Architects are progressing with dramatic
‘complete streets’ improvements in the Beaverdale neighborhood of Des Moines,
Iowa. The Des Moines Register calls the “Beaverdale plan a model for other
“Des Moines' new bicycle-friendly streets policy that has
stirred controversy on Ingersoll Avenue may be tested next in the Beaverdale
neighborhood on the city's northwest side. It would be a good case history in
how improving the appearance of streets, and how they are used, can have a
visible impact on a neighborhood.
Des Moines is striving to make travel as safe and convenient for pedestrians
and bicycles as by car with a new "complete streets" policy. Some
neighbors and businesses objected to the concept on Ingersoll Avenue west of
downtown, but the city is pressing ahead.”
The rest of this 1.5-mile Beaver Avenue streetscape will
include new planters and lighting, signs, public art and more visible
pedestrian crosswalks. Gēnus is part of an integrated design team that also
includes Veenstra & Kim Engineering and Sayles Graphic Design. Goals of the
plan are to improve safety, enhance connectivity, create visual unity,
and revitalize local businesses.